There is an inherent need for relationships within every person. That’s what makes us humans. There are however various forms of relationships. They can be mutual, dependent, aggressive, loving, inspiring, destructive, etc. It is commonly said that ‘if you show me your friends, I’ll tell you who you are’ and ‘birds of the same feathers flock together. I once heard John Maxwell say: ‘you’ll be the same person in 5 years as you are today except for two things – the information you expose yourself to and the relationships you keep.

It is absolutely critical to choose your relationships carefully. No relationships are forced on anyone. You can choose your friends. Remember; two cannot walk together unless they agree. If a work relationship is not working, you can either work on it or move on.

Tips for building healthy relationships
1. Know what you want out of life
I believe it all starts from this point. I learnt early in life that if you are passionate about your goals and dreams, it helps you choose your relationships. If you don’t know where you are going, then anywhere could be your destination, anyone could be your friend, you could be interested in any activity. In fact, that’s a confused state because all your energies are dissipated into different things. Knowing what you want clearly helps you ask the ‘why, what’ questions every time. ‘why am I doing this?’, ‘why am i spending this time with this person?’ ‘what will this person/event add to me?’

2. Invest in your personal development
Some folks feel trapped in certain relationships simply because they feel their self-value, worth, esteem is derived from the relationship. That is a dependent relationship. It’s OK for kids, but could be dangerous for others. Fact is your life is not dependent on anyone. It should rather be mutual. Should be like a partnership; where every party has something to offer. This is where you take personal responsibility to develop yourself so that you are able to add value to other people’s lives. The more you self-develop, you become more confident, you drop good ideas, and your influence increases. What piece of new information have you found in the past day, week, month, year?

3. Feel free to choose
Never buy into the lie that you can’t change your relationships. You can. The wrong people cannot stand you talk of your plans every time. They get agitated, intimidated or even uninterested. Build your relationships around people who celebrate and encourage you towards your goals. Seriously, if they don’t celebrate & encourage your plans, kick them out of your life. Friendships are not by force.

As Brian Tracy said, relationships are the hallmark of a mature person. Come on, let’s show our maturity by choosing our relationships. You ave a choice.

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