|Different depending on the relationship|
So after our conversation (as oft is the case with many conversations I have) I began to ponder ALL of my relationships and past experiences with people (both positive and negative). I wanted to discover if there was a pattern, maybe a sequence of events that could determine whether or not the relationship would be good, bad or indifferent (a very real category).
Very often, it is easy to generalize our relationships. Maybe even the importance of same. Case in point.
When working with direct reports at work, I have often been heard saying "You don't have to like everyone, but I better not be able to tell the difference." Not that anyone has ever been so blatant to an employee they didn't like, but nevertheless, it shows up in many ways. An opportunity may arise that the employee out of favor will never be considered for. Evaluations may show a slant towards recognizing all employees for a similar factor (and outcome) at different levels. When fresh eyes review material like this, it becomes glaringly apparent.
How about relationships with parents, siblings, children? It is easy to say that because we are siblings, our relationships are the same (or as mother, I enjoy a relationship with all my kids). Fair enough at face value but sharing a common bond does not indicate a similar relationship. And, of course relationships evolve and change over time.
IMHO (short cut for in my humble opinion) if you have a good (or bad) relationship with someone and it changes over time, you now have options. I have some relationships that have been in place since high school. We go long periods of time without connecting and when we do, it is like we last spoke yesterday. I have also had relationships that were once very close and have become more distant over time. Not because of some slight or misunderstanding, but factors like age, distance, different opinions, etc. have now come into play. Now this is a "crossroads" point where one can decide; eh, given current priorities, that relationship can go on as is...or wow, here is an opportunity to work on a relationship that is really important to me. Because as we know, all good things require work.
So, where are you at in your relationships? Any work need to be done? What do you do when you want the relationship more than the other?
I can't answer the first two questions but as for the third, I do what is right for me. In other words, I don't keep score and think "It's their turn to call, visit, check-in" etc. I call, write, check in for my own reward.
In closing, I believe that a changed relationship can be just as good (if not better) than the original one. And to answer the question pondered in paragraph three - it's all about choices and what you want for YOU!
Until next time,