One of our richest and deepest sources of learning is found in our relationships.
Most of us have much to learn about relating well with others. These skills were rarely taught to us at any previous point in our lives. In fact for most of us, relationship skills were not taught at all. We were “taught” unconsciously as we grew up, interacting with our families, friends, neighbors, schools, and communities, learning the behavior that was modeled there.
In adulthood, we often struggle in at least one type of relationship: with our partner, our boss or co-worker, a child or other family member, a friend, and so on.
Our closest relationships are inevitably the hardest places for us to “be nice”.
We really do come home and kick the dog, except the dog is now a human being, and is, perhaps, someone we love. In the privacy or secrecy of our home or office, we allow ourselves to treat the people around us in less than respectful ways, while at the same time maintaining “respectful” relationships with them and/or others in public view.
How did we get this way? Probably not by design. Probably not by intention. We probably got this way in the absence of having learned any better way to conduct ourselves in relationships.
Building a gold standard relationship with those closest to us is a goal worth the gold of the standard.