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What You Didn’t Know About Relationships – Part 1: Choice

What you didn’t know about Relationships – Part 1: Choice

Have you ever been to a social gathering, only to return home later asking yourself, ‘Why was I there?’. Most of us experience frustration or disappointment with our social lives and the relationships we have with others. Why?… Let’s look at the 3 main misconceptions and ways we can overcome them:


Relationships happen by accident, or ‘fate’, as some of us like to call it, and we have no Choice in who to relate to and how we relate to them: ‘He/she is my friend/lover, I have no choice…’ “He/she is always like that, I can’t talk to them…’


Though we may meet someone by chance, not choice, we can choose whether to continue, deepen or end the relationship with them. We can choose how to relate to others. Begin with awareness: Believe that you have the freedom of choosing who you want to keep in your life. Let every relationship you are in be an opportunity to help others and be helped by others. You can improve someone’s life, and allow your life to be improved by others.

Choose who you want to keep in your life


Create Choice – Relationship mapping

Who we spend our time deeply influences who we are, who we become. Think about the 5-10 people you spend the most time with (your ‘tribe’) and the relationship you have with them. This relationship mapping exercise may help you to visualize your relationship them:

Create awareness by mapping your relationships
  1. Start by writing your name in the centre. Then write the names of your tribe.
  2. Every relationship is a flow, a process of giving and receiving. Represent this by drawing arrows out from you towards members of your tribe symbolising how much you give them, and arrows from them towards you for how much you receive from them, with the thickness of the arrows representing how much is given/received.
  3. Once the map is complete, observe it. Ask yourself:
    • Is there anything surprising? How so, and why?
    • Which relationships are reciprocal (thickness of arrows is the same)?
    • Which relationships are less balanced, with one party giving more than the other?
  4. Know that you can choose to change any of these relationships – by deepening them, tappering them or terminating them. With this knowledge, ask yourself:
    • Are there any relationships you are less satisfied with? Are you happy with how you are giving/receiving from this person? Have you tried giving/receiving in different ways?
    • For each, ask yourself: Do you wish you could maintain, deepen, or taper off/terminate this relationship? Why?
  5. Know that you can also create new relationships. Ask yourself:
    • Are there any relationships outside of your tribe which you would like to create?
    • Are there any interesting or inspiring people you wish you knew?
    • How can you go about creating a relationship with them?

Life consists of a finite amount of moments that we spend doing a finite number of things, with a finite number of people. Who do you want to spend it with? Choose wisely.

Here are the links to to the other posts in this series:

What you didn’t know about relationships – Purpose Part 2

What you didn’t know about relationships – Change Part 3

What do you think? if you have any questions/comments, feel free to write me, I’d love to hear them.

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