The Value of No-apology Relationships

I was recently away with friends and in a moment of trust we shared our dreams and aspirations.  It was a time of entanglement, we were all in deep pursuit, anticipating big changes in our lives, full of piss and vinegar; we, were ‘all in’, both mentally and physically.

There was a sense of candor and honesty amongst us, something that is earned through years of camaraderie, friendship, and working through.  We had been together through the good and bad—the victories and struggles.  And we had learned that by sharing these stories and situations, we had helped each other grow stronger.

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My steadfast friendships have sustained for two very important reasons.  One, we consciously choose to build each other up and protect each other.  Two, we do not need or even tolerate devilment in our lives; we realize that true friends choose each other over ill spirited gossip and embellishment. 

friend 1

While casual friendships come and go over the years, true core friendships endure.  Even when the speed of life gets in the way and you don’t see each other often enough, you know when you do get together it will feel like no time has elapsed. 

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It seems we are passionately drawn to the comfort of standing on familiar ground, indulging in our own truth and what is going on around us.  We reminisce, discuss and debate.  Then we relax into the rhythm of normalcy, of everyday life with all its complexities.

friend 2

From time to time we question, how can we change the world—we challenge each other, we challenge our wits.  But this is what resounds most importantly:  Whatever our opinions, they are our own and as such we make no-apologies for how we think or who we are.  Instead we hone our thoughts, develop our voice. We build relationships based on trust, vulnerability, and then authenticity.  Its sometimes uncomfortable, but it is always passionate and genuine. 

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Finding your own unique path devoid of the fear of criticism or judgment from those around you is so important.  Its freeing to be able to speak your truth and it gets easier over time as your experience, knowledge, and confidence begins to catch up with you.

Ready to build your own no-apology relationships?

  •  Link this article to friends or colleagues that you think may be interested in setting up a discussion group.
  •  Organize a comfortable time and place to meet weekly for at least three months.
  •  Reinforce the fact that initially the focus is on building trust. So listen carefully and ask questions to clarify rather than criticize.
  •  Start with topics of general interest and see where the conversation travels. Expect that initially those most ready to be truthful will be ready with interests or concerns they wish to discuss.  Let them lead the way.
  •  Watch for the gradual transition from trust to vulnerability as the discussion becomes more open and free-flowing. Soon after, with a little effort and hard work, your own authentic voice should start to shine through. 

ByLorii Myers

An empowered employee-turned-entrepreneur, Myers has more than three decades of business experience that encompasses a wide variety of top flight business experience. With belief that the right attitude is everything, she believes you should aspire to learn from those who inspire you. She was careful to choose her early employment opportunities well by working for entrepreneurial companies that were owned or managed by formidable entrepreneurs. In her early thirties, Myers left the security of employment to fulfill her own sense of entrepreneurial flair.

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