Welcome to our 6-part series on healthy and positive relationships! Over the next 6 weeks we will be featuring a series of articles from Andrew Fuller on the Relationship Quotient and its components, and how we can support young people create meaningful, positive relationships.
We would like to discuss helping people develop a Relationship Quotient (RQ) to assist them in creating quality relationships.
Our ability to form, maintain and sustain quality relationships hugely contributes to our lives. They determine our happiness and satisfaction and predict our level of health. Relationships are a gift we can give to other people and to ourselves.
This is the first in a series of six papers where we discuss the main attributes of the Relationship Quotient. We want to invite you to have a conversation about how to develop these attributes in the two main relationships in our lives: with ourselves and with other people.
Whether it is a friendship, a team, a family, a school, a business, a romance or the relationship between a teacher and her students, there are values that underpin successful quality relationships.
Creating quality relationships involves giving yourself to that relationship in an altruistic
rather than a selfish or conditional way.
The basic values of the RQ are:
Each of these is important individually but together they build the attunement and attachment between people that creates peaceful and harmonious relationships.
Some people develop selfish, conditional relationships where there is an expected pay off or gain. Running any relationship like a ledger sheet with tallies of who is owed how much by the other is doomed to instability and repetitive cycles of inequality, hurt and damage. There is a very different outcome when relationships are based on the contribution you make, on what you give.
Our inner senses
Most people don’t know very much about their inner senses and it often shows in their relationships. If you are out of tune with yourself, it is very hard to be in tune with others.
Just as we learn to sensitise our body senses we can learn to refine our inner senses. By developing our inner senses we make ourselves “fit” and able to create great
relationships with others and ourselves.
Trust is the belief that a person will not put their interest ahead of yours.Trust involves giving to another person. In trusting you become vulnerable because trusting involves surrendering to the other on the understanding that it is safe to do so. You put your faith in someone else and give him or her the gift of trust in the belief that they will respect and protect you. You believe the person receiving the gift of your trust will be kind, empathic and giving. Trust gives confidence.
Forgiveness simply means that you “give-for” the relationship to continue to grow. When
trust is tested, forgiveness enables trust to be regained with respect and dignity. Forgiveness expresses unconditional faith in the other person. It re-establishes trust when it is threatened. Giving for others and ourselves enables growth.
Integrity is the intention to do the right thing. Integrity is doing what you say you will do and acting in ways that are fair.
When mistakes are made, people repair the relationship through forgiveness and the trusting understanding that each intends to act in ways to strengthen the relationship.
Hope is the belief that the future can be better than the present. Hope is the promise to actively give, to care for each other and to strengthen the relationship. By giving in order to strengthen the relationship, you enable other people to be confident to do the same.
When hope is created in relationships, it builds an expectation that mistakes and times of trouble can be overcome.
Compassion is the understanding that we are not perfect and we all make mistakes. We all struggle at times to be the best that we can be. We all fail at times to act as we would like. Compassion is accepting this in ourselves and in the people with whom we are in relationship.
Compassion is the gift of care to others and to ourselves.
Compassion is the intention to care, to act towards other people as you would like them
to act towards you. It is also the intention to create good rather than harm in the world.
The Relationship Quotient (RQ) views relationships as a gift given by people to one another. As the Zulu saying puts it, “People are people because of other people.”
Quality relationships are created when we care for and contribute to one another.
Giving always involves some risk. You might be taken advantage of, betrayed or cheated. Indeed these are risks in some relationships.
The risk is at its highest in relationships when trust, forgiveness, integrity, hope and compassion are absent or are challenged.
So we have a choice to make. We can inflict harm on one another. If we do so, we ultimately harm ourselves.
Alternatively we can care and become active contributors to better relationships by giving
unconditionally. In the end it is co-operators who thrive, not competitors.
Giving enables trust, forgiveness, integrity, hope and compassion to work together to strengthen and appreciate the relationship. If there is one thing all three of us have learned it is that what is appreciated, appreciates. To give unconditionally enables
This is the first of a series of six papers.
We believe the values that underpin the Relationship Quotient (RQ) can be developed in everyone. Taking steps to develop them increases the quality of our relationships and our lives.
This is a conversation to be shared and developed. We would be thrilled if you would take the time to comment. You can do so by emailing Andrew, Neil and John c/o [email protected]. Please put the words “ Relationships Quotient’ in the subject box of your email message.
– Andrew Fuller, John Hendry & Neil Hawkes