Over the last two weeks I have had an inordinate amount of conversations with people about the relationships in their world. Relationships with work colleagues, spouses, kids, friends, family... the lot.
Mostly, it's pretty negative stuff.
Lucky me.

Invariably there are problems in those relationships and amazingly, the story-teller is never at fault.
It's freaky that I always meet 'the good one' in the relationship.
What are the chances of that?
Not slim, zero.

Here's a conversation I've never had:
"Hey Craig, I'm having some problems with my boss at work and I gotta tell ya, I've been a complete pain in the ass lately.... I'm rude, I don't listen, I only see my point of view, I'm opinionated, I'm impatient, I always think I'm right because I have an attitude problem and I just don't communicate very well... to be honest, I just can't be bothered. If only I would focus more on my 'own stuff' rather than criticise him so much, work would be a much more pleasant and productive environment for all of us... yeh. Hmmm, thanks for the chat Craig... you've really made me realise a few things. I am always part of the problem and I need to change..."

"Er, you're welcome.."

Nup, never had that conversation... and never will.

Here's one I've had way too many times:
"I hate my boss, he's a (insert numerous rude words) and he's ruining my life."
"Er... why's that?
"Because he (insert more rude words).... and if he does it again I'll (you know)."

And another one:
"My wife (husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/mother/father) is so selfish, so unaware, so stubborn, so thoughtless, so..." (you get the point).
"And what are you?"
"I'm a saint for putting up with all that crap.."

Over the years I've had to deal with many (many, many) relationship... challenges (there's the word I was searching for) in my world, especially in my professional life. Often, on a daily basis. Some of those 'challenges' were very minor and others, monumental.
All of those experiences (lessons) have 'taught' me that, no matter what the issue is, or who the person is, I'm always part of the problem.
And the solution.

Of course you think you're right... you're you!!
Need to get over that; it's a killer.

This is one of the most important lessons and reality-changing truths that we can get our head around in marriage, in business, in friendship... and in life.
But sadly, many of us never do.
We continue to judge, blame, criticise and be the poor little victim, when in reality we are invariably, a significant part of the problem.

Even when I'm dealing with someone who really is being rude, obnoxious, difficult, selfish (etc.), I still need to consciously move towards a resolution, otherwise I become part of the problem and things will escalate... and there have been times in my life (a while ago now) when I was quite good at escalation.
Quiet, shy little Craig.
Surprising I know.

Over the years (especially the early days of my business) I handled some situations badly (or not as effectively as I should have) and inadvertently became part of the problem. In order for me to move beyond that reality, I had to get to the point where I understood and acknowledged that me being 'right' is sometimes irrelevant and that often (too often), I was wr... wr... ong.
Sometimes there is no 'right'.
Just different.

As long as we continue to talk 'about' people or 'at' them rather than with them, and as long as we keep finding fault rather than finding understanding and a solution, we will... 1) continue to have relationhip and communication issues and 2) be perpetuating those problems.

Knowing that I am part of the problem has helped me find a solution.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is the #1 ranked Motivational Speaker by Google. He is a qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, television host and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.

Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper