The Answered of Relationship Question

Why do we think that other people can answer our questions better than we can?

Why are we always giving our power away like this?

I mean, just because someone can look at our relationship situation dispassionately does NOT mean that they know what answer is going to work best for us.

That’s what I say, anyway, because I believe we already know the answers to any questions or problem situations that seem to exist in our lives. We’re all pretty smart, really, if only we’d trust ourselves a bit more.

And if we get it wrong, sometimes, we get it wrong. Hey, what would you have learnt about walking or talking if you were never able to make a mistake as a child?

Anyway, it seems that people do give their power (wisdom) away, especially when it comes to relationship questions. “Please help me!”, they urge, when if they just trusted their own inner wisdom a bit more they’d find their own answer soon enough.

Thus this article…
So, according to the relationship advice forum I’ve been running since 2011 (and a few other reliable online relationship resources), these are the top 10 relationship questions that people seem to be asking:

1. Are they interested in me?

2. Why won’t they commit to me?

3. How to deal with controlling relationships?

4. Why don’t they trust me?

5. How far should I travel for love?

6. How can I get them to… ?

7. Importance of sex in relationships?

8. How do I learn to trust again?

9. Why do we keep breaking up?

10. Should I leave them?

(Nicely sum up the path that most relationships take, don’t they, these relationship questions.)

I’m going to spend the rest of this relationship questions article briefly answering these questions, by way of generalisation, but also in such a way that helps you find your own answers. Because, in truth, only you know what’s going to work for you in your relationship.

Okay, let’s go then…
“Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.” — Janette Oke

Question 1. Are they interested in me?

Hmm, there really is ONLY one way to find out if someone is interested in you, I think you’ll agree, and it isn’t asking me or a friend or even a friend of the person you’re interested in. Ask the person directly, and find out for yourself!

The thing about relationships is that they have to involve some element of risk for them to be worthwhile being involved with. That’s just how it works. And that risk is quite often evident at the beginning of a relationship.

“Oh no!”, you think to yourself, “I asked her out and she’s just not interested in me! What will I do?” You’ll live, that’s what you’ll do, and you’ll start to feel stronger in who you are as a man or as a woman because you act on your convictions.

Question 2. Why won’t they commit to me?

It is said that men are commitment-phobes, and maybe they are in comparison to women who knows. But, usually, when someone doesn’t want to commit to a person, or a course of action, it’s because they’re not sure it’s the right thing to do. It’s that simple. Now the reason why they’re not sure, that might take some finding out, and is beyond the scope of this relationship questions article, but you will be able to find out via good communication.

So talk to this person, and see what their concerns are. Listen, but listen well, and learn.

Time for another quote about relationships, I think:

“When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.” — Warren Farrell

Question 3. How to deal with controlling relationships?

Hmm, the need to control comes from a false belief that that’s the only way to get what a person wants from someone. They don’t know any better, basically. And if you can show this person that they really can trust you (that they really can trust themselves) in this relationship then you might, just might, be able to help this person let go of their controlling behaviour.

Good luck.

Question 4. Why don’t they trust me?

Usually, a person doesn’t trust someone because they don’t trust themselves.

Example. I’m worried that my woman might be cheating on me, say, and so I check up on her all the time (and I start to be the type of controlling man in Q3.) And I do this because I wrongly believe I won’t be able to cope if she IS cheating. I’m worrying myself over something that’s probably not going to happen ‘just in case’. But if I believed in myself, trusted myself to be enough, I’d be far more likely to trust my woman. And if she ends up cheating on me, then I know I’ll be able to cope with the situation, know it’s her and not me. I move on. I don’t take it personally. Simple.

Question 5. How far should I travel for love?

There are those that say that long distance relationships don’t work, that sooner or later someone will have to move to the other person’s locale; and on that day the balance of power will have irrevocably shifted.

What do I say? I say that you should find a quiet space in yourself, and ask yourself whether this person is worth it, whether the distance is worth it. And each person will have their own answers, here…
Question 6. How can I get them to… ?

Hmm, isn’t it interesting how these relationship questions overlap. This sounds suspiciously like the other side of the controlling question (see Q3).

A better question would be, “Why do you want them to… ?”. Find out the answer to that question, with some honest self-examination, and then share the results with your partner. I will help the both of you, for sure, doing so.

After all good communication like this is at the heart of healthy relationships, no?

Question 7. Importance of sex in relationships?

How important is sex in a relationship? Very. Or not at all.

Seriously, this is a question to ask yourself. Again, quieten your mind for a few moments and ask this of yourself (if you don’t know already). Then listen to the answers that come. It’s called intuition, this, and is a far better source of wisdom than some random article on the Internet claiming to know all the answers (to the top 10 relationship questions).

Note: I find a little bit of self-effacement always helps in relationships. Well, definitely in article writing, anyway.

Oh, and when you know whether it’s important or not, then that’s your answer no matter what other people think (including your partner).

Question 8. How do I learn to trust again?

Relationships bring risk. There are no guarantees. Nothing, least of all relationships, is certain.

Understand these things, and know that you cannot know how a relationship will work out. And then, then you’ll know it’s time to get involved again, time to take risks. (Listening to the wisdom you’ve accrued from making previous mistakes, I politely suggest.)

Now, time for another relationship quote:

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” — Walter Anderson

Question 9. Why do we keep breaking up?

Love and relationships can do that to you, sometimes – mess you up! And it can be oh so frustrating.

Basically speaking, your relationship’s not working. And, more importantly, you’re not working – you’re not listening to your inner wisdom enough, here, and you’re not trusting that whatever happens in this relationship – you break up, you get back together – that things will be okay. They will. Just trust yourself more. Things will be okay. They will.

Question 10. Should I leave them?

Yes.

No.

It depends.

(Really, you need to find some quiet time here and answer this question for yourself. Nobody knows better than you, whether you should leave someone or no! Not your Mum, not your best friend, and not your partner. You know best. Always. But only when you quieten your mind, make some space, and let the wisdom come through… )

 

Foundation Of Healthy Relationship

In this time it becomes necessary to address issues affecting relationships. There is a high rate of divorce and relationship uncertainty. The home as the back bone of any society has been neglected over the years, the major stabilizers for this institution are the women folks, and how have they prioritized the home. What are their values, what is their ultimate goal? Most women place their priority on career, personal ambitions and others. Marriage is the least of their priority. This is one of the reasons why there is inadequate preparation before marriage. This explains why there is increase in divorce and failed relationships. Here we look at the foundation of a healthy relationship.

This article is meant for serious minded people not people who go into relationship for fun, such people hop in and out of relationships degrading the sanctity of relationship and undermining the values of what relationship should be; thy abuse it and lead many sincere innocent women and men into emotional despair and frustration.

Here I’m talking to people who intend to build a home. Not fakes, not pretenders, not use and dump. They are reasons why relationships fail one of it is lack of preparation. Marriage is the only institution that you have admission without writing exams or given a test, even when they do, they do not practice what there were taught. This has also affected many marriages and home in general. Certain principles have been ignored, we are in a world where men search for women to get married but can’t find, most men talk of “marriage material” what does this imply? On the other hand, most women will not get into marriage with any kind of person, they don’t get into marriage for the sake of it; they seek for marriage with dignity and self respect. Women seem not to prioritize marriage in the early age of their life, but it becomes a thing of almost importance in their later years of their life.

It’s time to change such mentality, being married does not change your ideology, rather early planning gives you ample opportunities to make the right choice, “one who will share in your dreams and aspiration”.

Every relationship has its own rules and policy, unfortunately that of marriage has been undermined; basically there are certain things you need to know before venturing into any relationship. It is necessary that you get prepared

1. Are you prepared for any relationship?

Most people go into a relationship for the fun of it or felt somehow they need a date. Going into a relationship without having clear reasons, or for selfish motive does not define your person. The attitude you portray today goes a long way to shape your future. If you are not prepared for any relationship, do not get into it no matter the circumstances, for young girls don’t ever think of “boyfriend/girlfriend issues” there are the things that may eventually destroy you, I always advice young ladies that the best age for marriage is 21 to 25. However, for whichever reason you choose to delay, preparation is the foundation for any successful relationship. Are you ready? How satisfied are you in such circumstance? You just have to be yourself; it must not be based on what someone said, or pressure from the opposite sex or any other. When you compromise against your wish, you bare the pains alone when the ill wind of relationship start blowing on you, no matter how people may seem to comfort you, you bare the pains alone. As a young lady work with age limit, dating should not exceed two years. which means you should only consider men who are ready for marriage,it may sound strange, study shows that people who date for more than two years have 70{83f547fa303d9f56afc92f7f722be62d149003975e04d580eafd839144fcea78} chances that they might likely break up, it also lead to unwanted pregnancy and having children out of wedlock. Love is not just emotions it is also the ability to choose what you want, when you allow love to over shadow your ability and character you lost the ability to think right and make good decisions, you become blind. When love becomes blind, you know what that means. A blind man has no direction and can only be led by someone who sees. Preparation enables you to avoid bit falls.

2. Choose the right person

This is one of the most difficult aspects when it comes to relationships. The truth is you only know who a person is in times of adversity. Human are complex in nature, in relationships it’s not really about perfection but the ability to accommodate someone, accepting someone’s short coming the way it is, this is because you have two different people from different backgrounds. These are the factors you have to consider, because the person you think is an angel can turn up to be what you never imagined.

No matter how complex it may be “you know what you want” no matter the nature of things and the circumstance you may find yourself in, there are factors that may lead you to achieve good result. There are patience, watching and prayers. When you rush into a relationship you might likely rush out or live in pain; I have always advised that you wait a while. At this time friendship becomes necessary, but not too close, it all allows you the privilege of knowing new things and making new discovery.

3. Are you compatible?

No matter the emotions and pressure, be yourself; never say “yes” until you have “sorted out things” the only way to know how compatible you are is to become friends. What do you really want? What are your dreams, are you comfortable with his job, his way of life?

Be sure about your compatibleness, is not right to build up hopes, is really frustrating when you start regretting why you accepted such relationship. When you are not compatible you may likely have relationships problem which may lead to break up, when you start getting along having discussions it enables you both to know each other, then you will be able to know if you can live together.

4. Your reasons

Your motives, your thoughts and your overall reason will determine how healthy your relationship will be. This area is very important, when you fail to sort this out you might end up having heart breaks, you may not have confident in yourselves. Are you going into a relationship for beauty, wealth? Whichever reasons; what happens when what you hoped for fails you? To be on safe quad it should be for one reason “love” do you love him? Does he love you?

Material things are sometimes temporal when they fail that might be the end of such relationship. When you look at material things chance are that you might likely meat “fakes” deceivers, those who pretend to be what they are not. In the end they become your worst enemies. When you define what you want and be patient enough, you will know who they are. Your reasons should be genuine. In as much as you need a responsible man, love is the principal thing.

5. Is love involved?

In that regard you take more time and access yourself if your affection is based on love. The worst relationship is that without love. If you do not have true love, don’t venture into any relationship. Love is the foundation: the holy bible says; love covers transgressions, therefore in times of adversities true love keeps two people together. The person you are interested to; does he love you? What are his motives? When you give him sometime it will go a long way to show who he really is.

6. Be open

Openness in any relationship breeds trust. You must have to be truthful to yourselves. If you want peace, develop self confidence in yourself, first expression matters a lot, do not try to please anybody, keep no secret. Be yourself, it is better to break up early than to mess up yourself.

The beauty of any relationship is trust. Trust has its own foundation, trust and love work hand in hand. There are the things that make a relationship healthy; not trusting someone is also the foundation of problems in any relationship. If you can’t trust, you can’t keep a relationship, any relationship without trust is full of problems you can never be in peace in such relationship if you want peace trust, be sincere.

7. Know your values

Is very common these days that people go into a relationship without putting into consideration what defines them. When you define what your values are; you come to terms.

Self esteem is very important it produces your worth. How does your friend regard you? The way and manner you present yourself to someone will determine how much regard he has for you. When you make yourself so cheap you give room to undue attractions for anyone to hop in and out your life. Dress yourself to be yourself. Women of great value do not dress for attraction; they dress for dignity and self esteem. When you ignore the basics and allow certain things to influence your character, at the end you force yourself for marriage. You must also understand the different between lust and love as a lady, you must have principles that guide you when you are in a relationship, and you come together and define your values. Understanding who you are as a people will go a long way to eliminate gender inequality in a relationship. When you know your values you protect it.

8. Be quick to solve problems

In section seven we talked about values. Protecting your values is one of the basics to problem solving in any relationship, values produces respect defines boundaries and limits.

No matter the gravity of the issues involved, you must understand your limits. Every relationship has its own problem. The way it is approached and handled is what matters; when two people are together they must put certain things into consideration when ever problem arises. You must understand that there is no problem that worth destroying your relationship/marriage, admit your faults, be quick to say am sorry, be quick to solve problems, avoid third party in your relationship. (The only third party is God) don’t throw blames handle issues with humility, pride comes before destruction. When you are angry work away for a while, when your partner refuses to see reasons accept the blame, it takes nothing from you. But in good times advice he/she on the matter, it builds relationship. The issues of misunderstanding and pride should be looked at during courtship. Pride is what destroys any relationship, what you cannot deal with during courtship; you can’t handle it in marriage. When you discover an attitude you cannot cope with is better you quit. Never go into a relationship to change anyone.

9. Take responsibilities

You must show yourself to be responsible enough; a well coordinated organized relationship has less troubles. You must be responsible.

As a lady learn to fulfill your primary responsibilities, both partners must understand their goals this will enable the ideal partner to compliment you and support you to fulfill your dreams. Taking responsibilities will help you drive your goals together, it helps strengthen growth and corporation, when this is in existence you see yourself as partners working together to achieve a particular objectives – you see yourselves working for the good of each other and the future.

As a lady, it is good that you work to also complement your man. But if the man felt is not necessary,” you let it be”

As far as he is capable of taking care of the family, this is acceptable to avoid problems; you have many other ways of contributing to the well being of the home. Private business is acceptable at this time.

10. Spend time together

Spending time together is one of the finest ingredients that spice up a relationship; any relationship that couples do not spend time together is incomplete.

In a relationship one thing complements the other. Spending time together creates oneness, intimacy and increases love and affections, no matter how your job schedule may be create time to stay together. It also helps in reducing depression build confident and trust.

 

Beautiful Life Determined By Healthy Relationship

In happy relationships, there are five simultaneous relationships happening. Healthy relationships are based upon each person having a relationship with him-or-herself. The relationship with the self is the basic building block of a relationship. Both parties must have broken through their denial systems to some extent, achieved some modicum of honesty with themselves, and become willing to take responsibility for themselves. In general, each must be a person in his or her own right. If one does not have a relationship with the self, it is truly impossible to have a living process (healthy) relationship; it will not be possible to be honest with the “other” if one is not in contact with oneself.

This relationship with the self is a source of pleasure and expansion and needs time and nurturing in order to grow. In order to have a relationship with the self, it is necessary to have quiet time alone, time to enrich one’s spirituality. A relationship with the self takes time. Truly having a relationship with our own process relates us to the process of the universe.

The next two relationships that occur in healthy relationships are each person’s fantasized relationship with the other. Each person has a fantasy about what is go in on with the other and about who the other is. In healthy relationships, it is necessary to bring these fantasized relationships into the conscious self, explore them, and make them available to and share them with the others. These relationships can be the source of a lot of fun, and as long as we know them for what they are, can add richness to our relationship with ourselves and with others.

A fifth relationship in healthy relationships is the actual relationship that exists between the two people. It is dependent upon the previous four having been developed, maintained, and “cleaned up” if necessary. Not that we have to be perfect to have a relationship; relationships provide a major arena for growth and self-awareness, and paradoxically they have to exist consciously and be worked with for the relationship between the self and other requires taking risks. In order to have this relationship, it is necessary to be able to see the self and the other and to respect the process of both. This relationship is a rich source of information for the self. And it is more than that; it is an opportunity to know and be known.

In healthy relationships, the focus is upon respecting one’s own process. When this happens, each – almost be default – respects the others journey and supports it as well as his or her own.

Healthy relationships imply supporting each other, yet these is no focus upon “fixing” the other person. Each person’s process is respected and it is recognized that each must do what he or she must. It is understood that if I have feelings about what the other does, these are my feelings and I have to handle them as best I can. Commitment is not incarceration. It is each being committed to her or his own process, sharing that process, and respecting the process of the others.

A healthy relationship is an open system, which means that both information that is external to the parties and the relationship are sought, listened to, and resolved. Therefore, in healthy relationships, choices are very important,, and the generation of options opens the possibility to growth and creativity. Choices are not threats.

Relationships are mysterious. Never-the-less, it is fun to play around with some “lists” of ideas for “healthy relationship skills.”

To be able to ‘wait with” the evolution of a relationship.

To be able to be honest when one is not interested or cannot listen.

To recognize and accept one’s own needs and honor them.

To care for, not take care of, the other.

To know that dependency in any form kills relationships; to honor the integrity of the self and the other.

To know that one cannot compromise one’s moral values without eroding the relationship.

To be present to the self and the other and share intimacy where appropriate.

To know that physical loving evolves as intimacy grows.

To know the relationship is only one important aspect of one’s total life.

To be unwilling to turn one’s life over to anyone.

To accept responsibility for one’s own life and recognize the others responsibility for his or her own life.

To be honest with oneself about who the other is and what important values, hopes and fears are not shared.

To see the other and the self clearly, without judgment.

To know that blame has no place in intimacy and to be willing to own one’s mistakes without judgment.

To be able to share “worlds” while maintaining one’s own.

To be present.

To take risks and be vulnerable with the other.

To share feelings as one feels them.

To have and respect boundaries.

To know that suffering is not love – pain will occur; suffering is a choice.

To live one’s own process and respect the process of the other, whatever it is.

To know that love cannot be created or manipulated. Love is a gift.

 

Equality and Balancing On Relationship

Which of us hasn’t dreamed of finally finding and keeping our perfect relationship? What if we are in a partnership that is confusing and always changing? How do we cope with the loss and heartache relationships can sometimes bring? What if we don’t seem to be attracting any kind of intimate interactions at all?

The working dynamics of good relationships are for many of us one of the greatest mysteries of life. It is a secret each of us seeks to unravel from the day we are aware there is more than one of us around. Why do interpersonal interactions — something we are all engaged in every day, every minute, every second of our lives — sometimes seem so challenging, complicated, confusing, difficult, and mysterious?

The quality of our partnerships with others actually reflects the quality of the relationships we have with ourselves. Do we know who we are, and do we like who that is? Do we believe we are worthy and deserve unconditional love? While we may know how we would like someone to love us, do we love ourselves that way already? Do we trust and accept all parts of ourselves? The bottom line for most all of us is we simply would like to be loved and accepted for who we are, for our real selves.

MALE AND FEMALE TEMPLATES

As we change our inner definition or template of our male and female selves to a place of balance and self-acceptance, we are able to attract someone who is more reflective of our true counterpart. Even if we are balanced with our inner masculine reflection, if we do not like our own femininity, we would be unable to create a truly balanced relationship for ourselves.

One aspect many people do not give much thought to is that we look to our partners to reflect aspects of ourselves back to us. For example, if we are a woman, our partner is holding a place for us so we can better understand the feminine part of ourselves. If we are a male, our partner is holding a place for us to understand the masculine part of ourselves. Although this may be the opposite way most people view their relationships, how, if we were a woman, would we be better able to understand what type of woman we were unless someone could reflect it back to us as we interact with them?

THE TASK OF ANY RELATIONSHIP

The task of any relationship is always to find ourselves, to understand ourselves, to be the complete and natural selves we already are. The only true relationship we ever really have is the one we have with ourselves. Everything else, every other interaction, whether we might realize it or not, is simply a reflection. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we continue to always attract relationships that will serve to remind us of what and who we are not. Resisting who we are will, therefore, usually attracts relationships that are unfulfilling, or ones where we have to work very hard. By being fully and completely who we are, we then attract relationships that reflect back to us the fullness of our creative being. It is the age old adage: What we put out is what we get back.

FUNCTIONING HALF COMPLETE

Many of us function as if we are only half complete. If we project the vibration of half of an individual, looking around for someone else to complete us, we attract an incomplete relationship. The resulting interaction with anyone attracted in this manner will usually come up short of what we ideally desire. Entering into any interaction from the viewpoint we need the relationship to feel complete, results in the relationship continuing to reflect and remind us of our belief in our incompleteness. What we will have is a partnership made up of two half people, truly satisfying to neither person. When we know we are a relationship unto ourselves, complete and sufficient within ourselves, we set up a vibration that attracts someone with those same qualities and assurance. Too many times people make out long, wonderful lists of all the attributes they wish their perfect partner to have. The question to ask is, are we all those things? Do we have all those attributes? Unless we are able to reflect the type of vibrational being we choose to attract, how will we ever be seen and recognized by someone who does?

WHAT DO WE ATTRACT IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS?

We always attract our definition of what we think we are capable of attracting, no matter what may be on our wish list. The first question we should ask ourselves (the most basic question for any relationship) is: What do we get out of it? What do we get out of having a relationship with so and so? Secondly, what did we learn about ourselves by being in that relationship? We primarily attract situations to ourselves that create interactions, allowing us to continue to accelerate, serve, and learn who we are. We can do this with ease, grace, love, and joy, or through the school of hard knocks. The choice is always ours.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE

The reason for relating to someone else is for the opportunity to share who we are. Approaching a relationship as an opportunity to share attracts individuals who reflect our belief in our own completeness. When our relationships are set up this way, we are able to interact with the other person as two complete individuals coming together to share experiences. We will both know and experience the idea of personal fulfillment.

THE RESULTS OF EXPECTATIONS AND JUDGMENTS

When we put expectations or value judgments on the outcome of our relationships, we never actually get to experience the real reason we created the particular interaction in the first place. For this reason, it is important to accept relationships for what they are. If we invalidate what we have drawn into our lives, we are really invalidating ourselves.

BALANCED RELATIONSHIPS

It is important to understand why we have drawn certain individuals into our lives. We usually have attracted others to allow ourselves the opportunity to grow and to give us more information about who we are. The idea is not to become like each other. The idea is to allow each individual to be the strongest, healthiest, most balanced individual they can possibly be. Sometimes we might forget this because we think unity is the product of conformity. Unity is the product of granting and allowing equality to uniqueness and diversity. In a balanced relationship, we do not lose our individuality — just the opposite occurs. We each become stronger reflections for each other of all that is possible for each of us. The purpose of any relationship is to allow us to be more of who we choose to be. It is like looking into a mirror and seeing another aspect of ourselves. This does not mean our relationships will be an exact 1-1 reflection of who we each are. Rather, our relationships become a reflection of what the two of us have agreed to learn and teach each other.

The best possible relationship is a balanced sharing, without dependency. Each party in a relationship has strong, natural attributes that can assist the other in their growth. If our support is aimed at creating a space for our partner or friend to grow in their own self-support, the relationship will be a happy and flourishing one. Think of it this way. Instead of constantly doling out small pieces of bread, wouldn’t it be of true, lasting benefit to teach someone how to bake their own bread? If we are in a relationship where we are giving, giving, giving, it sends out the message to our partners that we do not believe they have the ability to match or mock up their own vibrations of completeness and sufficiency. Offer support to others as long as it does not represent the idea we are taking on responsibility for them. We cannot really be responsibility for other adults. Our attempts to do this usually leads us very quickly to examine our own issues about boundaries, because taking on another person’s responsibilities brings us outside of where we prefer to be. The idea of responsibility is not to lay the blame on anyone, rather it allows us the freedom to choose what we prefer.

In a balanced relationship, each of us can still do what we prefer to do. We don’t have to change our lives just because someone else disapproves. There is no reason to attempt to be anything that we are not. Doing that only brings us more of what we are not. We will only become more uncomfortable, unhappy, unhealthy, and unsuccessful, if we keep trying to be something we are not. It is vital to express who we are, be who we are, and say what we think. We should only change our lives because we choose to, and because we are becoming more completely the real us. If we know we are functioning in true personal integrity, even if others around us don’t like it or want us to change, we continue to be who we are.

If we are doing what we enjoy and love in life, it very quickly provides us confirmation of who we really are. The idea is always to relax, have fun and be ourselves. Remember, anyone we attract into our lives by being ourselves belongs in our lives. Being of service to ourselves and others is only possible when we are complete within our own selves. If we are not fully ourselves, then the other person is not really in a relationship with the real us anyway!

“WRONG” RELATIONSHIPS

Why would any of us create a whole series of wrong relationships? The reason itself is basically very simple. Either we have forgotten who we are, or we are afraid to accept who we are. Who we are is actually our naturally centered selves in a state of balance and complete self-acceptance. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we will not attract harmonious, long lasting, or healthy relationships.

Once we become true to ourselves, we automatically attract the right person to ourselves, even as we move through changes. If someone decides to change or leave a relationship with us, realize their energy is no longer in harmony with ours. Therefore, by understanding this even if someone leaves us nothing will really be missing. We cannot miss anything from a vibration that we are not truly a part of.

HOW DO WE SHOW WE REALLY LOVE SOMEONE?

We can really show we love somebody by accepting them for who they are and by allowing them to be just where they already are. It is very important not to put any expectation on how it must be, or regret how it was or was not. When we live in the moment and trust ourselves enough to be in each and every moment, we always attract whomever is appropriate for ourselves. The best advice ever given for relationships is to trust, let go, and be ourselves. Trust is the glue for any relationship — the trust we feel for ourselves, as well as the trust we have with others.

WHAT INGREDIENT WILL INSURE OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE ENHANCING?

All relationships, when created through a sense of integrity, are fundamentally enhancing. Relationships are meant to expand and evolve. If our relationships restrict us and cause us to inhibit and repress our true selves, we need to ask ourselves very quickly what are we still doing in the those relationships? What lessons are we learning from staying in these situations? If relationships are created from a point of dishonesty — and it could even be we are dishonest with ourselves, or with the other people about our truth — then these types of relationships will act as exclusive, disharmonic interactions. If we are able to let go of fear in our relationships, we become compassionately supportive and allowing of the other person so they, in turn, can be true to themselves. It is up to us to set the example first. The negative side of support is manipulation and interdependency and this makes everyone feel icky.

Some of us may have a fear that being a strong individual will cause problems or separation and may eventually push us away from one another. However, this is not true in a healthy relationship. The point is not to lean on anyone, the idea is to support them. In supporting them, we become supported. More importantly, we all need to practice unconditional love, acceptance, and support for ourselves. This is what allows us to trust and know, no matter what changes are made. Know, by divine law, we are never cut off from anything that is truly intended for us.

CHANGE

When we come from a place of integrity and changes occur then the changes belong in our lives. Fear of change is usually the fear of losing something. If we understand everything is happening as it needs to, then we never need to fear losing anything. It is usually only the fear of the change that prevents us from changing along with our partners. By letting go of our fears, we will know that no matter how much we might change, we will attract whatever and whoever is representative, harmonious, and unified with our changes.

If we allow change into our lives as we naturally grow and evolve — instead of resisting it or pretending it isn’t happening — the vast amounts of energy we used to put into resisting change become available for our own creative purposes. It has been said the only constant thing in this world is change. As we honor the changes that occur in our lives, we will find we no longer experience others who have made the choice to live and act differently. We will interact and co-create with those who exist on the same level as we do, with similar natures and vibrations. The best way to share our wisdom and ideas is to simply be an example ourselves.

“CHANGING” OUR PARTNERS

If we feel we have to mold, change, or manipulate our partners, the relationship bears examination. When we force someone to do something, it is a statement that we believe we will never really get what we are after, or that the person we are with will not be able to give it to us. When we force changes in our relationships, even if certain changes occur for awhile, our relationships are no longer in balance or integrity. Sooner or later the individuals who are being forced to go against their true selves will be forced to leave as the relationship is no longer a reflection of the real them.

Force is a non-integrated, distorted way of taking action. Remember, everyone naturally moves at the perfect rate and speed for themselves already. There is never any positive reason to accelerate someone (by force) to look and accept things they are not ready for. Even if they would be able to hear or see some part of the lesson we are attempting to force down their throats, until they are ready, in their own time and place, they will never grasp a true understanding of the lesson we are forcing them to learn. And because of our intervention, their original lesson became distorted and is much more difficult and confusing for them to learn. Usually, once interfered with, they will have to recreate their lesson all over again in an effort to counterbalance our interference.

Someone is ready to truly gain from our assistance and wisdom when they ask, of their own free will, for our guidance and insight. In such an instance, truth and wisdom is then shared, understood, and integrated in just the right way. The other person, by the fact of their asking, is in just the right place and state where they can truly hear, know and understand what we have to offer.

SAFETY

If we feel we need to keep ourselves safe or protect ourselves, we end up limiting the type of relationships we can create. We hear often from others that they are not currently in relationship because it does not feel safe. Two things might be the cause. If we feel we need safety, we may somehow feel we are in a relationship that will not allow us to be our real selves. On the other hand, if we are in a relationship that is not satisfying, but we stay in it because we feel safe, maybe we are not safe with the idea of taking full responsibility for who and what we are, and who and what we could be. As soon as we stop resisting our natural selves, our reality will automatically change to allow loving and supportive relationships to come into our lives.

In some cases, people feel they need safety to avoid being in a position where they could be abandoned or vulnerable. Some of us would rather be alone than express our true inner needs. If we are in a relationship where we do not feel safe or comfortable expressing our deepest inner needs, we are alone anyway. We are simply alone together.

COMPLETE TRUST
Trust really boils down to our own ability to trust ourselves. Complete trust occurs when we have an absolute knowingness we deserve to exist. Do we have to do something special in order to deserve to exist? No. We simply have to be. Creation has already decreed we deserve to exist. Can we give ourselves the same acknowledgment, respect, and love? We have a Divine right to exist in the manner we choose, simply because we prefer it! There is no other reason needed.

COMMUNICATION

Most of the problems that occur in relationships are caused by what is not being said, rather than what is said. Non communication, or withheld communication, is simply another way many of us hold back the real us from our partner. The problem with unspoken communication is more complex than might first be perceived. Saying “everything is all right,” when we are thinking “drop dead,” won’t fool the other person for very long. Our real heart’s truth and our honest feelings will always be psychically picked up by the other person on some level. Count on it! This is an ability we all have. It is the same sense that tells us when there has been a big fight or disagreement as we step into a strangely quiet and tense room. It is the same sense that we use psychically to energetically scan large groups of strangers at a party, as we decide who would be interesting to spend an evening getting to know.

Direct unspoken communication is often used by intent by a man we know, well versed in martial arts. He uses it to defeat very powerful and well known karate masters. Gifted in his own right, this particular gentleman is very aware of the power of unspoken communication and uses it to his advantage. As he takes his preliminary bows before his match begins, he smiles on the outside while mentally projecting extreme violence towards his opponent. His opponent energetically and mentally picks up these projected waves of discordant energy. These waves temporarily short out his opponents’ power centers, making it almost impossible for them to defend themselves as the bout begins.

Every relationship, in order to grow and flourish, requires open and honest communication coming from a point of inner truth and balance. Honest communication enables the other person to truly relate and to have a relationship with who we actually are. Open, clear, conscious communication enables the other person to observe and act with trust, for they know where they stand. By being clear and direct, they won’t be receiving one message from us verbally and another mismatched or opposing one psychically. It is time to share what is in our hearts with truth, trust, honest, and clarity.

SUMMARY

True creative relationships are expressed and experienced from a state of relaxed trust and creative joy. Relationships are simply learning how to play with each other, how to love and accept ourselves unconditionally, and how to trust who and what we are. When we share ourselves in a relationship, we will feel our own sense of completeness, and we will realize we are never alone. Allow yourselves to remember the world is magical, and allow that magic and enchantment back into your life. Be who you are, and do the things you love to do as often as you can! That is really the only way to really live our lives.

 

Here Are The Explanation Why Your Relationship Is Fail

Is your relationship going downhill? Maintaining a relationship is not easy and most couples encounter a few bumps along the road to a lasting relationship. If not recognized earlier, these bumps could push couples to take the relationship to the wrong direction leading to break-ups or divorce. It is important to recognize these relationship killers ahead of time to avoid further damage. There are reasons why relationships fail and once these reasons are recognized ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of saving your troubled relationship. Although no one can enumerate all the reasons why relationships fail, we have listed here the top reasons. So what are these relationship killers?

Poor or lack of communication. One way to connect with each other is for couples to have a strong and regular communication. Couples tend to drift apart due to poor or lack of communication. Many relation problems start with lack of communication. Assuming that you know what your partner or spouse is thinking is dangerous to your relationship. Misunderstandings and arguments are often the result of not communicating with your spouse or partner. If this is happening in your relationship then you should know that this is one of the reasons why relationships fail and you have to do something to improve the communication in your relationship.

Not supportive with each other’s goals, ambitions and careers. One of the reasons why relationships fail is the issues with careers and ambitions between couples. When two people in a relationship have different goals and ambitions and cannot compromise or support each other, the relationship may suffer in the end. It is given that two people naturally have different ambitions and careers to pursue but in a relationship, it is best to support each other’s interest or careers to avoid strain in the relationship. It is easier to make the relationship work with a partner or spouse who believes and supports their spouse’s or partner’s career. If 100% understanding, acceptance and support is not possible, at least a partner or spouse should be open to compromise and willing to find a work around to make both their careers and relationship work. Sacrifices and compromise is inevitable. Of course, both should know how to balance their careers with their love life. It is easier said than done but it is not impossible. There are couples who are both successful in their careers at the same time lead a happy and strong relationship.

Not getting along with your partner’s friends and family. One of the reasons why relationships fail is the conflict with people closest to your spouse or partner. Let’s face it, the world does not revolve around you and your partner alone. There are people around you like friends and families that both you and your partner cannot live without. Not getting along with people closest to your partner can put a strain in your relationship. A situation where you and your partner’s mother or best friend can’t see each other eye to eye or can’t stay in the same room can be really stressful in the relationship. Holiday dinners and family gatherings can be difficult if you are not in good terms with your spouse’s family and friends. If you want to create a long-lasting relationship with your partner, it is best to get along with people important to him or her.

Life’s issues and baggage. There are life’s baggage and issues when brought to a relationship can cause damage. A lingering ex can ignite jealousy, suspicion and distrust that can put a strain in your current relationship, so it is best to be clear with your ex that everything is already in the past and that you are serious with your current relationship. Comparing your current relationship with your previous relationships is also dangerous and damaging to your relationship. Children and issues from previous marriage can be challenging and can also affect your relationship so it important to know how to handle these things and make your current relationship work. One of the reasons why relationships fail is the failure to deal with your life’s issues and baggage.

Money issues. Financial issues is one of the reasons why relationships fail. If not addressed properly, money issues can kill your relationship. The stress brought by financial woes and struggles can eventually ruin a relationship. People or couples stressed with financial issues can become irritable, irrational, hostile and cold with their spouse or partner and these behaviors can slowly kill a relationship. It is best to be honest from the start about your financial status, be open to discuss each other’s spending habits, money sharing and expenses. With effective and open-minded communication, strategies and compromise about money, a financially challenged couple can work things out and can save their marriage.

Infidelity. Keeping a relationship between two people is hard enough but involving a third party or cheating a partner is a bomb that can instantly kill a relationship. Infidelity is the ultimate relationship destroyer and some relationships won’t be able to survive this. Betraying the trust of your partner is one of the top reasons why relationships fail. The feeling of being replaced or being betrayed is not easy to cope with and so the betrayed spouse or partner often walk out of the relationship. Although there are couples who were able to survive cheating and make the relationship work again, it is best to not to commit infidelity in the first place if you want a long-lasting relationship.

Disgusting behaviors and habits. Although it is true that loving someone includes accepting all his or her flaws, in reality there are habits that can become annoying over time and can push your partner to wake up one day and realize he or she wants to get out of the relationship. Even simple things like not putting back the toothpaste cap, not making the bed, not putting the soiled laundry in the laundry bin or leaving dirty shoes and socks around the house can be magnified if things are not going well in your relationship and these can trigger your partner to finally end the relationship. Nagging, being a war freak, fighting in public, humiliating your spouse or partner, name calling or cursing when arguing, holding on grudges, hitting your spouse or partner when you are angry, throwing things when arguing, too much or unreasonable jealousy, avoiding discussions about the issues in your relationship, lying or being dishonest with your spouse or partner are some of the bad behaviors that can damage a relationship and could lead to break-ups or divorce. Being in a relationship should teach couples to be better people and not become worse so it is better to change for the better to create a strong relationship than acquire unfavorable habits or behaviors that can eventually damage your relationship.

Things in your relationship becomes a routine. The fire and excitement in the relationship could die because you became too comfortable or complacent with each other that things become more of a routine than an act of love. You become more like siblings or friends than lovers. Being too comfortable with each other takes away the excitement and the romance in the relationship and it makes the relationship boring and a routine. When couples do the same things together over and over again, they stopped growing as an individual and as a partner. Break the routine and spice up your relationship. There are things and interests that you can do separately to grow as a person and there are things that you can do together to bond with each other. It is important to allow your spouse or partner to have his or her own space to do his or her own thing or enjoy the company of his or her friends but it is also important to have time alone with each other through regular dates or vacations to bond with each other and create new and exciting memories.

Lack of intimacy and sex. Life can become too busy and complicated that couples may end up too busy or stressed for intimacy or sex which is not a good thing in a relationship. Couples need to connect intimately emotionally and physically and the best thing to do it is through sex. Sex could dry up in a long-term relationship and couples tend to have less sex through the years. Couples should prevent this from happening. Lack of intimacy or sexual dissatisfaction is one of the reasons why relationships fail. When couples stop having sex, they tend to get disconnected and detached from each other and they become susceptible to infidelity. It is best for couples to maintain an active sex life to keep the connection and make the relationship more alive and exciting. Although it is important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner through regular sex, couples should know that it is not good to put pressure on your spouse or partner to engage in frequent sex. You don’t have to have sex everyday but there are studies saying that having regular sex once a week is ideal and enough to maintain that intimate connection between couples. There are many hindrances to accomplish this like stress at work, stress in everyday life, taking care of the children and the state where you are not in the mood for sex but like any other issue in your relationship, the frequency and timing of having sex should be discussed and planned. Intimate connection through sex is vital in every romantic relationship and when couples are not having enough connection through sex, they have to do something to fix this problem to save the relationship.

All About Relationship Management

Introduction

The management of relationships has been a facet of business for as long as business transactions have existed. On the most basic level, Relationship Management is about interaction with customers. From a broader perspective one can consider employees, suppliers and consumers as customers, the employees being the internal customers of the organization. Relationship Management deals with the treatment and management of partnerships, connections, linkages and chains between business entities.

For the purposes of this paper, we view Relationship Management (RM) as a conscious and planned activity. It would be misleading to suggest that there have not been relationships in business or any focus on relationships by companies. However, the thrust of RM, as expounded in recent times, points to a more tactical and strategic approach to focusing on the customer rather than a relentless focus on the competition.

After the economic downturn of the 90s, many companies started to examine the possible benefits to be gained from less negotiation strong-arming, closeness to suppliers and the establishment of constructive relationships with strategic stakeholders. This does not suggest that RM was founded in the US, or has not existed before then; the Japanese had perfected RM and value-concretisation into an art form on the basis of social structure and communal creed.

RM itself has not just many types but many levels. The manufacturer has his suppliers and the end users as his customers; the retailer has the manufacturers and the end users as his customers, and manufacturer, the supplier and every organization with a tactical or strategic agenda have internal customers.

Literature Review

There have been several different sub types of Relationship Management introduced by writers, marketers and business pundits, starting from the most widely known Customer Relationship Management (Buttle, 2004; Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004) to Customer Centricity (Gummesson, 2008); Collaborative Customer Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004); Supply Chain Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004), Integrated Supply Chain Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004), and so on. Hines (2006) delineates three types of relationships: the strategic alliance, the functional partnership and the one-sided partnerships. Donaldson & O’Toole (2007) outlines four types of relationships: partnership, friendship, adversarial and detachment. Our discussion here centres on four components of Customer Relationship Management: Customer Identification, Customer Attraction, Customer Retention and Customer Development; all of which, for the purposes of this paper, we shall consider all of these under the blanket term Relationship Management; Relationship Marketing, the management of, not the cooperation with customers; the latter being the job of relationship management, is not within the scope of this paper but since from a conceptual perspective, the difference between the two may not be as simplistic and marked, it may be mentioned or discussed in passing.

Traditionally, RM was an activity (or non-activity) that involved an electronic customer database of an organisation’s customers or consumers,which reports on consumer buying behaviour. Contemporarily, RM delves much deeper than this: undertaking intensive research on customers and customer behaviour and using the result of such research to (re)design business culture. RM, at its strategic level, advocates for a business culture with a concentrated focus on the customer rather than on the products or the sales, but what seems to be the biggest trump card of and in RM is loyalty. The customer-centric concentration in business relationships in recent times has forced a move towards shared goals and shared benefits, and for this to work there has to be commitment; each party being committed to their personal objectives but also to the shared goals; each party having the competence to carry out their responsibilities and believing and relying, having a confident and positive expectation that the other party will act within the ambits of the agreement.

The focus on the customer (which is the basis for a relational existence) runs across certain concepts: price, quality, innovation, reliability of product, reliability of associated service and brand reputation. On the proven premise that it is easier and cheaper to retain a customer than to attain a new one or regain a lost one, customer RM on the concepts already discussed should be the goal of the contemporary business.

Different types of RM have been identified, ranging from the transactional, the collaborative and the formation of alliances, which is also known as partnerships or value-added exchanges. The alliance is a partnership with suppliers that involves a mutual beneficiary arrangement where cost-cutting ventures are jointly addressed by both buyer and seller, the seller being considered an extension of the buyer’s organization. The business relationship between Japanese suppliers using JIT is a good example. For example Toyota holds a strong alliance even with its 3rd tier vendors. The result of such partnerships means added value, reduced production and transport costs, a more seamless supply and delivery network, and maintenance of exceptional quality, as per TQM considerations.

Traditionally, companies were preoccupied with rigorous competition, firm-induced and firm-controlled business strategies, focus on short-term profits and strategies and independent decision-making. This transactional existence meant a focus more on the competition than the customer, a concentration on short-term profits rather than long-term strategic gains and likelihood to be blind to opportunities for expansion and change. Today’s strategically-minded companies are pre-occupied with partnership with other firms, collaboration and coaction, boundarylessness, joint decision-making and a focus on long term benefits. With today’s business climate, one can easily foresee a rapidly changing business environment where manufacturers will have the most fruitful partnerships with every member of the supply chain and the consumers, a scenario where the manufacturer will run a ‘virtual factory’ with the effective and efficient use of value chain networks unlimited by geographical location or consideration.

RM functions on a strategic, a tactical and an operational level. Businesses that are product-oriented ensure effective performance of their products, in the design, the features and output; the production-oriented business (not to be confused with the product-oriented) believe in mass production at a cheap scale on the notion that the customer uses low-price as a singular consideration; sales-oriented businesses put a lot of stock in advertising, promotions and public relations while the customer-centric enterprise strives to understand its customers preferences and purchasing behaviour and models its business activities to suit this. This is considered strategic RM. The operational level deals with automating the customer management process using computer applications and devices across market, sales force and service categories. Tactical RM deals with using the data from customer management computer applications to add value both to the customer and the company.

While it would be immensely useful to run a customer database to keep the organization in sync with full information with its customers, RM especially from a strategic perspective delves deeper than mere software; it deals with a ‘pull’ strategy, letting the wants and needs of the customer dictate what products and services are offered, rather than the other way round, using a production-oriented strategy to ‘push’ products and services that the consumers may or may not need, but which does not ultimately satisfy the customer.

Companies generate more revenue when they satisfy – and because of this retain- their customers. It is hereby propounded that the simple economic fact that customer retention is cheaper than customer attraction provides the customer with an intrinsic importance to business performance than anything else.

The Customer

Discussions on RM, or even relationship marketing, cannot be possible with the exclusion of the word ‘customer’. The customer is the object – and sometimes also the subject – of RM. Attainment of an effective RM is consistent upon customer satisfaction, customer retention, customer loyalty and a host of sub-concepts preceded by the word ‘customer’.

But while it is known what the customer represents, it is not always known who the customer is or how many different representations of the customer we have.

A vehicle manufacturer for example will have its suppliers of raw material in tiers, its distribution partners, and the actual end users. From a business point of view, all these are customers and even though there is only a single set of consumers. The basis of the RM between these different customers (and even between different sub-levels of customers – supplier tiers for instance) could be immense. Customer Relationship Management in its true sense may refer only to the end users or consumers in this case, for the attraction and retention schemes may not apply to first tier suppliers, though development will, albeit from a different perspective.

In business, the customer therefore is not someone who pays for goods and services; it is evidently a unit that has some considerable stake – not stock- in the business and whose input contributes in one way or another to the bottom line. By the same token, the employees in an organization are customers; internal customers. Paradoxically, so are senior management; and middle and junior management. On the concept of ‘keiretsu’, the Japanese takes the word ‘customer’ to a disparate level. Kaoru Ishikawa, one of the top five Quality Management gurus, supersedes that when he suggests that ‘the next process is your customer’ as an appropriate maxim for the drive towards customer satisfaction. For Ishikawa, the customer is not merely an object, it becomes an activity, a process, a goal.

Supply Chain Relationship Management

From a supply chain management perspective, RM is centred on the chief players: the manufacturer and the supplier. There may be several suppliers, several tiers of suppliers and several types of suppliers (retailers, resellers, etc). There would obviously be the end user. Of major importance is the relationship between manufacturer and principal suppliers.

Three major types of relationship types in the supply chain are hereby identified: the adversarial, the transactional and the strategic. Both sets of authorities on the subject hold that the transactional relationship (as opposed to the relational variety) has a transactional rather than a partnership focus; is competition rather than collaboration-oriented; is firm-benefiting as opposed to being partnership-profitable; is independent and therefore myopic rather than interdependent and is viable only for the short term.

Strategically, it is the relational type that is considered a partnership. The traditional partnership is that between the manufacturer and its principal supplier(s). There are also lateral partnerships, between competitors; buyer partnerships between firms and eventual and/or intermediate customers; internal partnerships which refer to the concept of the internal customership within organizations and across functional departments.

A relationship is considered adversarial where there is fear, threats (whether tacit or overt) and coercion (whether esoteric or actual). In the automotive manufacturing business for example, a manufacturer can have an adversarial relationship with suppliers if the bargaining power of the manufacturer is considerable in a case where a good percentage of the supplier’s products are purchased by the one manufacture or a chain of them. In such cases, the manufacturer attempts to attain value by pursuing only its own interests; being strategically independent (rather than interdependent); communicating unilaterally; influencing decisions using force or the threat of force; using competitive bidding rather than establish strategic relationships with few suppliers; and entrench all discussions, agreements, terms and conditions in detailed formal contracts.

For the most part, RM in the supply chain is vertical, as partnerships are built with firms along the value chain. Some companies do not realize any value because their customer/consumer RM is kept separate from their supplier relationship management; for supply chain networks to thrive effectively, establishing partnerships is simply a means, not the end itself. The mere establishment of partnerships does not suggest a collective move towards a shared goal. For that to be existent, the partnerships must be collaborative. Collaboration involves significant investment of those involved incorporation mutual understanding, shared vision, shared resources, united goal achievement, trust, trustworthiness and complete functional interdependence.

Culture and Relationship Management

Culture refers to the way things are done and have been done in an organization or social setting for a considerable period. Culture determines behaviour patterns; it is integrated into the behavioural framework of a person or a group of people; it is the result of not only learned, but acquired behaviour patterns, and it is a collection of behaviour, attitudes, character traits, convictions and belief shared by a group of people.

Cultural differences could not only limit the functional success of relationships, it could derail the effectiveness of RM, or terminate it completely. Cultural differences cover personality traits, gender differences, geographical, social and business disparities. Social culture defines how people manage relationships, and effectively therefore, to what extent relationships can be properly managed. Corporate culture issues aptly capture the issue of RM and the extent to which relationships can be successful across two or more firms: The essence of corporate culture is an organization’s conviction about how its business is to be enacted. Then there is culture based on geography; Country culture determines corporate culture(s) to a large extent. One of the main determiners of country and corporate culture may be the extent to which people treasure personal relationships. While the long-standing relationship of two firms in Asia may be maintained primarily because of some earlier personal connection, the long-standing relationship of two firms in the US may be maintained primarily on the betterment of the bottom line of both firms. While using coercion as a conduit for good RM may be an effective negotiating strategy in the US for example, it may be considered grave disrespect in many parts of Asia and may lead to the premature severance of a good business relationship.

From a country culture perspective, it has been suggested that the French are not interested in whether they are liked; the Americans are impatient and negotiate to tie up every loose end, as opposed to the Chinese who negotiate solely to build a better relationship, not to tie up loose ends all at once, since as far as they are concerned negotiations never end; the Italians and Germans never offer praise before they criticize; the Indians feel that interruptions during discussions is a way of fostering more understanding; the Americans are said to talk too much and would ask personal questions which people from other cultures may find distasteful. These classifications may be too generic and type-casted, but if they are to be accepted (or even tolerated) as factual, then it is but natural that customer relationship management with have different results and outcomes in different countries with disparate cultures and different people. As a prerequisite to effective management of relationships therefore, a useful understanding of personal and social attitudes and expectations of the other parties may help the partnership.

‘Guanxi’ is a Chinese cultural way of interacting and managing relationships in business. It encourages supply chains and networks based on interactions and negotiations between family members, friends and people of trust. Anyone outside this circle of trust is likely to be treated with suspicion at best, and hostility at worst. In the management of relationships between international firms for instance, a subject who does not fall within that circle of trust is likely to have zero limit to manoeuvrability in negotiations and discussions. The giving of gifts which is an essential element of ‘Guanxi’ may be viewed upon as unethical or improper by another party or potential partner.

It may be easy to suggest that the establishment of relationships should not in any way be affected by culture. However, if cultural issues are likely to limit the organizations ability to manipulate or manoeuvre in business relationships, it means that realization, identification and modification of the cultural issues should be a valid point in the establishment of set objectives for the effective management of meaningful business relationships. Capon (2004) seems to concur when she says that ‘everyone lives culture, but only the clever are able to manage it’.

For RM to be successful, there has to be a constant supply of reliability between and among all parties. Every party to the relationship should have the confidence that the other party is in a position to deliver as promised, and will. This is where the issue of trust comes in. Trust is one of the most important antecedent to a successful business partnership; in the realm of retailing, many repeat purchases and purchase considerations are made based on product trust, store trust, brand trust or a combination of these.

Trust and Relationship Management

Many attempts have been made to define or (failing which, to) describe the apparently elusive concept of trust. Plenty definitions have been offered, some have been markedly different, but most have been consistent on the central issue: that trust is the anticipation by one that the other will not take undue advantage. Trust is an expectation that another will not take undue advantage; it is the chosen susceptibility of one party to be vulnerable to the possible unfairness and selfishness of another; it is the belief in the integrity of another person and party; it exists only where there is risk and uncertainty which connotes that the concept of trust is linked with the likelihood of opportunism by one or more parties. Undertaking to trust therefore is synonymous to undertaking the management of risk.

The thrust in all of the definitions are basically the same; that trust is an anticipation of behaviour or actions based on stated or tacit agreement that another party will not act in its own interests. While the definitions are consistent, the treatment of the concept, the construct and its relationship to management theory and practice seem to differ. There has been very little empirical research to verify how trust functions in business or what determines trust.

Models, Types and Constructs of Trust

There have been myriad views on the models, types and constructs of trust. There are three types of trust: deterrence-based (trust that exists on the basis that opportunism will have dire consequences); knowledge-based (trust based on predictable actions) and identification-based (trust based on emotional association between the parties). Similarly, there are 3 sources of trust: process-based (trust which is based on an exchange relationship of considerable longevity); characteristic-based (trust based on social or other group characteristic) and institutional-based (the inducement of trust by social institutions.

Trust is based on 5 cognitive processes: the calculative process; the prediction process – which is the same as calculative except that the analysis here is more qualitative than quantitative; capability process; the intentionality process – the assessment of the motives and intentions of the other party; and the transference process – situation where trust is based on a trusted reference from a third party.

The processes outlined here do not necessarily challenge the conceptual theories of; rather they represent disparate viewpoints based on environment and whether trust is being viewed as a social or a business construct, and whether these are mutually exclusive. It would seem that the intentionality process is a little redundant; the interpretation of the intentions of the trustee could be analysed under the calculative or the prediction process.

The deeper the examination of trust as a concept and as an intrinsic integer in business practice, the more elusive it seems to become. If the contracts, agreement or legal implications, which we can call ‘governance devices’, do exist, then it follows that these devices were created because one or both parties do not trust each other. This does not refer to distrust, but an absence of trust. Nascent literature has propounded that an absence of trust by a trustor could be based on the fact that the trustor knows nothing about the trustee and has decided therefore not to take the risk of trusting. Since this does not mean that the trustor’s absence of trust was based on knowledge and/or experience of the trustee’s actions, it is not distrust, but an absence of trust.

Relationships and Trust

These two concepts are not the same, but in today’s business environment, the discussion of one brings out the other. Unlike relationships which just exist, trust is not a given. Trust, like respect which it incorporates, is earned; thus trust cannot exist without trustworthiness, which is the ability to earn trust, the capability of being trusted. Trustworthiness is rooted in the believer’s trust that the other party possesses integrity, values and a good sense of ethics, and therefore can be trusted. Trustworthiness has to be fathered, to be engendered by firms and organizations themselves, and this, by running the organization using a visible set of values and ethics. Trust and distrust are to be understood as one ‘bipolar construct’, diametrically existing in a continuum.

Areas for Further Research

As a firm that claims to live on customer satisfaction and successful relationship management as its key to competitive advantage, Toyota does not expect the total absence of errors though it continuously drives towards it. The Toyota Production System does provide several modes of detection and fixing of errors as they occur, but not all errors are fixed, mainly because not all errors are readily visible or apparent.

The cases of the sticky gas pedals, obstructive floor mats and the Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) are cases in points. A gas pedal as a component may not have been sticky up to when the car is driven and tested at Toyota’s plants, nor would any unexpected acceleration show itself. Nonetheless it is a manufacturing error that Toyota has addressed and has recalled vehicles to replace the faulty components at Toyota’s own cost. This does not mean that customers may easily forget or that their trust goes unaffected, especially since the death of an entire family in a Lexus crash after SUA occurred but these mishaps may have dented (not destroyed) the brand loyalty and trust of the world’s foremost car maker, if the customer assesses that the satisfaction considerably outweighs the errors. The recall of vehicles and Toyota’s promise to replace all defective gas pedals may suggest an innate concern for customers.