Helena and Amanda had been friends since high school. They’d done all sorts of things together, from playing in the same netball team to shopping for wedding dresses. So, what was it that changed their relationship so suddenly when Amanda stopped returning Helena’s calls? Had Helena done anything wrong to jeopardise her relationship with Amanda?
This is a situation many of us find familiar, for it has invariably happened to ourselves or someone we know. The dynamic of the relationship changed here without warning. Helena was left a little bewildered and won’t know why unless she asks Amanda. And if she doesn’t check, she’ll be tempted to assume wrong which could lead to a resentment toward Amanda.
This illustration punctuates the importance of authenticity in relationships. If both people in a relationship always promote truth then there is less likelihood the relationship will drift into the ether.
Almost with comic hilarity, I recall a friend reminding me (in a humorous way), ‘Never assume, always confirm.’ And there’s so much truth to that statement, even when it’s said in jest.
One of the objectives of relationship maintenance most surely be the frequent checking of arrangements or premises of the friendship or relationship. After all, we must know what the relationship is actually made up of--at that time.
Things can change in people’s lives and sometimes with a sharpness that no one could predict, not even the person who’s mainly affected. There is often no warning and perhaps even very little reason too.
For all these grounds, we’re wise to check often the premises of all our close relationships, simply by asking checking-type questions in showing concern for these relationships.
Whether it’s a familial relationship or a close friend, we honour both them and ourselves when we bring these matters up.
We can use these opportunities to affirm also what the other person means to us. Relational checking means not taking our relationships for granted; not taking these important ones in our life as if they’ll always be there.
If we can do this we can prevent that tearing feeling of the friendship that threatens to go awry and we also create opportunities (as mentioned above) to communicate what the relationship (and the other person) means to us.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.