Relationship Inventory — The Personal Side

I have always said that whenever I need to work on something “the universe” has a way of letting me know. Recently, everywhere I turn the topic of relationship improvement is surfacing. I am reading about it in various books, listening to speeches about it, seeing it on social media and my friends (so many of my friends) are talking about it. 

So, besides giving me the blog idea, all this talk of relationships has challenged me to take inventory of my own relationships. In all honesty, I have discovered several things while taking my personal relationship inventory. There are people I need to distance myself from, some I want to know and grow with more and still others that I love and want in my life, but also need stronger boundaries for so that I feel heard and respected as I so diligently try to listen to and respect them. 

Also, just as I have been taking inventory of my relationships, I have been challenged to allow others to take inventory of me using a very practical exercise. In my intimate relationships, the partnerships with the people I love and trust most, I have been asking “what can I do better?”.

It looks like this:

Pick a time when you can talk freely with your friend, lover, parent, etc. Tell them that you are working on trying to become a better wife, friend, sister, etc. Ask them, over the next week, to jot down three things that they wish you would do (or maybe “do better”) in the relationship. Pick a time and date to meet again. At that meeting, have them pull out the list and talk with them about what they have written.

You might be surprised by what they write. A friend of mine told me she did this with her husband and was shocked at his seemingly simple list. She had, in her mind, concocted a list of over a dozen things she should be doing as a “good wife” and most of these were not deemed essential by her husband.

Forging and maintaining meaningful and beautiful relationships is lifelong work. We should always be assessing, asking, trying, offering and growing. We should know what makes a good relationship (things like honor, encouragement and reciprocity) and be ever trying to adhere to these values. We should be giving to others as much and more than we expect to receive.

If you need help in any of your relationships an experienced mental health counselor can assist you. She can provide the knowledge and skills to help you have the most rewarding kinds of life relationships possible. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey