Building Deeper Relationships with Friends, Family and Clients
The older I get the more I have discovered how much I don’t know, and that I really do need to grow and change. Recently, I discovered how important it is to share my feelings and to be authentic. I needed to work on learning how to open up my heart to others. This sounds so easy, but growing up in a family of 6 kids: 4 sisters and 1 brother and being the first – born boy it was difficult (3 older sisters). My father always taught me to suppress my feelings because I was a man. Men were tough and always needed to act strong and to be in control all the time. I can hear my father, “get over your emotions and feelings they will make you weak!”
Our household being mostly females, my mother and 4 sisters, they were always wonderful in sharing their feelings and emotions. I can remember several times while growing up, my father would come home from work, and tell my brother and me that we needed to escape. It was men’s night out, eating fast food, bowling or putt putt golf, etc. The men in my family didn’t really engage in a deep level to understand the emotions and feelings of the women we loved the most.
This is bad because, when I didn’t open up to others around me, as a result, they didn’t open up to me. I didn’t get really close and discover the true richness of relationships of my family and friends. For years my beautiful wife, Daphne, kept telling me that all she really wants is my heart! I, for the life of me didn’t understand this. I was in total denial. I wanted to control my heart from the woman I loved the most—yes, pretty stupid.
My awakening occurred when our son, Connor, went off to AZUSA Pacific for College. Daphne and I became empty nesters. Our daughter, Erica, already works, lives and goes to college in Fayetteville. My wife decided she wasn’t going to wait any longer, I had to choose to grow closer or apart. I needed to finally commit to really changing and growing. We decided to start Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples and we both became active in the Celebrate Recovery Ministry for real hurts, habits and hang-ups. (What a wonderful and powerful ministry by John Baker & Rick Warren: http://www.celebraterecovery.com.au/). (I highly recommend EFT Couple Therapy, Celebrate Recovery and an excellent book: “How to Argue so your Spouse will Listen” by Sharon Morris May, Ph.D.)
Amazingly, I am actively changing! I am losing years of anger and frustrations that I’ve had because now I am being honest with my feelings and emotions. I have learned to really listen to others and be completely there for them. The greatest gift is that my relationships are much more loving, deeper and closer than I could have ever imagined!
Why share this with Collective Bias and Social Fabric? Because we are a company and community built on great passion and relationships. Being able to open and share our hearts at a deeper level that builds lasting relationships starting with our family and friends, lays the groundwork and allows us to do this with our colleagues and clients.