7 More Relational Sticking Points

I recently wrote a post entitled, 3 Subtle Ways We Get Stuck In Relationships. I’ve noticed there are certain behaviors that leave a relationship spiraling in a loop…creating a barrier. I said…

It doesn’t matter if these actions are intentional or not. Each has the same effect of leaving a relationship stuck in a circle that’s going nowhere.

Since writing that post, I’ve thought of some other actions that cause us to become stuck. I’ve even caught myself engaging in a couple of these over the last week, causing a rift in my relationships. So I offer these to you as a reflection of my own errors.

Let’s review the first three:

1. Unexpressed gratitude – Gratitude is more than a feeling, it’s an expression. If you don’t say, people don’t sense it.

2. Unclear expectations – Most conflict is the result of unmet expectations. If your expectations are fuzzy you’ll end up frustrating people.

3. Unforgiven wrongs – We tend to think that holding something against someone gives us some sort of power. It actually ends up taking over our heart and tearing us apart from the inside out.

Here’s the next seven behaviors…

4. Unfulfilled promises – Everyone can make a promise. Trust is either built or eroded by our ability to manage and keep a promise.

5. Uncharacteristic responses – One of the ways people determine if we’re dependable is through our consistency. Responding or reacting in a manner that’s out of character tends to confuse people.

6. Untapped potential – When we fail to reach our capabilities, especially when other people are depending on us, it kills both morale and momentum. Sometimes another person’s belief in us doesn’t matter if we don’t believe in ourselves.

7. Unpaid debts – Borrowing and lending can cause rifts in relationships if not handled properly. When we owe people money or payment, the longer it goes unpaid – the more tension it will cause.

8. Unmet needs – No matter how much we’re focused on the needs of others, we still have our own needs. If we feel our needs aren’t being met, we begin to disengage emotionally.

9. Unnecessary risks – As individuals, we know where to draw the line when it comes to taking risks. In a relationship, risks must be taken cooperatively. This is another area where trust and openness can be lost if both parties aren’t on the same page.

10. Unexpected change – Change is hard for anyone. Most people understand that change is necessary, but they don’t like being surprised by it. Making a change too quickly can leave people frustrated and uncertain.

Each of these behaviors can cause relational red flags. As a leader, it’s even more important to recognize the impact they can have on you and your teammates. It may be helpful to go through the list and reflect on each behavior. As you do this, make a note of anyone who comes to mind. I was guilty of #5 this last week and needed to go and apologize to the person for it.

I’d welcome your response and comments.

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