Building a Relationship

Carl Rogers in his 1961 classic On Becoming a Person discusses building a relationship. He teaches the first step in building a meaningful relationship is to be genuine. This sounds simple and obvious but it is not. We often project something we want to be or something we want another to think we are. But this false projection dooms any hope of building a constructive relationship.

To be genuine we must be aware of our feelings. We must then express the feelings and attitudes which exist within us. “It is only in this way that the relationship can have reality, and reality … [is] deeply important as a first condition [of a meaningful relationship]”. Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961).

Rogers said this over fifty years ago. He was right then and his words remain true today. Drop pretense be yourself and allow yourself to be real in your relationships. You and those in relationships with you will go beyond a false facade into a meaningful relationship.

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