Building Healthy Relationships Pt. 1: The Importance of Relationships
Building healthy relationships is the key to success in life. Relationships are the one constant in all of our lives. There is not a day that goes by that we do not interact with others. Whether it is a trip to the grocery store, or at work or school, you will have interaction with others. Some are chosen and others not chosen, but how we react in each of them will determine a large part of the quality of our lives. That is what I mean by success….quality of life. You can attain great financial success, but without healthy relationships, money will mean very little.
I know a man who is a multi-millionaire. In material things, he is very successful. The problem is that he stays in a state of crisis most of the time. I have never known him to have any strong friendships. He has ‘surface’ relationships or acquaintances, but that is all. His marriage ended badly as do most of his romantic relationships. His quality of life suffers because he has never learned the art of building, and sustaining, relationships. When things go bad, he has no real friendships to rely on to give him strength.
People Vs. Possessions
We are not born with the knowledge of how to have healthy relationships. It is a learned behavior. Sadly, most people never take the time to learn, and apply, the things necessary to build lasting relationships. We tend to take our relationships for granted, when we should be taking time to grow in them. The number one resource we have in this world is each other. Is there any material possession you have that can bring comfort in a time of grief? Can a television celebrate your accomplishments with you? Has a car ever sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to you? Of course not! Yet, we tend to value our possessions over people.
I love the movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. The main character, George Bailey, tries so hard through the movie to accomplish his goals, but is sidetracked by different things. Through it all, he honors and loves people, but feels as though he has accomplished nothing. In the scene at the end of the movie, George’s brother comes in and toasts him, saying that his brother George is the richest man in Bedford Falls. He called him the richest man in town because of the many, and strong, friendships he had developed. He realized he had accomplished more than he thought, simply by loving people.
A Life Fulfilled
True success is when we build the lives of others. I daresay that no goal will fulfill you without people to share it with; but strong relationships will fulfill you even when you don’t reach your goals. I believe that our Western culture has placed too much emphasis on goal-setting at the expense of friendships. Just take a look at the divorce rate. Take a look at the amount of people in Western culture that have emotional and psychological problems. It is the result of our priorities being skewed. To get back to a healthy balance, we have to switch our priorities from goals to relationships; from possessions to people. We should want to become the next ‘George Bailey’.
What will people say about us during critical times? What will be said about us when we are gone? Whether we realize it or not, we are writing our legacy in the people we interact with every day. What would happen if we put effort into strengthening our relationships instead of letting them happen by default? I truly believe that if we take time to learn to build relationships, we would be amazed at how good the quality of our life would be; not to mention the quality of life of those around us. In coming hubs, we will look at some principles that will help us to build strong relationships, putting us on a path to a simpler, more fulfilling, life. In the meantime, remember these tested and tried words: do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Other Related Hubs By This Author
Be sure to read my other hubs on this subject:
Building Healthy Relationships Pt. 2: Principles For Successful Relationships Building Healthy Relationships Pt. 3: Critical Mistakes To Avoid