Relationship Renegotiation


by Brandon Steiner June 25, 2013 0 Comments

In high school, we had a class called "Group Dynamics."

Its purpose was to teach us how to create, develop and and maintain healthy relationships. Like many of the classes at (then experimental) John Dewey High, this one was ahead of its time.

I think about the lessons I learned from that class to this day. The most important thing I learned was the concept of Relationship Renegotiation.

Have you ever had a relationship that started out really well, but over time - due to whatever reasons - soured?

You kept fighting, then making up, then fighting, then making up, and kept repeating that process without any actual progress?

Those relationships just become vicious circles that you can't get out of - until one day one of you simply leaves the relationship.

But there's a better way!

See, relationships are mainly based on two things: sharing information, and setting expectations.

When I say "sharing information," I basically mean "getting to know" someone. Knowing this and that about them. The stuff that makes you want to be in a relationship in the first place.

When I say "setting expectations," I mean "establishing what you want out of the relationship."

Needless to say, we don't sit down with the other person and draw up a contract, but these two ingredients - information and expectation - are nonetheless at the heart of all relationships.

The thing is, over time, the "information" is bound to change. The problem is, you don't always adjust your expectations.

For instance, the other person might get a new job, or get married, or have a kid, or get divorced, or start or stop drinking, or whatever.

When you keep expecting the same things from a person who undergoes a major life change, you're setting the relationship up for friction, if not outright conflict.

That's where relationship renegotiation comes in.

Maybe you have an old friend you're used to  talking to every day, and that friend gets married or has a kid. Now it's unreasonable to expect to speak to that person every day. You have to readjust your expectations. You have to "renegotiate."

Now maybe you can only speak two or three times a week. The important thing is to establish that - to bring it into the open - before resentment starts festering.

Maybe - like me - your kids have grown up and gone off to college. Obviously you can be disappointed that you'll be seeing less of them. But you shouldn't be offended. You simply have to adjust your expectations.

Oftentimes, this simple "renegotiation," if it's honest and out in the open, can save a relationship from that vicious circle I mentioned earlier.

The key is to renegotiate relationships before resentments start piling up.

How are your significant relationships going - the ones with your colleagues, family, and friends?

Are your expectations for them realistic?

If not, can you adjust them to ensure that these important relationships don't devolve?




Brandon Steiner
Brandon Steiner

Author

Brandon Steiner is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, the largest company of its kind in America. Considered a sports marketing guru, Brandon is a permanent fixture in the media as a regular on ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM and as host of "The Hook-Up with Brandon Steiner" on YES Network. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and in newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire, Brandon lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Mara and children Crosby and Nicole.




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