The fundamental factor across all forms of relationships is an influence because every relationship is actually an exchange of power between and among people. So whenever people are involved in a relationship, no one remains the same as the constant exchange of power rubs off on everyone positively or negatively which in turn adds or subtracts from them. That is why it is instructive for everyone to wisely and carefully choose their relationships so as to align with their overall personal development goal or corporate objective in the case of an organization.
In other words, in a relationship, one is either releasing influence, receiving influence, or resisting influence of which the outcome of it usually changes the status quo which is why we say, no relationship leaves you neutral.
So what then is the meaning of a relationship? The word relationship refers to:
- the way people are connected
- how people relate to one another.
- the connection between people from a family
On the other hand, power talks about
- the capacity or ability of someone to cause a change in another person
- the ability to determine the outcome of an event
Putting them together, it means that this post is looking at the ability to influence people or situations involved in any kind of association or connection.
Types of relationships
There are many different types of relationships but we may limit it to just five:
- Family relationships
- Romantic relationships
- Business relationships
Some lessons on the power of relationship we can sieve here include:
1. Relationships give security
Every relationship provides a certain level of security which may be emotional, financial, social, or even physical. In the biblical example of David (see 1 Samuel 20:1-42 GNB), we can see that he enjoyed physical security through Jonathan because of his position of authority, and when the tables turned in favor of David, he requited the same to Jonathan’s son.
2. Relationships grant favors
Every good relationship is meant to grant favors to the people involved in it even when one party does not merit it as seen in the case of Mephibosheth who was allowed to not just appear before king David but also have a special position in his court as a son in spite of social norms that prohibited such.
3. Relationships provide fellowship
One of the most significant things the relationship between David and Jonathan exhibited was fellowship or put in another way, companionship. No one is wired to operate alone that is why God allows for each of us to come in contact with people who provide us fellowship to help our growth and development.
4. Relationships provide compensatory power balance
If a relationship leaves you constantly drained and empty, then you can be sure what you have is predatory in kind and not compensatory because it should be a two-way support system whereby what one lacks, the other supplies, and what one supplies, the other augments. If this order is broken, the relationship may soon be truncated because one party will be overstretched.
5. Relationships help to correct flaws and inadequacies
The beauty of a good relationship is that it helps people get above their frailties and inadequacies instead of drowning in it. The inadequacies that characterized Mephibosheth’s life because of his disabilities were corrected/upgraded by David’s involvement in his life; he was taken out from the backside of town to the palace. He was given a voice and an identity consistent with his bloodline, not his condition, etc
Nobody is totally strong or completely weak that’s why when people come into your life in marriage etc, it is expected that they complement your weaknesses and help you access your strengths. Anything short of this will impoverish you
6. Relationships erase doubts and provide answers to your questions
Everybody in our lives is a door to something that we need or may not actually need; that is they may be an answer to our prayer or a new prayer point altogether. If we consistently find ourselves in a position where the people in our lives increase our doubts and compound our questions, then you can be sure that we are in the midst of the wrong people
7. Relationships provide support.
Everyone goes through a situation of periodic ups and downs that may sometimes drain our inner strength or weaken our resolve therefore we would be needing periodic support structures that provide the necessary motivation to keep us going.
Now let me ask you, can the person you are in a relationship with now provide the necessary support to hold your hand up in times of crisis? If the answer is no, then you may actually be relating with the wrong person because at least, he or she should be able to prop you up when you’re down or weak; that’s the essence of any kind of relationship.
Keys to sustaining relationships:
1. Engage in relationships based on your understanding of your purpose
An understanding of your purpose will enable you to know what you want, where you are going, who you need and who you don’t (you may like to read more about finding your purpose in this previous article: How To Discover Yourself Using The Self-Discovery Matrix 2. That way you can appropriately choose who you let into your life to play a compensatory role.
2. Don’t engage in relationships with selfish interests
You are not the only important person on Earth so you have to recognize the relative importance of others and strive to play a compensatory role in every relationship instead of waiting to be served every time.
3. Be intentional
Don’t engage in a relationship by compulsion, pity or to please others rather do so to fulfill a set objective or purpose.
A relationship is by choice not by force so don’t let yourself be cajoled, manipulated, or compelled into one rather let it be your decision to relate or not to relate
4. Relate with perception
To ascertain when the right people are in your life, you need to keep your spiritual antenna up so that you can see beyond the physical, emotional, financial, and social coverings of people. Perception helps you to see what is not shown, hear what is not spoken, and know what has not been taught yet; it is an inner witness that conditions your actions and decisions even when there’s no outward proof
5. Be sincere and sacrificial
No relationship succeeds with insincerity and self-centeredness so if you want to harness the best of any relationship, stay sincere and ready to give and also accept
6. Upgrade your power potential/threshold
When you increase your skills and capacities, you expand your influence (power) in your relationships. This makes you a better stronger person and reduces the tendency of being negatively influenced by others
7. Be consistent
Be stable, don’t swing like a pendulum easily swayed by societal trends or whims and caprices of people around. Be known for something you can assume as an identity so choose something good to live for and be known by.
One of the crucial lessons that this Covid 19 pandemic has taught us is that we need stronger human relations to wade through the storms of life and these relationships must be intentional and productive. It has also taught us that increasing our power threshold (skills, etc) will enable us to expand our earning potential in trying periods so it becomes instructive to expand our skillset around the areas of human needs. Relationships should be mutually rewarding and progressive so don’t get stuck in the rot. No relationship leaves you neutral so don’t allow your life to be negatively influenced by people you relate with. Every relationship is an exchange of power, you are either releasing power, receiving power, or resisting power. The fundamental factor across all relationships is influence; be a positive influence.
You can find more relevant contents from these books:
LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM JEPHTHAH