Relationships are essential in society, but they can be tricky to navigate. The key to any good relationship is communication. Unlike in some fantasy and science fiction stories, people can’t read minds. If we can’t communicate with each other, we will have strained relations.
Another factor of relationships that everyone should understand is that they are dynamic. Nothing in nature is static. There are changes all around us; the Earth spins, the oceans ebb and flow, and every day we grow a little older—my graying hair is a constant reminder of that. So when it comes to our relationships, we should expect them to change continually as well.
Even simple relationships with people we only meet once can change throughout the interaction. No matter who we meet cruising through life, understanding the dynamic energy of that relationship can help it flourish. We will have good days and bad days at school, work, and home, but if we are smart, we can take advantage of those changes to improve our relationships with others.
Just like the shifting winds in a sail, a relationship can propel us forward, send us off course, or stop us dead in the water. It is always changing so we need to adjust our relationship sails to keep it moving in the right direction.
When sailing a boat, we trim or ease the sails to catch just the right amount of wind to propel the vessel forward, because inevitably that is where we want to go. This task can be easy or difficult depending on the direction of the wind.
When interacting with people, it can depend on the goal of each party. Tailwind relationships are easier to navigate because the wind is at our back, and we have the support from others around us. Everyone is working toward a similar goal. Best friends and teammates are much like this.
Headwind relationships can be a struggle. We end up working against each other, and they may stall if we aren’t careful. These types of situations arise because of different opinions or beliefs, but it doesn’t mean we have to become different people to make them work. If we set our sails in line with our views and adjust our course slightly, we can allow the energy of the relationship to move us in a positive direction.
Unless we are utterly inexperienced on the seas of life, we will sail through them without sinking too many relationships. Don’t be fooled; we still need to be careful while navigating. Most of the time, we will fill the sails with light to moderate winds. But there will be times when a stronger current will catch us off guard.
If you have ever fallen in love, you will know what heavy winds will do to emotions and decision-making skills. Love can make us feel like everything is going great, and we are unstoppable. We can easily get carried away.
A wise sailor will know to flatten the sails in heavy winds to reduce the amount the ship heels or leans. In relationships like this, we shouldn’t carelessly let out our sails, because we can easily capsize. Instead, we should take control of the situation, so things remain stable. We can enjoy life, but let’s try to keep an even keel.
Now even with an everyday relationship such as with a family member, we have to adjust our sails to the changes in wind or the direction we would like to go. These relationships can be very dynamic. We have to be prepared to jibe or shift so that we can get where we want to go without running aground.
Let me give you an example. We are bound to disagree with a close friend or relative. We love them, so we don’t want to do anything drastic and sail headlong into a hurricane. Our best course is to make small allowances for them and try to work things out, even if this means admitting to our faults. It is these little give-and-take scenarios that allow us to have happy, healthy relationships with the people in our lives.
Relationships take work. We may feel like we are continually having to adjust this and pull that. Sometimes we may feel like we are floating adrift, but trust me, every good relationship is worth the effort of a little work.
No one is guaranteed a pleasure cruise through life without some relationship turbulence. If we learn to recognize the dynamic energy, we can adjust our sails and propel ourselves into long-lasting, fulfilling relationships with everyone in our life.