Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around it leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he? You see, George, you really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it all away?”

**Photo and dialogue from the classic movie IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Part 3
Building relationships with people who really matter to you...

There are two ways you can determine whether it’s possible to improve the relationship:

Look at the other relationships in this person’s life. If a similar dynamic exists in most of their significant relationships, chances are the problem isn’t you and there isn’t much you can do.

#2: Experiment with changes. Try different behaviors to see if you receive a new response. This requires patience and some level of vulnerability, but when you have a breakthrough it’s all worth while. If nothing you do makes a difference, chances are nothing ever will.

In the end, the best that we can do is find that delicate balance between trying to change things and accepting them as they are. The consolation may come in knowing that you tried, but that ultimately the situation is not in your control. While that idea may not improve the relationship; it can, at least, bring you a sense of peace.

Postscript: Elisa Levy conducts seminars on conflict resolution and anger management. For more information, contact her at 305.296.5437 or visit

1 comment:

Pattie Mosca said...

Thanks for these articles...They certainly do make a lot of sense...I know that Part 3 works for the lessons I have learned this week...