No matter what relationship you are in I believe it should be a 2-way street. Why do I say this? Because I used to be the person on a one-way street throwing all my energy into a relationship with someone who was unwilling or unable to give me that energy back. Now do not get me wrong, I am not saying you have to be 50/50 equals all the time, because in real life that doesn’t happen often. Relationships take hard work. Let me say that again for the people in the back row RELATIONSHIPS TAKE HARD WORK.
So let’s talk about the hard work it takes to be in a successful relationship.
Communication. Easy to say, hard to do. Remember that no one can read your mind, so if you aren’t open and honest in your thoughts your partner, parent, sibling, whoever won’t be able to fix their behavior. Communication comes from you knowing yourself, what you want, what you don’t want, and why. How do you get to know yourself? It takes time, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, you are constantly learning more about yourself every day. Just remember above all else that whatever you want is your truth and make sure you communicate that with your loved ones.
Boundaries. I didn’t even know about the concept of boundaries until we started the podcast. Boundaries go hand in hand with communication because they are set for yourself so that you can stay in a healthy relationship with yourself and others. There are several different kinds of boundaries to be aware of: Physical, Emotional, Time, Sexual, Intellectual, Energetic, and Material. So let’s see some examples…
Physical- “I am really tired. I need to sit down now.”
Emotional- “I really can’t talk about that right now. It isn’t the right time.”
Time- “I can only stay for an hour.”
Sexual- “May I touch you there?”
Intellectual- “I can respect that we have different opinions on this.”
Energetic- Asking for a hug at the end of a conversation.
Material- “We can’t give any more money. We would be happy to help in another way.”
Remember all these boundaries are being set for YOU. So sit down with yourself, think about the different people in your life, and set your boundaries.
Listening. Oh, listening, is something we learn about in Kindergarten but for some reason, it is really hard for a lot of people to do. No matter what relationship you are in you must listen to the other person. As an actor we are taught acting is reacting, it is listening to your partner on stage and reacting to what they say. It’s that simple. A lot of times we tune out of conversations when they are not going our way, or shut someone out with who we are arguing. But, being in a two-way street relationship means listening to the other person, and taking in what they are saying. Remember just like you, their truths are their truths, so listen to them.
*Remember sometimes people just want to be listened to without having you throw advice at them.* (Believe me I know it’s hard not to, I also want to fix everything)
There are so many other things that go into a successful relationship. But if you start with those 3 things you are off to a good start. Remember relationships take work, time, and patience. But the easiest part of the equation is you, so do your homework, make mistakes, set your boundaries, ask why, and most importantly show up for yourself.
Love your cycle half,