Creating the Relationships You Truly Want at Work, at Home and at Play
by Dr. Jeannie Campanelli
Both personally and professionally, our relationships with others have a huge impact on the quality of our days…and, it goes without saying, on our lives as a whole. Part of our learning on this planet is to be able to create healthy, whole relationships coming from a place of love for ourselves AND others.
What are the ingredients of a healthy, whole relationship that will support us in being our best selves? How do we create these kinds of relationships in our lives?
Lucille Ball is quoted as saying, “I have an everyday religion that works well for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” Begin there. Develop your relationship with you…deeply. To clarify, loving yourself first isn’t about making your life just about you and your needs. It’s about taking care of you, listening to yourself and doing what is fulfilling to you so that when you give, you give from this place of fullness and aliveness and not from a ‘martyr’ perspective. When you love and accept yourself, it is easy to love and accept others because your heart is open. You become in the flow, a loving person whose love spills over to others with ease.
An important step in this process is getting to know the true you and what you really want. Who is your true self? Are you able to identify your strengths and limitations and be okay with all of the qualities that make up you? Have you considered your values and separated out those that feel truly right to you from those that you were told were right? Knowing yourself is having a strong sense about what you want and need and what are your deepest desires. It’s about understanding the patterns that stop you from being your best self along with what about you brings you what you truly want in life. You can then consciously make choices that are in integrity with the core of you.
In the context of relationships, what is life-giving to your true self? There might be different ingredients that you want from colleagues or employees at work as compared to your relationships with your loved ones at home or friends in your social circle. Explore. Reflect. Notice what comes up for you. It’s important to know what qualities bring you pleasure, what boosts your energy, what is YOUR brand of joy. And it’s important to know what qualities deplete your energy. And what are the qualities that you simply tolerate in others?
You can then come from a place of choice. Do I maintain this relationship…or not? What is the appropriate form of this relationship? It may mean that this person is appropriate as a member of my community and not as a friend….or as a friend and not as a working partner…or as a lover and not as a live-in spouse. You get to decide.
What’s another important ingredient? It’s all about owning the qualities that we unconsciously project onto others. Simply put, we see in others what we like and don’t like in ourselves. When we blame others or feel hurt by what they say to us, we are giving away our power. When we take100% responsibility for our feelings and judgments about ourselves, living on our side of the fence, we take back our power. We know that we’re standing in a place of judgment when the way others behave or the words that people say to us trigger an emotional response within us that is uncomfortable and, sometimes, even painful.
Think of someone who really upsets you. It could be your spouse, a parent, an employer, or a politician. No matter how easy it is to place the responsibility on that person for causing your reaction, look inside yourself first. Label the characteristic to which you’re reacting. As an example, the characteristic in another person that stirs a reaction within you may be arrogance. Owning that there are times that you, too, can be arrogant is needed along with accepting that quality as a human one that is sometimes appropriate, given the circumstance. When we own and accept the quality within us that we dislike in others, we take back our power. Debbie Ford in “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” talks about owning all the parts of our human selves so that we can more powerfully move toward self-acceptance, wholeness and love. Seeing our relationships as a way to grow is a perspective that is empowering and keeps us in the realm of self-responsibility and inner power.
How do you raise the bar in your relationships? Love yourself. Be your true self. Take back your judgments of others. Be responsible about choosing the people with whom you surround yourself. I can guarantee you that because you will be at another level of relating to you, you will attract a new quality of relationships with others. And that’s leading a rich life!
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Copyright Jeannie Campanelli. Used with permission.
Dr. Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D., CPCC is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. She has a doctorate in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto with a focus on human development and change. A significant focus in her partnering with clients is relationships, particularly relationship with self. She is currently authoring a book on inner power and self-confidence. Visit her website: