Do You Know the 5 Stages of Relationships?
Heart of Caregiving: Understanding 5 Stages of Relationships
By Sonia S Morrison
Frequently, a power struggle will occur at each stage, when there is a need to move on to the next stage of relationship. The need for more trust can be represented by increased tension, doubt or arguing. This can be created because of a need to change the care or environment. The best question to ask at this time is; What do we both need? The 5 common stages of relationship are attraction, power struggle, cooperation, synergy and completion. At the attraction stage we are curious and ask lots of questions. Caregivers focus on the best in each person. All of our senses are fully engaged.
The following directions can guide caregivers to successful caring relationship. Be present and interested in them, listen deeply, without an agenda. Keep your word-do not say you will do something, if you are not willing to follow through. Let others know what is most important to you. Master the ability to share greetings and requests without being demanding, in any new situation. Grow comfortable saying “no” to others. Avoid jumping to conclusions or making commitments too quickly. Do not give misleading information about your behavior. Remember to look beneath the appearance of other people’s behavior.
Power struggles begin as we demonstrate our opinions, assumptions and beliefs. As caregivers, we can learn from our mistakes and take responsibility for them. Self-reflection allows us to be aware of influences. As we know and identify our feelings, anxiety, uncertainty and confusion may be endured. Caregivers can communicate consistently and without blame. Ability to articulate needs and clarify interpretations are very powerful tools to grow trust. Practice real generosity without controlling others. Skillful caregivers can and do ask for help. Confident caregivers catch their automatic responses and clarify assumptions.
Experienced caregivers know how to use current situations to resolve past issues. Optimum caregivers know how to be present for some other person’s upset, without being defensive. Your words reflect your emotions. Competent caregivers are able to reflect without judgement and make changes without feeling bad. You are able to forgive yourself and others. You take initiative and are responsible to see that your own needs are met. You are able to control your anger and turn complaints into requests. Always speak with good intent, avoiding being hurtful or attacking behaviors. Trusted caregivers avoid ultimatums, blame, gossip or saying things they will regret.
This leads us to cooperation where caregivers are able to read other people’s emotions, and feel their compassion while expressing trust. Caregivers care deeply and feel well-connected. You are able to create your own enthusiasm, interests and accountability. You are able to articulate how others affect you and able to create effective long-range solutions. You can think clearly, even when you are stressed. You only make promises you intend to keep. You know when and how to apologize effectively and comfortably. You clarify secondhand information directly with the source. You brainstorm and problem solve, easily, with others. You create clear agreements for action. You avoid sacrifice, assumptions and misinformation.
Memories and mind mapping, along with whole brain thinking helps us get to the synergy stage. Caregivers are able to regenerate by connecting to their creative source. You know how to balance work and play. You can recognize and alter complacency. You strive to build and blossom your unique talents. You accept chaos as the doorway of breakthrough to creativity. Caregivers are able to release attachments and are connected to the bigger picture. You allow space for the relationship to breathe. You remember to prepare for temporary power struggles, as the relationship shifts to a deeper level. You express gratitude generously, instead of taking things for granted. Experienced caregivers remain balanced, not allowing the self to be lost in the excitement of the momentum. You understand that synergy does not thrive without the activities that build trust and openness.
Completion comes with grace as we are able to recognize and appreciate the patterns of nature. Use of imaginary dialogue and contemplating the micro, as well as, macro pictures can be useful tools for the completion stage. Completion can represent a change in the relation or be created by death, drifting apart, forceful ending or completion with awareness. Efficient caregivers are able to accept and go with the flow of change. You are able to listen to your inner guidance; making effective apology while acknowledging and learning from mistakes without invalidation. Effective caregivers are able to identify and articulate mutual and separate interests. You create space and conversation to communicate, with love, what each of you need to feel complete. You are able to allow for the expressions of all emotions, including anger, grief and fear. You avoid feeling victimized by taking things personally. Capable caregivers are able to identify true needs from false “co-dependency” needs.
The Heart of Caregiving, A Guide to Joyful Caring book is now published. I summarize my twenty year journey through health care and education, to find balance and focus, while maintaining unconditional love and passion to make things right for humans. Learn How to Care for Self while Caring for Others and Be An Effective Caregiver.
“The Heart of Caregiving, A Guide to Joyful Caring” is now available at amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, authorhouse.com or author’s site, http://www.soniamorrison.com.
Discover Balance and Focus. Harness your Healthy Caring.
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