Building relationships is essential for having a fulfilling life, but – as we all know – it’s not without its problems. Even close friendships could have problems every now and then. That’s why it’s important to learn about relationship problems and how to overcome them. While there are many relationship problems that could happen, I believe they boil down to just two. These are the basic problems that cause other problems in relationships. Here they are:
Misunderstanding is perhaps the most common problem in relationships. Sometimes your friends misinterpret what you do or say. Or it’s you who misinterpret them. Depending on the maturity of the people involved, such misunderstanding could be solved quickly or it could open the way to more serious problems.
Misunderstanding is caused either by lack of quality or quantity in communication. You could spend a lot of time to communicate with your friends (for example, with your roommate), but if the quality of the communication is low then there is a good chance that misunderstanding will happen.
The problem could also happen because you and your friend don’t communicate often enough. If both parties are busy, they may not have the chance to communicate what they need or want which may eventually lead to misunderstanding.
Another common problem in relationships is selfishness. Perhaps both parties understand what the other party needs, but one or both of them are not willing to give it. They prefer to just keep it for themselves. In this case, the problem is lack of action instead of lack of understanding.
For example, it takes time to build relationships but we may be too busy to provide time for others. While we can’t generalize the case, being busy could be a form of selfishness. Just wanting to be understood without trying to understand is also a form of selfishness.
These two basic problems cause many other relationship problems. Being judgmental, for instance, is often caused by selfishness. We want others to meet our expectations and we blame them when they don’t.
Anger could be caused my misunderstanding. You may think that your friend does something bad to you while she actually doesn’t intent to. Perhaps she does you good but you misinterpret it. Misunderstanding causes us to misinterpret positive as negative.
These two relationship problems may seem simple, but solving them requires serious effort. It may take years or even lifetime to learn how to solve them. But being aware of them is a good first step because we can’t win a war if we don’t even know the enemy.
In a future article, I will discuss ways to solve these problems.
This article is part of August 2008 theme: Relationships
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