RELATIONSHIPS ARE COMPLEX AND TRICKY.
YOU SHOULD NEVER BE SURPRISED BY WHAT YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST THINK ABOUT YOU.
AND HOW THAT PROBABLY DIFFERS (A LOT) FROM WHAT YOUR FRIENDS THINK ABOUT YOU.
BUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF.
BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE A MEASURE OF CONTROL OVER.
IN A HEARTBEAT.
And many people just don't give a thought to the relationship they have with themselves.
Ever since you were potty trained and taught to brush your teeth properly, you were at the beginning of the relationship with yourself.
You have evolved to be the person you are today by continuing to learn how to look after yourself each and every day so that you can function and thrive.
You are quite literally the product of those around you and the environment you find yourself in from day to day.
But now you are in your 50's, going on 60's and beyond.
You no longer have to 'think' about most of the things you do - like driving your car, dressing yourself, still brushing your teeth every day, keeping clean, looking good and feeling comfortable, playing the odd game of .....,
And so on.
You just 'do' things and quite a lot of them as it happens - without thinking.
So where does TRUST come in?
You trust yourself to do the things well that you do without thinking - or most of them hopefully.
HOWEVER, IT IS ANOTHER THING ENTIRELY PUTTING YOUR TRUST IN ANOTHER PERSON IN THE SAME WAY.
AND THAT TAKES COURAGE.
The Big Five personality test psychologists routinely use is recognised by the acronym of OCEAN.
OPENNESS - the willingness to try new and imaginative experiences
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS - the extent of self disciplined organisation.
EXTROVERSION - the extent of being social
AGREEABLENESS - the willingness to help others.
NEUROTICISM - the extent of insecure self centered worry.
Apparently thousands of personality types can be conferred from these tests and they are found in abundance online.
The problem is most of us conform to all of these types of behaviour from time to time depending on the environment we are in and the people we share that environment with.
So, a multiple choice type general questionnaire?
We are all just too individually unique for that.
As you have probably picked up I am an 80/20 ratio man.
For 80% of the time I am on the positive side of the environment I place myself in and the people I choose to share that environment with.
And the other 20%?
With the biological toolkit we have embedded into our DNA, I mentioned earlier - (We are all tribal, self-centered, biased and almost on a daily basis we suffer from illusions and wishful thinking) - it's a pretty good bet that we all simply don't behave as we should - or aspire to - all of the time.
Perfect - if there is such a thing - is beyond us.
And thank goodness for that!
A FEW RULES
1 Like you, other people are complex creatures.
2 So two (or more) complex creatures in a relationship with few regrets isn't easy.
3 Know your emotional triggers and manage them.
4 Mind the gap between feelings and thoughts and manage that too.
5 Having long term loyal friends who like you is critical.
6 Liking members of your family is difficult.
7 Liking yourself is the beginning.