Poverty—the absence of presence.
At times, our lives are busy, and time is in short supply.
Many of us live far away from or have strained relationships with spouses, family, and friends and many people feel lonelier and more isolated than ever before.
We live in an age of ultra-connection, yet we have an absence of closeness.
We can be together, but not close or present.
What a contradiction – right?
I frequently ask this question, “How do you evaluate your ability to perform your roles in relationships?”
I then ask the question, “Could you show up better?”
Everyone agrees they could.
I think it's a tremendous blind spot.
Our relationships could be better and yet, we continue to allow ourselves to fall into what I call, “relationship poverty.”
Webster defines poverty as, the state of being extremely poor or inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.
Poverty in relationships is invisible and produces a terrible experience.
We need relationships to survive.
We are made for connection, and it confounds me when relationships go unmaintained.
In my practice, I continually address the issues of how self-centeredness, poor communication, money fixation, shattered values, and modern technology have made it very difficult for us to relate, connect, or empathize with each other.
This impoverished state of relationships sometimes creates victimhood.
I hear this frequently, “I'm in a bad relationship because they….,” and then listen as they blame the other.
If we blame, we don't have to change. We get to continue our same, perhaps unhealthy, behavior because it is the others’ fault.
Let’s re-think what it will take to shift our relationships from poverty to ordinary and ordinary to exceptional.
There have been occasions where I have settled for “relationship poverty” and it allowed me to lag and limp along, causing more heartache and sadness than happiness. What a tragedy.
To create something different, I get to focus on myself and stop looking for others to change.
I get to look and listen for my blind spots and recognize and expose them so I can improve my relationships. I choose responsibility, not victimhood.
If I want others to say great things about me as a spouse, parent, coworker, or employer, I must provide them with an opportunity to do so. Others speak about their experience with us.
So, what do I need to do to give them a chance to say what I would like to hear?
What do I want people to say about me and the way I show up?
Looking at these questions gives me something to work on, how about you?
I want to lean into the moments and provide an experience that makes the people in my life feel good about themselves when they are in my presence.
I write the script that others use to talk about me.
I want to live in relational health and wealth, being present, intentional, and giving to my heart’s content.
I want “relational presence” so that the level of “relationship poverty” diffuses as I continue to look for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
What I don't know I don't know about myself