Relationships can be difficult at the best of times. An important thing to remember is your role in the relationship.

  • Is the relationship a peer to peer relationship?
  • Parent to child?
  • Is it a boss to employee relationship?
  • Is it a friend to friend relationship?
  • Is it potential love relationship?
  • Is it a love or monogamous partner relationship?

The role you decide to play in any particular relationship can shift easily. Consider..

  • The words that are spoken.
  • How words are spoken.
  • Body language.
  • Behaviors.
  • Actions.
  • Inaction.
  • What is said.
  • What isn’t said.
  • Who leads.
  • Who follows.

Relationships are constantly negotiated, and roles re-defined.

The role of each person when clear, and well articulated is easy to negotiate. Often the reason things get difficult in relationships is because the contract is not clear between individuals. Clear roles, and articulation of changes in this role are helpful, especially in new relationships. Asking permission to shift roles is a wonderful way to negotiate a shift.

For example, a husband to wife, “May I put on my business hat here?” If she says, “No.” Respect the, “no.” Stay in the supportive husband role.  If she says, “yes,” then by all means put on your business hat.

Remember when you stop that role let your partner know that you have taken off that hat. It feels a bit awkward at first but with practice it makes communication much clearer and strengthens your relationship.

Copyrighted 2014