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  • Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

What has the biggest impact on right relationship with others?        

If everyone came into the world ready to do what you think is right or to speak with you in ways that work, or had the relationship skills to ease your path, you could be in right relationship with almost everyone. Easy! Except, that's not how it works.

Others are busy taking care of their own needs and seeing life through their own lens and are not, ultimately, responsible for how comfortable or uncomfortable you are in relationship with them.

If being in right relationship with others matters to you, consider this...

Being in right relationship with others begins and ends with you being in right relationship with yourself.

You can point your finger and say, "It is your fault! You are doing this to me! You are manipulating me, you are making me feel unsafe, unloved, betrayed... "

Or, you can take back your power and consider these three, powerful tools.

Own your reactions and get curious Your reactions belong to you and are a product of how you "sit" in the world, including all the experiences that come before this one and your expectations of what comes next. Your anger, your feelings of being betrayed, your tendency to feel unsafe or unloved triggered by a comment or a look, are about you, not about the other person. Notice and get curious. As you better understand and own your reactions, you may become more compassionate towards yourself and will naturally lessen the blame and shame you assign to others. Watch how this deceptively simple step shifts your relationships with your partner, with your children, with you colleagues.

Notice patterns Our behaviors within relationship are not random, though they often feel that way. Look for and pay close attention to repeating patterns. Perhaps you often don't feel heard. Or you often feel manipulated by strong people in your life. Or maybe you notice that you have a pattern of not trusting or of feeling forgotten. Noticing patterns gives you the ability to look at them more closely, to soften them down, to shift them.

Pause to come back to higher mind Knowing that you always have the power to pause (for a breath, for 3 breaths, for 5 minutes, for 8 hours, for three days...) is a powerful way to give yourself time to shift from reaction to response. Reactions, within relationship, can turn regrettable quickly - a terse word, an unkind comment, a raised voice, yelling. Pausing allows time to move to higher mind, a chance to notice your own reaction, get curious and perhaps notice the pattern. Then, a response can emerge; "Thank you for making the effort to pick up that take-out order; I'll call and get it delivered next time so I can be sure the order is complete." "That meeting was difficult for me because it is not what we agreed to discuss last time around. I'm curious about what changed?" "It is important to me that my staff knows how important racial equity is to this organization and that while we clearly don't have it right yet, we are dedicated to getting there."

Being in right relationship with others, whether it be family or within the work environment, is an important part of living a whole-hearted, healthy life. Blaming others for not "getting it right" is the easy way out, gives your power away, and doesn't work. Instead, try taking responsibility by gently owning your own reactions, noticing repeating patterns, and learning to pause. Notice what being in right relationship with yourself does to support right relationship with others.

It is reassuring to remember that when I am in right relationship with myself, I am in a better position to be in right relationship with others. My actions, aligned with my values, supports my optimal health.


Hello, I'm Ricka.

Ricka Kohnstamm Executive & Physician Coach Profile Photo

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



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