In dealing with life issues, we really need to take a close look at the relationships around us. Again, we are products of our environments. Relationships produce a good portion of the environment where we live. Having good healthy relationships help bring down the level of frustration and anger in our lives. Moreover, healthy relationships add so much value and bring productivity.
Here is a little something I learned over the years, and now share in my anger management classes.
Relationship Levels (in order of importance):
My first place is with God before anything else, I am a child of God. This first level makes or breaks every other level of relationship.
She knows everything about me; the good, the bad and the ugly. I am accountable to her. This level requires a great amount of trust. Because of my accountability to her, our trust and love deepens for one another, and our relationship flourishes.
I have one real mentor in my life at the moment. Two others have passed away. I am slowing working on bringing on two more. I trust these men of God, and know what they tell me is for my best interest. If they can tell me to stand on my head in a corner for 30 minutes, I would do it or die trying.
These are people I trust and are very comfortable about sharing my real thoughts and ideals. I share personal things with these people because of the love and trust between us, but not as much as I would with my spouse or mentors.
These are people I see from time to time and enjoy or admire them. If we go to dinner, at the end of the evening, I hope I reciprocated the blessing that their relationships bring.
These are people I meet and appreciate on a superficial level. They seem like good people. They may move up to the “good friend” category. I do business with or met my acquaintances through a mutual friend.
I really don’t like these people, but I have to get along with them. When I go to work, I am nice, I respect them, I get what I have to get done with them. When I leave they stay at work, I don’t go out to eat with them, I don’t call them.
People I love just enough to get to heaven
I really don’t “like” these people but I endure them as needed. I don’t want to lose my first level of relationship with God. So, I work hard to find something good about them and focus on it.
This is the category for “irreparable relationships.” When something is toxic, it is a deadly poison. This relationship is developed due to conflicting ideals or betrayal. The only thing you can do with something toxic is to contain it and dispose of it. Some relationships are badly damaged and beyond repair. Here is the problem; the more you try to repair the damage, the more you are hurt and you alienate the other eight levels of relationship.
It is very important that we not only realize our current relationship status, but also how to further cultivate each one. We also need to understand and place people in appropriate levels and understand how to work with them within the confines of that level.
Problems arise when we try taking someone who belongs in a working relationship and put them on the best friend level before they earn trust. This could prove disastrous!
If we center our relationships around Christ, everything else works more smoothly.
How do these nine levels of relationships work in your life? Have you recently discovered any of these relationships firsthand?
How can we repair a broken relationship and in what level do they belong?
I look forward to your feedback!