Rewiring Personal Relationships: From Bad to Good and Good to Great
As you know, your family system is your primary pattern maker and the foundation of all your relationships, good, bad and ugly. Some family patterns are truly delightful. Other family patterns feel entangled and difficult. For example, perhaps you picked up your parents’ ability to set others at their ease as a child. On the other hand, perhaps you picked up their excessive worry about money and penny-pinch every transaction with family and friends, making everyone you come into contact with uncomfortable around finances.
If you look at the ways you relate to those around you and compare them to the ways that your parents and grandparents relate to those around them, you will begin to recognize familiar patterns. The thing to discern is whether or not the patterns you’re repeating in relationships are healthy and helpful or not. Good relationships enable you to take your place in the world and soar. On the other hand, difficult relationships can drag you down if you don’t stop and take the time to discern the unhealthy patterns in play and consciously work to rewire those patterns from what is to what is possible.
Mastering relationships opens up the world for you. And one of the keys to mastering relationships is to be curious about how you are showing up in your current relationship dynamics with others. Are you supportive? Fun to be with? Critical? Kind of a drag? Try your best to be impartial and not go into self-judgment as you consider your relationships. Curiosity and willingness to shift your interactions with people, as needed, invites exploration and understanding, which often leads to firmer more lasting relationships both personally and in business.
Think about your most difficult relationship. Do you feel big or small in that relationship? How does this relationship affect your thoughts, feelings, and actions? Do you find yourself thinking unpleasant thoughts about that person? About yourself? Do you feel angry around them? Impatient? Insecure? Do you find yourself crossing to the other side of the street when you see them? (Or wanting to!)
Stop and consider what family pattern you might be playing out with that person. For example, at one of my events, one of the attendees said she wanted an intimate relationship with a man, but hadn’t been able to establish the kind of relationship she wanted. As I worked with her, it became apparent she had a judgement that “All men are stupid.” Given that assumption, it wasn’t surprising that she was struggling to create a happy relationship!
I asked where that assumption had come from, and she launched into a story about how her
grandfather had lost his wife’s family fortune. “Grandma always said, ‘Never trust a man with your money child! They just don’t have the smarts to manage things.’ And I believed her.”
Once she realized the judgmental pattern she was reliving and consciously let it go, she suddenly found herself relating differently to men. Much to her surprise and delight, many of them seemed wonderfully smart and attractive. As soon as she changed her perspective, a whole new world of possibilities opened up.
The same kind of amazing relationship shift can happen for you if you commit to it!