The Importance of Building Strong Relationships - Robert Steven Kaplan

Harvard researcher Robert Steven Kaplan talks about the importance of relationships and how necessary they are for building a record of personal achievement. It's interesting - I was all set to discount his commentary as "predictable" until he said something about self- disclosure. Kaplan says, "In order to have a relationship with someone and have them understand you, you have to tell them something about yourself..not superficial but something fundamental about yourself..."

Obvious, perhaps, but it struck a nerve. I was thinking of someone just this morning that I would describe as a person I *have to* keep in my life - we all have those people. The relationship has never been very satisfying for me but it was difficult for me to pinpoint exactly why. What Kaplan said really resonated. What is lacking in this friendship (on my side) is that I can't tell her who I really am. She's not a good listener, for one, and she's not a tolerant person, for two. In order to keep our interactions pleasant there will be many important things (important to me) that we never discuss.

Yes. That's sad. And it's actually pretty common, I think, and a source of stress for many, many people. How is it that you can know someone for a decade and never get deep enough for them to know anything about you? It's because they don't care enough to ask.There's no aromatherapy mood spray for that, really. How I wish there were! But I try. And so I lock myself in the bathroom with my bottle of Apathy and just try and try and try.

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