Fight Against The Heat
Are you a team player or a one man show? Team players help bear the load, they assist and work together. In life there are many responsibilities. Work, family, chores, cooking, parenting, marriage just to name a few. Do you expect the other to do it all, or do too much? Are you being a team player?
Rule #14: Be a team player
In many relationships one will carry too much responsibility and feel unappreciated or taken advantage of. Relationship Rule # 1 talked about owning your feelings and emotions, how it’s your responsibility to voice how you are feeling and what your concerns are. If you don’t like how the team is operating you must speak up. Don’t expect someone to read your mind, honestly now that’s just silly. Additionally, don’t jump to conclusions about their motives. You can’t assume they’re aware of how their action are affecting you if you haven’t brought them to their attention. Too many relationships get themselves into trouble by doing this, don’t follow suit.
Each individual should carry his own load, Galatians 6:5. This means you have responsibilities only you should be taking care of. Discuss the shared responsibilities and delegate. Be in agreement and be willing to negotiate until you are both satisfied. This doesn’t have to be a heated discussion, but you’ll have to be intentional to not let it go there.
Don’t Be a Bitter Breeding Ground
When discussing situations don’t reluctantly agree only to secretly harbour bitterness and anger. This negativity will breed in your heart and corrupt the relationship from the inside out.
You’ve heard it said, team has no “I” in it. This means stop making decisions solo, you both should have a say. This isn’t asking permission, per-se, you are not giving them final authority to say “yes” or “no.” Seeking their opinion is a sign of honour and loudly states “I respect your opinion and want to hear what your thoughts are.”
This action shows you value them and care how this decision will affect their life because remember, you are a team and must operate as one.
On the flip side, making decisions without consulting or discussing says, “what you think doesn’t matter. What you feel I don’t value I will disregard it and do what I want anyways.” Yikes, I KNOW that’s not your intention so be sure that’s not what your actions are saying.
We vs. Me
Relationships get into trouble because people fail to see the “we” in team and life becomes cluttered with, “me, me, me.”
Simply put, be considerate. Love is considerate and last I checked you’re suppose to love one another. Thinking only about yourself is a fast track to relationship sabotage. You can have opinions and state your desires but are you willing to accommodate others and love on them? Don’t live for what’s “fair” or for everyone “doing-you-right.” That is not the path to relationship fulfillment.
Doing the Splits for your Relationship
Those who are flexible can easily bend and not be in pain when they do. If you are flexible you can do the splits, bend over backwards, and move in all sorts of ways a body must be trained to move in.
Relationships are the same. If you are flexible you can give up your desires to let someone else have theirs. You can lay down your demands and bend to what’s important for someone else. Some call this being a people pleaser. This is a fantastic quality as long as you know your values are what you stand for. Be willing to bend when you can but be willing to stand up for what is right and healthy when necessary.
Being flexible not only makes you easier to be around but it reduces your own personal pain. It’s inevitable, things don’t always go as planned, you will need to compromise, you won’t always be happy with outcomes. The question remains, will you hurt and experience pain for your lack of flexibility? If you are unwilling to bend you will put up a fight, and (figuratively) cry-up-a-storm about it?
Inflexible individuals are the most miserable, argumentative, stress out people around. Their lives are littered with discord, frustration and pain, don’t be like them, increase your flexibility and die to yourself…. seriously. STOP BEING SELFISH.
Rule #15: Be flexible
Don’t Rot Your Bones
Negotiate until both parties are satisfied and remember to talk in terms of what will interest them. This is the only way to get lasting change because you cannot convince someone against their will or they will have the same opinion still. I spoke about this in more depth HERE in Relationship Rule #3 and 4.
- Why would they want to do such and such?
- Why would they want to let you go to such and such a place?
- How will YOU be better off because of it?
- How will THEY be better off?
- How will this positively affect the relationship?
Don’t think of ways to convince them for your sake, convince them for THEIR sake.
This next point is VITALLY IMPORTANT, be sure it gets to the core of your being….. When you reach a conclusion that didn’t go as you would have liked, be sure you don’t move over into the realm of bitterness and resentment. This is a relationship destroyer, it rots your bones, eats you from the inside out and causes nothing but discord and destruction.
But that leads into the next point…….What if you absolutely cannot come to an agreement?
It’s Time to Die
If you cannot come to an agreement and there seems to be no way either of you are bending. Then it’s time to step up to the plate and be the bigger individual. It’s time for you to sacrifice yourself and lay down your desires and wants. This is called dying to self or you can call it being flexible.
Now if someone continually running you over you will want to find a wise advisor or mentor to help you place healthy boundaries. I speak about this is Rule #11: When Waging war… Seek Guidance. But if you are talking about minor relationship disagreements then don’t fight for your way ALL THE TIME, be flexible.
It’s a noble and respectable thing to say “if I don’t have your blessing I am not doing it.” “If you don’t want me to do such and such, then I will not do it.” “If this is going to destroy our relationships then I won’t continue.”
This is selflessness. This is sacrifice. This is love.
“There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone else,” John 15:13.
This stance is not popular in our world these days but you can literally love the “hell” out of someone. Love all those hell-ish emotions out of them and watch them melt in front of your eyes. By demonstrating your willingness to be selfless you will make huge leaps and bounds in eventually getting what you want. Hold one, back up… beep, beep… did you catch that?
By demonstrating your willingness to be selfless, you will make HUGE leaps and bounds in eventually getting what you want.
You will be surprised at how open and willing someone becomes when you stop fighting with all your might. People come back to reality and are willing to reason with you. It’s true, I’ve seen this happen countless times. Are you ready to give it a shot? Can I hear a big yippie?!?!
Reserved Inner-Strength Building
This stance isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s reserved only for those who want to be the strongest. This is heavy lifting. At first this will be difficult but as you remain consistent it will become easier and eventually second nature. You will not only see an overall improvement in your life and relationships but also in yourself.
Crybabies will remain crybabies and fight for their selfish desires. Only the mature step up to the plate, build inner-strength, grow up by selflessly laying down themselves.
The Path To Having It All
Let me spell out a healthy relationship…..
You are both free to have a life, have hobbies and to pursue your passions. There is no holding one another back out of fear, insecurity or selfishness. You make decisions and choices being mindful and considerate of one another. You are free to disagree and state your thoughts in a loving, respectful manner. You talk things through while remaining calm and speaking in terms of the other mans interests. You tactfully negotiating until you reach an agreement you can both live with.
If you are less than satisfied you make the best of the situation and not let it create a rift in the relationship. You operate with grace and mercy. You are flexible and willing to lay down your desires so the other can receive theirs. This doesn’t hurt because you’ve grown and are no longer rigid. You also don’t expect perfection, you make room for growth.
In tough times you seek wise council. If blind spots are revealed you accept input and see it as a challenge to grow and mature. Not just for the betterment of your relationship but also for the betterment of yourself.
Climb to New Heights
As you succeed at accurately handling struggles you find yourself hanging onto joy. This inner-strength brings you to new heights of personal fulfillment as you love on others and have a positive influence on them.
When operating from this love stance you create a desire in the other to grow and mature alongside you. In giving up what you thought was important, you will receive more than you ever imagined.
If this the kind of relationship you would like? Are you challenged to operate in this way?