What’s Wrong with Relationships?

coworkers sitting around a white conference table laughing and playing cards

As part of my business, I am a corporate trainer as well as a lead trainer for a fabulous coaching school. I love my work. I train people around leadership skills, communication, and relationships. Yet I find that when I even mention the word relationships, I get oddly negative responses from people. “I don’t want to work on relationships.” “I avoid relationships at all costs. They are too stressful.” “When people aren’t working well together, I try to get away from them as quickly as I can.” And so on their comments go.

Admittedly, relationships are often confusing and challenging, yet they are at the crux of all that we do both personally and professionally. I love when an engineer tells me that he just wants to do his engineering work and not deal with others, but yet is surprised that he hasn’t been promoted in years. No relationships, no promotions. Find me a career or field that doesn’t involve relationships of some kind. If nothing else, we have to manage our relationship with ourselves.

Relationships are often challenging, yet they're the crux of all we do personally & professionally. Click To Tweet

Recently, a beginning coach told me that she didn’t want to do relationship coaching. I thought she meant that she didn’t want to have more than one person in the coaching session, but when I clarified she said, “No, I don’t want to even talk about relationships.” Admittedly, I laughed when she said that because what is coaching and leadership if not relationships?

Making Relationships Work

So how can we all get a bit more comfortable talking about and working well within relationships? First, we must have faith that relationships are important for all of us. We have to believe that we have the ability to improve relationships by owning our own behavior and interactions within those relationships. Also, we need to understand that conflict within relationships is not only normal, but also many times very helpful.

Conflict helps us grow if we use it well and with good intentions. A disagreement with a life partner or a work partner can lead to deeper conversations and growth. Staying calm and aware of our feelings and responses will lead to better relationships. The finest working teams often have conflict and those conflicts help them to do the best work that they can. Humans disagree…that’s life. When we embrace that and not fear it, WE are better and our relationships are much better.

Dive into your relationships right now. Step into the discomfort that can come with emotional connection. Trust that things will improve the more you stay present and aware of how you interact with others. Let’s remove the stigma around relationships and start having some fun!


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

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I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.



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