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Sunday, 15 February 2009

Through the Looking Glass...

Okay, so now we've got Valentine's Day, and all the attendant hoo-hah, fireworks and unrealistic rigmarole out of the way...Photobucket

You may have bought a card, you might not - You might have been on the receiving end of cards, gifts, fond wishes, then again, like me you might not!


I just wanted to clarify: Just because yesterday's wittering might have sounded as if we were love's young dream, it's all gone downhill, and sometimes uphill, then downhill again, since then! Photobucket

I don't want anyone to think that their relationship or past, when reflected in the light of what looks to be a successful relationship, is worth any less. That you are any less of a person because, maybe your relationship(s) hasn't worked out.


In my own experience, I look at other 'happily married' couples, thinking - Why isn't my relationship with GJ so fabulous? What is wrong with me?!


And then you find out they may also have issues - These things are usually said in half-whisper, over a glass of wine, in confidence - 'Don't you know, she's always having to cover for the fact that he is 'playing away!' She always wants their life to appear perfect on the surface, while underneath, it's all built on shifting sands?";


Or, "Didn't you know, she's found someone else, someone at work - Haven't you ever noticed them together - in the stationery cupboard?!"


Our own relationship hasn't been perfect all the way, in fact, ever!


These things seem to be, in many ways, cyclical, in my experience;

We travel around the playground tea-pot lid...
Now we're in the shade of the trees;
Now, we blink in some rays of sunshine once again...

By the way, I'm not trying to give you a version of: PhotobucketHow to Use The Law of Attraction to Improve Your Relationship

I haven't got all the answers, or even any of them! I read another blog, whose name I have temporarily forgotten - Age, it gets you like that, but the bloggerista says something like, 'I have a husband, and two teenage girls, and this (blogging) is what I do when I want to bury them all under the patio..." Beautifully put!


Of course, there are some relationships that it's best just to walk away from - You know the sort:


And, in my experience, sometimes we make those mistakes at least once again in our lives, i.e. leaving one destructive relationship, then walking into another, in spite of all the advice offered to us by so well-meaning friends... I've seen this happen... so many times.


Some matters in a relationship are just best left to their own devices... Not to be over-discussed, as women (myself included) sometimes have a bit of a habit of doing, according to a lot of men, including Chairman Bill! just the other day...




Sometimes we take each other far too much for granted, and the rot sets in - You know who you are!


Sometimes, irreparable things occur, mental health issues, addictions, domestic violence, cruelty, devastating brain injuries which implode previously 'happy' partnerships... and there's no going back...


There are all kinds of self-help books and therapists out there in the universe. I am honestly not trying to 'push' Relationships #101 here...

Plucking a little something from the Laws of Attraction, which mirrors some of the NLP/CBT material I worked through on a work-based leadership course a couple of years ago, which was hideously successful for a number of us... Take it or leave it, do as you will, dahlinks... It works for some, and others may poo-poo it.

1. Decide that you want a better relationship. This is not the same as deciding you want to change the other person;

2. What do you appreciate in the other person? What are the strengths, skills, and other qualities that you like?

3. Begin to think about those more positive qualities and do it with strong emotion;

4. What action can you take that will improve this relationship? (showing gratitude - how?, being kind, finding humor, loving unconditionally, compromising more);

5. Begin to take action;

Of course, there are other steps involved. Please feel free to look them up if you are so inclined...

"It’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. Even if you stick with your old patterns, you are using energy to do that. You’ve got nothing to lose by shifting that energy in a positive direction, using that energy to improve your relationship. If you want change, this is the most powerful way to make it happen. Take your time and enjoy".

And from another source, which again, was incorporated in the teaching at my management training - but can also be used in your personal life - Within reason, of course...

"...frame your statements to others and to yourself as what you want to see happen. In the process, eliminate all of the negative energy around the statement. Turn your hot thoughts into cool thoughts and you are going to get more out of life. Negative energy turns simple tasks into hard ones.


The right attitude evokes a quiet self assurance that we know we will be successful, this projects a positive emotion out all around you and it permeates your environment. When we know that we are going to get what we want, we supply the energy to draw what we want to us. This magnetic and powerful energy attracts the objects of our desire... The trick to liking someone is to like them! "

Basically, this is about trying not to be negative about everything, and beginning to notice and value some of the positive things that surround you... It's about being mindful of the language we use, avoiding confrontational language, and blame-laying, while you attempt to get to a successful win-win type of solution for those involved in the conflict...

And if the issue is in your working life:

"There is always, always, always something you like about someone else, (we are talking about everyday people here not criminals, murderers and the like). Even if you like their dress sense, it is a start. So mentally note five things you like.

You are already on your way to a better relationship.

Speak to them
Recognise what their strength is...
Try to find out more strengths and vulnerabilities".
Put yourself in their shoes for a few moments, and try to work out what it is that is at the root of your conflict with them... Do you understand them better as a result?
"Have a mental conversation with them.

This is one of the most powerful ways to getting along with other people you can use

talk a lot Pictures, Images and Photos

Just make a point of saying good morning and good night, even if they don’t reciprocate. You can also comment on something you like about them. You are not sucking up here, you may be spending more time with this person that you do with your partner so try to make it pleasant".

We all have to put up with people we don’t like but if we have to see them everyday and work with them make the effort to nurture your relationship. This will greatly enhance your work life and free your mind from unnecessary internal arguments".

“All that we are… is the result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha



Michelle said...

Wow Fhina another amazing post by an amazing woman!!

I have no words right now, because you've said it much more eloquently than I could.

I learned me a thing or two just now!!!

Love ya and thanks for the lovely awards my dear friend!!!!

AlekSandra said...

Keep writing,darling,you are great!Everything here is great,love from Holland.

French Fancy said...

What an in-depth piece, Fhina. And more great images to go with them.

The Accidental Fan said...

All relationships have to be worked at, from time to time. I read your piece yesterday and for some reason I've not yet understood it made me sad. Ironically this sobering followup seems to me much more positive.

Thank you for writing both of them. I'm glad I followed the link to get here.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

A work in progress is how I look at it....but then I wonder wot progress...I like you werent not shined? upon by the valentine day sun...I wonder if I should read something into that? no best not....I think, therefore I am...wonderful! HO HUM..



Derrick said...

Hi Fhina,

Of course, all relationships have ups and downs. Yesterday, I never for a moment thought you were loves young dream (young, lovely and dreamy, perhaps!). I'm a great one for not over analysing things!!

jinksy said...

I met difficult people at work, and decided to simply carry on being usual, friendly me, and it worked! Twice! So I back your theories wholeheartedly.

Working mum said...

Your posts are always so thought provoking. I admit I don't always have time to read them - I arrived today to find you'd written six posts since I last popped in! This one was a lovely slant on Valentine's Day and certainly has made me think about relationships with others, not just my better half!

And thanks for the Oscar, I will display it with pride!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Relationships can be hell; but it's a good hell.

Diane said...

Wise words, my friend. I look forward to putting them to use one day ;)

auntiegwen said...

My relationship has been saved more than once by my Calvinistic work ethic, my brain is hardwired to think if something is worth having it's worth working it. Thank you dear Fhina x

lakeviewer said...

I think you worked all the angles in this post; can't say I disagree with anything. I love the way you work around the many issues, formulating methods, identifying points of view....quite a revelation of creative endeavor.

Dumdad said...

I like the beer picture!

Mel said...

Wow! Someone stole words from my head: I don't have time for a relationship because I'm too busy analyzing why I'm not in one.

And, hi! Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Michelle: Bless you once again for your kind words, M! Come on in and sit a spell any time, bloggerista! xx

AlekSandra: My son is on the ferry to Amsterdam for a school trip, to take photos, just now - Look after him for me please, Sandra?! x

French Fancy: Glad you liked the Eighties' Ghost Train Ride! x

The Accidental Fan: Hello and welcome along! I had not meant yesterday to sound so feelgood, to perhaps make others feel bad about themselves, so you are so astute to pick up on that... Glad you enjoyed it, step back in any time, and I shall be over to your place shortly!

Fat, frumpy and fifty...: Very true, I don't think we are ever the finished article, as such, do you?! Don't read too much into the fact that V Day means next to nothing to GJ - He's like that about a lot of things, and always 'in arrears' when it comes to birthday and Chrimbo pressies too - He just got caught up at the end of last year, with this laptop, which I hadn't expected, adn that counted for a few missing pressies, if you know what I mean?! xxx

Derrick: I would have known you were very astute, Sir! I have to stop myself over-analysing things sometimes - Often it's important to just 'be', and to live more in the nows, and not so much in the what-ifs, if that makes any sense at all!

jinksy: Bless you for backign me up a little with this, hon'! It's hard, but when I try the tactics it has, hands down, helped me get through difficulties with people, and even what I would view as 'personality clashes'. You need to do positive things, or else it's easy to be broken by negativity... x

Working mum: Bless you, and once I am a Working Mum myself again, I won't be so wordy, not so long, petal! You deserve the Oscar, you have a lovely, winsome style, that I enjoy so much, and lovely pics, including those of cheeky little you as a girl - Just wonderful!

CLAY: I need to get caught up with your posts, Sir - I shall be over very shortly! What you say is very perceptive, and so true!

Diane: Mwah!

auntiegwen: Calvinistic work ethic - That is very enlightening, Gwennie! xx

lakeviewer: I am glad you enjoyed this piece of my back story, and that you agree - You have so much excellent experience, what you have to say always means a lot to me, lv!

Dumdad: I know you do not identify with the beer pic, Sir, for you are very generous with your support to your SO, I know!

Mel: I hope no-one was offended by the pic - They all spoke to me, and were pretty funny! We kind of often revert to type in relationships, even if we know ourselves very well, in my opinion and experience! And we can always find more room for the fictional Mr Darcys, non?! x

GB said...

Interesting. Very. There are so many different sorts of relationships but many have the same core issues for which you have given thought provoking food. I have known my longest standing friend since I was 4 (and my friend and brother, CJ, since I was 5) and have friends whom I've known for very many years as well as new ones. Then there are acquaintances - still realtionships to be worked at.

I have found, however, that when one arrives at a certain point in life it becomes easier to decide which relationships are worth investing in (at almost any emotional cost) and which are not worth any emotional payment at all.

One of my friends who is an exceptionally wise lady 2/3 my age said to her (then, fairly new) boyfriend who had 'difficulty' with her friendship with me "You are a lover. Lovers come and go. True friends are for ever. GB is a true friend (and not, I hasten to add, a lover). If you want that relationship become a friend too."

Yes, your posting is very thought provoking. Thanks.

The Accidental Fan said...

Oh dear, if you are going to pop over to my blog I'd better get the decorators in, do some dusting and hide all the packing cases.

AlekSandra said...

Well of course I'll look after him,dear!Is your jong man reasonable jong man or arty tipe?How old is he?Amsterdam you say,hm,alone or in good company?I'll send my seagull army to Amsterdam,Groningen where I live is olso nice to photograph,couldnt you give me some sign before he left,OK,Ok no panic,it will be all right!Love,Sandra.

Protege said...

I so enjoy reading your post; lets face it, relationships are hard, they are never the way we read in romantic books and see in movies; only if we make it that way.
I hope soon you change your nick name, as you are definitely very important.;))

Chairman Bill said...


You hit the nail on the head there. Don't expect the other person to have the solution if they're not even aware of the problem in the first place.


A Woman Of No Importance said...

GB: We have to be able to have friends across the sexes, without undue suspicion - It's crazy - A couple of my closest work pals are men, and I know that some people gossip when we meet very occasionally for lunch or coffee, and it's ridiculous really - My OH knows I meet them - He has met or spoken lots with them, and I recount virtually all of our conversations to him - They are so entertaining - If we cannot joke and laugh without others thinking there is something going on, what is the point? And, like you, I have let fall a couple of friendships which were more draining of my mental health than necessary - It is hard to be strong in that way, but we are adults and need to behave thus, IMHO...

The Accidental Fan: Very funny - I will see you and not the tea chests and scuffed walls - You should see my place - Holes in the ceiling, a three-quarters finished bathroom, and that's not the worst of it! said...

AlekSandra: My son is just turned 17 and is very tall and therefore mature-looking - A seagull army sounds like good protection for him, thank you, A! He is in the city for just a couple of days with around 31 other young men and women and 4 teachers! We have been there many times with him, so he knows his way about a little, no problems! Groeningen sounds lovely too - We need to see more of Holland as a family! x

Protege: You are so right, Z! You are nice about my nickname, although I think I am more than attached to it now, and yet I was feeling a bit unimportant when I began! Fhina is my nom de plume, if you feel better using that? x

Chairman Bill: I am leaving your words alone, for they are very important to repeat: "You hit the nail on the head there. Don't expect the other person to have the solution if they're not even aware of the problem in the first place". Thank you, Sir!

Anonymous said...

Well said. Obviously the words of a woman who has found her way in many years of an imperfect relationship, as they all are!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Ihaven't manage to catch you on talk thingy...just wanted to day good luck and all that, I shall be thinking of you and you will be all a panic ?? or as cool as a cucumber? how long will you be away L wonder and do you have laptop and broadband to go? oh l do hope so...I will miss you...hope you arent away from us for too long...missing you already..thinking of you lots!!

Saz xxx

presious said...

I absolutely agree with your entries! You blog page is very well designed,love your lady like, victorian style! I, personally, don't care for relationships. I don't mean to sound negative or bust any bubbles, but I think relationships are overly fantasized. Relationships are no means Cinderella with her night in shining armor walking into the sunset on a white stallion.

In reality, relationships take a tremendous amount of work, compromise and sacrifice...ideally on both parts. I am not a womanizer, but honestly, men really don't get it. We, women, try to "teach" them, when in reality, they are simply missing certain components that disable them to provide what a woman needs in a realationshp. Therefore, we end up carrying most of the relationship as the men become like little boys in a man's body.

So, all that said, if a woman is able to accept man and his relationship disabilities, then all is well and good. I personally, can't do it...til life do us part is definitely not for me.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Meredith - Hello, and thank you for your truthfulness and sharing! x

Saz: Sorry to have missed you, petal - I am not taking the laptop in to hosp for fear of light-fingered fellows, and hope to be out on Wednesday, so shall be back v. v. soon! Rest always assured that I will be thinking of you! And thank you for letting me 'borrow' today's theme - I needed that simplicity of focus today... xox

presious: Welcome along, blogging friend! I am glad you found me and enjoyed the read, and I honour your carefully considered comments, dearly!

Marianne said...

Just love your beautiful blog! Hope op goes really well and you are up, about and blogging again in no time!

Something I wrote earlier...

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