Saturday, November 6, 2010

The OTHER people in your relationship. Part II: The Inner Circle

Let's face it. It would be really nice to eliminate the world's expectations for your relationship. How nice would it be to just pick each other and ride off into the sunset simple as that. Well, if you're going about your relationship like that you are bound for some uncomfortable surprises as your significant other meets the other people of your life and you meet the other people who are in their lives.

These other people can be in the form of various people and all should be treated differently. I will give you a guide on how to specifically manage and interpret each one of these individual categories... Let's focus on the second intruder: The Inner Circle.

Having an inner circle of blood relatives and close friends is a necessity for a healthy life. Friends enrich you as well as keep you grounded. Family reminds you of who you are. True friends are hard to find and are worth holding onto. Good family structure is to be cherished and upheld. But family and friends are still human. They lead completely separate lives than you do. Sometimes even their best attempts and advice can wreak havoc in your life.

#1: Keep the Details to Yourself

This is a warning. You should never tell anyone every single detail of your relationship. One, it is just disrespectful to your partner to converse with others about their personal business. Two, in anger we tend to vent but the people we vent to dont forget just because we forget. Anything you say will be held against your partner. If you don't want that to happen, don't tell them. Your family and friends love you. They never want to see you hurt,so it is engrained in them to dislike people that hurt you. So unless you like awkward dinners and parties, keep the inner working of your disagreements to yourself. Now if you truly feel the relationship is over then its healthy to tell people, do you have to be certain there is no chances for reconcilliation.

#2: Discern What Advice To Keep and What Advice to Discard
Good friends and family usually come with good advice. Even if the advice is good, if you are not ready to take it, DO NOT TAKE IT. Sometimes in life we have to do things at our own place. If you feel like your relationship is in a bad place but you just are not ready to let it go, use your own timeline. You do not want to end up resenting a friend that was just trying to help just because you rushed into something you were not willing to do. Family is an even harder one to sort out. Remember that your family members love you but they are also bonded to you for life so they will not hold their tongues in telling their opinions. I mean, what are you going to do? Leave them? probably not. So everything they tell you, you have to expect them to have a little more bite with their talks. But try to take away from it the underlying message.

Ways to Know Good Advice From Bad Advice
-Know the People Around You: If you really think about it, you already know who has your best interests at heart. Be more ready to hear their advice than self serving others.Though their love for you does not necessarily make them right, they usually have something to say that you need to hear
- Hurting People Hurt People:
Recognize the state in which the advice was given. When people are in a depressed state, their advice is usually depressing. It is not so much the state of life of the person but the state of emotion. Alot of people get this confused. Your single friends can give great advice. Your involved friends can give awful advice. Don't look so much at whether or not they are in a relationship but rather if they are happy and confident in general. Happy confident people give the best advice (This is not to be confused with pseudo confidence and putting on a show however). Usually if you think about it hard enough you know which ones of your friends enjoy their lives and live it to the best of their ability and those friends should be your advice sources.
- Everybody Is Not Wrong: Repetition is your friend. We all have blinders on when it comes to our mates. It serves you well to know this. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Everyone is not going to like your significant other nor are they required to, but when NO ONE close to you likes your relationship, there usually is a reason. Most relationships are not worth losing everyone around you.

#3: Be Your Own Person:
If you like someone and they are good to you, they deserve the respect of having a fighting chance in a relationship with you. And you deserve to see it through. I have seen countless relationships ruined because a friend or family member didn't like the individual because of something that is more congruent with their own standards. They do not have to date them...You do.

Lastly, if you are having a problem between your friends and family and your significant other and it is not caused by their treatment of you, there are ways to mend these relationships...
1. Respect your partner: If you respect them, other people will. The opposite is also true. Let the ones around you know that you will stand firm beside them as long as they are with you. The people around you will respond to this united front by at least being more tolerant of your mate for fear of your disregard.
2. Create situations for fun gatherings: Let the people around you see how much fun your mate can be. Let them interact with them not as your boyfriend/girlfriend but as a member of the group. This eases tensions and provides chances for individual relationships to form (This is especially imperative in Mom/girlfriend and Dad/boyfriend bonding).
3. Be happy: Honestly, the people around you love you. If you are happy, that will shine through. And the reason for your happiness will also become clear as well.

Hope This Helps,


  1. I'm loving this series... linking it on my blog.

    Meanwhile, this post was everything and so. on. point.

    I ALWAYS preface my advice to friends with "if it were me..." and end it by saying "but keep in mind I don't have to deal with the consequences."

    We HAVE to do what's best for us. My most often given piece of advice to my friends is listen to what everyone has to say and then sit down and come up with your OWN plan. Take bits and pieces of everything if you want, but take a second and think it out for yourself, by yourself.

    I also tell folks that sometimes, it's ok to tell your friends "I just want to vent, I don't need advice..." and as a friend, I always try to ask if they want my opinion first.

  2. Nothing but the truth! It's taken me quite a few years to learn to keep some things to myself. The funny thing is that it's seen as being secretive, when in reality it's none of their business. I've been meaning to write about that, you broke it down perfectly. I'm glad Ashley told us about your blog :-)

  3. Thanks ladies :) It took me a while too @CurvyGurl to realize that as well but its just smart sometimes to categorize your life :).