How much of your life is about relationships? If you recognize that it is the lion’s share of your life, then you can imagine that some relationship coaching would be transformative for you.As central as relationships are, we rarely ask others for pointers. Perhaps we really ought to be doing that; but the irony is that we avoid confiding in others precisely because we don’t want to affect what they think of us.
So confidential relationship coaching is a real luxury — there is no stigma, no reputation that will follow you, no relationship that is altered by whatever weaknesses or faults you acknowledge. Because of that, relationship coaching can be very productive in a short time.
Relationship Coaching Objectives
Too often our relationships are unthinking. In them, we simply “fly by the seat of our pants” — that is, we simply react to stimuli. Since we are, without intervention, fearful creatures, it too often degenerates into shame — avoidance on the one hand and self-seeking for pleasure or pride on the other hand.
As a relationship coach, an early question I would have for you is, “What is your intention, your goal with this person?” It’s surprising how much is solved, how much that is superfluous and derailing is filtered when you have a prime objective — that is, an intentional prime objective that is clearly good.
Do I want to have fun with this person, pursue an intellectual goal, grow deeper in Christ, mentor them, be mentored by them, further our kinship bonds, be accountable to a superior, supervise subordinates, create business networking, pursue the generosity of romance with them?
From this short and incomplete list, it’s easy to see how mixing some of these goals could lead to confusion and relational hurt. By contrast, keeping your focus on the prime objective keeps you on track, able to recognize what is superfluous, and not chasing red-herrings.
In any relationship, there needs to be a moral foundation. That is, your objectives need to be altruistic and forward moving for the other person’s welfare. There are questions to ask yourself to rein in your natural tendency toward selfishness.
If you are a believer, then redemption is the name of the game — it is what is going on in your life. That means continual renovation, and relationships, if you are alert to it, will push you to struggle for that renovation. That’s a good thing, and relationships are one of God’s fundamental tools.
So — you might ask yourself questions like, “Am I valuing this person, showing them high regard?” “Do I want good for this person?” or conversely, “Am I ripping this person off for attention or recognition?”
How a Relationship Coach Can Help You
So why do we need coaching? Well … we tend to get off course. It is helpful to have an objective source to point out when we are interacting with others in our fears, in our shame avoidance, in our selfishness, in our codependence.
It is helpful to have someone point out when we are misinterpretting another, when we are misreading them, when they are ‘using’ us, when it’s time to draw boundaries, or time to be assertive.
All such things are actually in the other’s best interests. That runs contrary to so much advice that is ‘on the street,’ in social media these days and the mode of the day. “You have to look out for you,” “you have to love yourself first,” or “ if someone in your life is bringing negativity, you need to lose them.”
This is all low-grade, self-centered ‘advice,’ and runs contrary to the Sermon on the Mount. Even boundaries and being assertive is healthy for a relationship at times, and is helpful and honorific for the other. Making the right distinctions here can be tricky and having an objective coach can be a great advantage.
Christian Counseling for Relationship Issues
If you see coaching as a possible opportunity for you to refocus and vitalize one or more relationships in your life, we would be happy to work with you. Consider giving my counseling office a call and arranging an initial consult. God’s blessings on all of your interacting with others.
“Trust Me,” courtesy of Jeremy Wong, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Forest”, Courtesy of Filip Stepien, Flickr.com; CC BY 2.0 License; “Natural Beauty”, Courtesy of Silviarita, Pixabay.com; CC0 License; “Conversation,” courtesy of rawpixel.com, unsplash.com, CC0 License
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