One of the most important ingredients in any type of relationship is goodwill. No matter if you’re in a co parenting relationship, whether you’re separating, whether you’re in an unhappy and just feel stuck, whether it’s troubles at work. Yet, goodwill is not something that we think about actively when it comes to our relationships. And that’s okay, because it’s not something that we are taught to think about often. But it is something you should be conscious about and try to do on a regular basis.
What is goodwill?
The best way I think I can explain this to you is by taking you back. I want you to think about the start of a new relationship – at that time everything that the other person does, you think is wonderful. They can’t do anything wrong at this point.
Because you’ve got that brand new excitement and lust and even when they do little quirky things you think “oh, that’s really cute”. But then as time goes by, those little cute things start to get a little bit annoying. You can still brush it off at this point, thinking “Yeah, yeah, that’s okay. That’s okay. I know he does that” or “I know she’s always right” or “I know she always takes along in the bathroom”. “I know they don’t load the dishwasher properly. That’s okay. They don’t really mean it”.
Do you remember going through that phase where there’s little huge traits that they have start to become annoying and then that’s okay, we can we can forgive them for that?
Then fast forward a little bit further. And those things that were a little bit annoying that we can forgive them about start to get a little bit bigger. And this is where goodwill comes into it.
If we’re not doing things actively throughout the relationship, to replenish that goodwill, we’re going to start to lose it. Because as the things get more annoying and more frustrating to us our ability to brush things aside, to forgive, to discount or make excuses diminish. Until, we lose that completely because we’ve got nothing to draw on.
How do you create it?
Creating goodwill comes down to doing things for another person without expecting anything in return. It is all about trying to create feelings of goodness inside of them.
For example, this could be by way of time, words, acts or gifts. It can be in so many different ways.
When you’re in an intact relationship, it’s easy to replenish that goodwill. If you think about it, if you can really think about what’s important to the other person. It’s easy to do that.
It does, however become more difficult from a co parenting perspective. And for some of you, you might not be able to stand the sight of each other. But it’s doing little things consistently. That is where the goodwill bridge will start to happen.
A great way to think about it from a co parenting perspective is to think about goodwill as the bridge that joins the two sides of a river bank. And that bridge is the bridge that your children will use to cross between your two households. At the start the foundation may not be solid and you need to work on the goodwill because the more goodwill you have the more solid that foundation is going to be.
If you would like help doing this check out a program run by our sister business The Relationship Architect.