The Stepping Over Paradox


People over complicate their relationship strategies. For instance, categorizing between work friends, real friends, Facebook friends, business partners, romantic partners, family, outlaw family (y'all have those too, right?) - too many categories! So much complexity makes little sense even though most relationship counselors and policy writers preach it. How many of us can really manage all those small differences between work, home, friends, loved ones, significant others, lovers, neighbors, colleagues, classmates, parents, and in-laws? Yet, most of the relationship material says we need different goals and strategies for every group.

How about this: just be nice to everyone and treat them all like valued customers. You’ll get much more right much easier.

To make a relationship sing, understand what we might call “the stepping over paradox." On one hand, to have a good relationship means stepping over many of the other person’s faults. On the other hand, a good relationship often begins at the point when you call out the other person for a behavioral error. Knowing when to speak up and when to shut up is the skill that builds relationships.