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Lesson 8: Relationships/ Friendships

Game: Loving Everyone

Write everyone‘s name in the class down on slips of paper.
Ask each person to pick a strip of paper.
Then everyone needs to write what they like about the person. This must be done anonymously.
First, discuss things you might like about people to give them an idea...such as being generous, being helpful, wearing cool clothes, etc. Collect these and pre-read them to make sure they are all appropriate.
Then cut them up and make a pile for each person. Give them out. You will see so many smiles and happy faces as a result!
You might want to have these typed or kids disguise their handwriting.

What is a relationship or friendship?

The highest and lowest moments in our lives are related to with relationships or friendships.
A relationship is the mutual understanding between two or more people.
Ideally both parties have to contribute towards the relationship although the scope and nature of them could vary, making each one unique to a degree.
It may always be a good idea to establish clear boundaries at the beginning of a relationship, maintain them and review them as time moves on.

What are the key points to a healthy relationship?

Respect for a person is vital in a relationship
Respect is defined as the healthy recognition, acknowledgement and giving of value and worth to the other person(s). Their value is usually measured by their character or performance (what they achieved).
How do we show respect to one another? - Remember the 5 A's
i- Acceptance- Recognize that each person is unique, special and individual
ii- Affirmation of the relationship- It builds, underpins and confirms a right and healthy sense of self worth in the other person.
iii- Appreciation- The relationship values everything worthy about the other and expresses it appropriately.
iv- Approval- Associating ourselves positively with the other person implicitly or explicitly.
v- Admiration- Expression of genuine joy for the other person, who they are and what they do.
vi- Acknowledgement- Seeking to share for the benefit of others, the esteem which we have for the other person.

How do we lose respect of others?
i- By our behavior Lacking integrity, not learning from mistakes, inability to cope with pressure in a healthy way, irresponsibility, selfishness, self pity, self indulgence, moral failure, self centeredness, taking them for granted, coldness, meanness, rejection, neglect, etc.
ii- Using the person by manipulating them, fault finding, nagging, sarcasm. Manipulating is commonly used in situations where one friend tries to gain an objective such as a higher grade over another student by taking advantage of them.
Ex: A student in history class who is struggling in history makes friends with the best student in history class only to utilize their notes in preparation for the test.
iii- Embarrassing the person, treating them as inadequate, incompetent, highlighting their failures, weaknesses, etc.
How can we achieve understanding?
i- Self knowledge & acceptance: We have conflicting needs to be both known (open) and to be unknown (private). We need others in order to know ourselves.
ii- Disclosure & exposure: Being honest about ourselves is one of the essential things for understanding to grow.
iii- Clear communications across each other: Formal, informal, intra personal (communicating what we feel), interpersonal (communicating what is going on between us), listening (actively or passively), discernment (real understanding of what is being communicated).
iv- It’s important to note that: Communication is not what we say and do but what is heard and experienced by the other person. Even a person with the best of intentions may not communicate them to others

What are some hindrances to understanding?
i- Inadequate and ineffective communication
ii- Bias, prejudice, hasty judgements
iii- Insensitivity, misunderstanding, disinterest
iv- Differing perceptions of and requirements from the relationship
v- Differences and incompatibilities; including social skills, personality traits, self awareness.

Trust
Trust is ...
i- The process of learning dependence on and interdependence with one another.
ii- An attitude involving thought, feelings and behaviour
iii- Both a crisis and a process
iv- A choice we make, usually progressive
v- Can be affected by risk, cost, uncertainty, vulnerability
vi- The exercise of both accountability and responsibility
vii- Fragile and difficult to restore once broken
How do we build trust?
i- Confidence: A subjective choice and judgement of the other’s character, capability and competence.
ii- Integrity: Adherence to moral principles, i.e. honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, uprightness.
iii- Faithfulness: Behaviour which can be trusted consistently and persistently.
iv- Reliability: Dependability, predictability, steadfastness and diligence
v- Commitment: Loyalty and courageous perseverance given to each other
How can trust be damaged?
i- Unfaithfulness, betrayal, disloyalty, breach of confidence
ii- Dishonesty, lies, deceit, moral and character weakness
iii- Failure to meet expectations, promises, commitments. This can include inconsistency, carelessness, thoughtlessness, moral weakness
iv- Unfairness, injustice, abuse
v- Jealousy

Interdependence vs Independence vs Co-Dependence
A- Interdependent relationships are the ideal ones, established on seeking best for the other person and vice versa. They allow growth, improvement and maturity. It gives freedom whilst supporting with love, care and encouragement for the other person to be who they are.
B- Independent relationships are not ideal ones. Some people find relationships very hard for one reason or another, usually due to bad experience of past relationships that might have been hurtful and choose independence.
C- Co-dependent relationships may not necessarily be unhealthy and they may be mutually beneficial to one another. However, the people involved may be kind of trapped and unable to grow and develop independent of each other into their true identity. They may resent the lack of freedom the relationship might bring. They are usually based on “getting my needs met” mentality rather than on “giving to the other person.” They can be controlling, might have elements of fear. Therefore, people in co-dependent relationships may feel unsure of their identity outside the relationship.

What are some steps to heathy relationships/friendships?

A- Face the reality about the relationship
B- Turn away from looking to others to meet your needs
C- Turn away from your own wrong input into the relationship
D- Express love and care for one another in a relationship in healthy ways such as:
   i- Spending quality time together
  ii- Supporting each other in good and bad times and desiring to develop the other person to achieve their lifelong dreams
  iii- Attend the best interest of others faithfully and consistently, e.g. by giving gifts and being generous in many other kind ways.
  iv- Forbearance, e.g. by patience, overlooking, humility, consideration, self control, etc.
  v- Forgiveness, probably one of the most vital things in all relationships
  vi- Gentleness, i.e. being sensitive and humble towards each other
  vii- Gentle correction where needed to improve each other.

What are some healthy ways to minimize differences and conflict

A- Recognize that differences often arise from selfish motives and desires
B- Practice encouragement, forbearance, patience, humbleness, love and care with integrity
C- Exercise self control and wisdom
D- Actively pursue peace and harmony
E- Use healthy discernment and wisdom to avoid and handle conflict, persons and situations.
F- Forgive and let go
G- Deal with your own input into the situation if there is any
H- Express emotions in a healthy way where needed
I- Try to understand the other person’s point of view and desire their well-being
J- Healthy assertiveness may be needed at times incorporated with humility
K- Deal with the issue as soon as possible, take the initiative if necessary without delaying to avoid escalation of differences.
L- Try to resolve the issue privately first if possible. If not possible, seek help from others around you and try to resolve things as appropriately as possible.
M- Try to reconcile where possible and seek to repair the damage and rebuild the relationship if possible.
N- If the differences are not possible to reconcile, place the relationship on a shelf and move on.

How can we rebuild broken relationships?

A- Being real about what happened and the reasons to the breakdown in relationships
B- Facing the conscious and subconscious reactions, such as excuses, confusion, denial, rationalisation, displacement, projection
C- Addressing the emotional consequences of pain, grief, anger, bitterness, guilt , fear, indifference, jealousy, etc.
D- Seeking and accepting appropriate help and support
E- Turning away from the wrong doing with sincere acknowledgement of the wrongdoing without justification and promises of trying not to repeat the same mistakes.
F- Trusting that the other person will be willing to forgive
G- Making amends to the damage where appropriate or necessary
H- Reconciling eventually if possible by solving the problem effectively for both parties who were hurt. However, try to express the emotions to each other acknowledging the hurt rather than pushing down as described above otherwise, resentment may come back along the way.
I- Re-ordering by
  i- Re-examining what happened and why
  ii- Identifying key lessons learned
  iii- Find and test ways in which the causes of the failure can be overcome, corrected and sustained in the future
  iv- Establish ways to monitor progress and assess when the process is complete.