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Building Better Bridges/Creating
Great Relationships With the
People Who Matter Most

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Chapter 9
By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.

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Conclusion -

One of the most difficult things
in life can be trying to put all
of these things together.

- Humpty Dumpty        

There you have it. I have given you access to all that I know about relationships. We gave it a catchy name, Relationship Bridge-Building. And we talked about several examples for each of the Relationship Bridge-Building tips. There is nothing more to be said.



I told you, I have covered everything. We’re done.

Go Home. ...

So you’re going to keep reading, huh? OK then, I lied. There’s a little more.

The truth is, almost everyone I have ever worked with ends up knowing these principles intuitively. I saw that some individuals did well in the skills of Relationship Bridge-Building, and some did not. So why do some Bridge-Builders have great relationships, and others, who know the same principles, have poor relationships?  After all, they possess the same tools. They know many of the same techniques. Why do some Bridge-Builders get different results?

Well, the answer is simple, but hard. The real secret to Bridge-Building is putting the pieces together correctly.

I speak for myself and everyone I work with when I say Bridge-Building is tough work. It’s a constant effort to do things right.

And there’s one more secret.

You can’t do it alone.

I have a friend who is the head of a major corporation. She works hard at her job and is seen by the outside world as wonder-woman. She is friendly, kind, smart, powerful, and feminine. She’s perfect. At least that’s what most people think.

In truth, I know she relies on several close friends for support and nurturance. She’s part of a small group that relies on each other to nourish and provide feedback in a safe and positive way. I’m part of the same group. We spend time talking about the loose ends that the rest of the world is not privileged to.

The other day as a couple of us were talking, my friend walked in, kicked off her sneakers, and joined the conversation. The subject was this close support.

She smiled and asked, “Do you know what’s funny?” she looked up at us through the steam of a hot cup of coffee. “Most people think I have some special talent with people. Last week a man at work asked me why I am so good with clients. I told him the truth. I said that I have the same skills as many people. My secret is that I am grounded by close friends who help me refine those skills. My big secret is that I know I can’t do this alone.”

The truth is, none of us can do it alone. I want to encourage you to find some good, high quality places to practice Bridge-Building. The places you choose to start are going to be very important, because they’re the place you’re going to try out new things. It needs to be accepting of some of the rough edges and loose ends you may bring along. And it needs to be a positive, safe group.

Try a group of friends or people that you know.  You may want to use them.

I’ll leave you with just one more story. Once upon a time, there was a man who’s father gave him a field full of stones. And, let me tell you, where this guy lived, a field full of stones was no great gift. Our friend needed a field to plant crops. Well, he sulked about his gift for a long time. He eventually became so discouraged about the hopeless state of his land, he did nothing more than lay on the side of the road, next to his field of stones.

Then one day, the man was lounging along the roadside, next to his field of stones. Along walked a stranger. The stranger led an ox which was pulling a small cart.

“Why are you laying on the side of the road, friend? Don’t you know that a passing ox cart might step on you and cause an awful accident?”

“Who cares?” our hero answered. “ I am really down about this field of rocks I inherited. It’s worthless.”

“If it will make you feel better, I will trade you my ox and the cart for your land,” the stranger offered.

No sooner did the words fall from his lips than the man accepted, grabbed the ox, and shoved a deed into the strangers hand. Off our hero went, laughing as he walked into town to show off his trade.

The stranger looked out into the stone-covered field in awe. Slowly, he walked over and picked up a small stone. He took it to the edge of the field and placed it carefully on the ground. Over and over he picked up stones, some little and some big, and placed them on the edge of the field. But the task was too great for him to accomplish alone. He knew he would surely become discouraged working by himself. So he sent for his friends to join in the effort. In return for their labor, they would each receive part of the land.  Slowly, the stones began to form a fence along the roadside. The man ached from moving the rocks, but day after day, as he moved the stones, he became very strong.

Remember our hero? Several months later he passed by and saw a very muscular man leaning against the new fence of his beautiful field, enjoying his friends.

“Excuse me, I must have the wrong neighborhood. Can you tell me where the rocky dump is that I owned last year?”

“It’s right here,” said the man.

“No, I traded it to a traveler. He was only a fraction of your size.”

With that the muscular man laughed, and replied, “That was me, but things change. I cleared the field, I feel great and am wealthy for my effort.”

The first man complained about being tricked out of his land.

The strong man replied, “All of us have chances to grow--they are presented every day. I took the chance you wasted. Do not stay here and moan a missed opportunity. Go and find the next one. Chances happen all the time, take advantage of yours.” With that he turned and joined his friends.

I wish for you that same kind of success, as you join me on the journey to build relationship-bridges. Don’t forget, you deserve it.

Look for your next chance to practice Relationship Bridge- Building. And take it.



Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com  or at
(847) 604-3290.

Recover from chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series.


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