We are all aware of the fact that after a point of time in our lives, things get old. In spite of our efforts to keep them shining like new or in spite of the regular maintenance and dusting, the old look cannot be suppressed for long. Some things age faster, somethings take some extra time to show the signs. But everything does age and the signs are not difficult to notice.
Likewise, relationships too age. Although we believe in the fact that relationships become stronger with time we cannot deny the fact that signs of ageing show up as our relationships grow old. Different people handle the ageing in different manner. Some become grumpy with time, some choose to ignore the differences, some work towards making it work by doing various suitable things and hence in the process the relationships either die or become stagnant without any hopes and excitement or sometimes flourish; depending on what we chose to do.
By relationships I am referring to every kind of relationship. Be it a husband-wife relationship, or a Parent-Child relationship, or a sibling relationship, or friendship of the same/opposite gender, or relationships made through marriages (in-laws). Every relationship has its own highs and lows. Some relationships are important and some are not. Some relationships make us happy, some bring tear to our eyes. Some relationships we hate to have but some we die to have. Every relationship starts and then ages and the signs are almost clearly visible with time.
Sometimes I wonder, like how we try all treatments for our ageing skin or like how we renovate our ageing buildings wouldn't it be a wonderful idea to renovate our relationships too? Would it actually help us in maintaining it better or is it an idea to be laughed at? Would it help us live a better life or it would add burden to our already busy lives? Have we ever thought about it? Another point to ponder at is; do we need renovation and when do we need it? How do we decide that? Well, I leave that part of judging whether or not we require to renovate and when to renovate, onto our own judgement and understanding of the relationship that we want to renovate.
Here's listing down some ways which according to me would work best to make relationships flourish.
8 ways to refurbish your relationships:
1. Analyze and conclude that a particular relationship needs refurbishing and bring it to the notice of all the stakeholders as soon as one identifies it. All the stakeholders should agree for the refurbishing task to begin with and after mutual consent start the whole process.
2. Once agreed upon, each stakeholders should give themselves enough time to understand what according to them should be changed/modified in other stakeholders and what each one of them think about themselves. Please keep in mind while preparing the points that this entire thing is done only because you value this relationship and want to invest time in it and hence things like ego, hatred, insensibility, like feelings have no place and every point should ensure that it has been prepared by keeping in mind respect for self, respect for others, love for self, love for others, and most importantly trust in each other.
3. Pick up a time or a span of time over which all the stakeholders discuss what needs refurbishing and what is the expected model of relationship post refurbishing. This part is the most important part as this will ensure how the final refurbished relationship will look like. So here a lot of work needs to be done with great care and we have to understand that if expectations are not conveyed correctly it might not lead to expected output. Please note this meeting is only to listen to the complaints and expectations and it should be ensured that no counter replies or explanations are given as self defense.
4. Now after listening to all comments and requirements, take out one hour each day for a week to understand each complaint and requirement of the stakeholder. Try to understand why in first place these points have been put forward. Make a comparative analysis on "what was conveyed" Vs "what you actually wanted to convey" for certain actions that led to the ask for the modification or change. Analyse whether or not according to you the ask is valid and feasible and if you feel they are not, prepare counter responses as to why you think they are not valid asks. Please remember again that ego, hatred, insensibility etc has no place in the discussion and all points should adhere to the basic requirement of love, trust and respect.
5. Time to meet for the second time to discuss the defense points prepared and put forward opinions with the point in mind that two opinions may differ. If there is any difference in opinion park it for a while and continue with all open points. Finally prepare a list on what is agreed and what is not and disperse.
6. Yet another exclusive time to understand and rethink on points that had differences in opinions and understand each other's point of view. At this stage, if differences in opinions cannot be agreed upon mutually its always good to take expert advice on how to resolve the differences. The expert in this case can be a professional or a friend/family whom every stake holder trusts would give unbiased solutions. Once this is resolved only then the next steps should be followed. Until this happens life should go on normally without the mention of each other's point of views and points. Resolve differences and proceed with the list of the requirements.
7. Point number 7 according to me is the most important point because this step is the one where the actual refurbishing happens. If possible take a break and don't see each other for a period of time, don't talk to each other for that period too. Speak to yourself. See yourself through the stakeholders eye and implement the changes or modifications asked for. For situational asks, analyse how you are going to implement when the situation arises. Start to make a strategy on how and what you would change and ensure to think of all possible scenarios and all possible options to stick to what is asked for. The list should be prepared in such a way that it doesn't leave any room for complains.
8. Meet the "changed" each other gracefully and share the experiences and relive life happily ever after.
Please note that after this transformation, if you still have complaints and want a change you need to understand that its now not possible as there is no time to be invested in the whole process again. So please ensure the analysis of the requirements are made with high accuracy and leave no room for further complaints.
Enjoy a Refurbished Relationship :)