​The basis of a solid relationship

In today's 5 minute relationship tip, I discuss the topic of ​integriy which I believe is the basis of any genuine relationship. I discuss how integrity is not just about keeping your word. 

You can listen to the audio by clicking the play button. Alternatively, you can read the transcript below the audio.:


​Hi It’s Carthage, here again with another quick relationship tip for you

Integrity is the basis of a solid relationship. People are there to support each other and, to be supportive through good times and through bad. And that really is the difference between a good friend and an acquaintance. When times get tough, your good friend will be there to support you. An acquaintance tends to be somebody who's there when things are going good but not so easy to find when things aren't going so good for you.

Friends make commitments and they honour those commitments. One of the biggest problems in relationships of any sort is when commitments get broken and, we tend to think the big problem is that somebody is incapable of sticking to their commitment. We think somebody has trouble with keeping commitments but from my experience the problem often lies on the other side. People make too many commitments. They want to please everybody, so they say yes to everything they're asked to do and; that leads to trouble because if you make too many commitments then you can't possibly keep them all. So, my advice is know what is important to you because when you know what's important to you, it's easier to have integrity and; integrity is not just about keeping those commitments, it's about not making commitments in the first place when you either know that you can't keep it or, you don't really want to do it.

By reducing the number of commitments, you make, it's easier to keep to the ones you really want to keep to. If something sounds wrong to you; if you don't really think you have the time to do it or that you are the best person to do it, you should be saying no. If it's not important to you then you should be saying no more often and; one of the things that helps you to have more integrity to know when you should say yes and when you should say no, is having a clear set of values.

With values you know what is important to you and you also know what's not important. You stop giving your word to things that you don't really value. You realise that your word is your bond and, it's really important. You only get one reputation in this life. You try to maintain the best reputation you can. You want to support your friends and the best and most honest thing you can do is to be truthful, right up front, at the very start when somebody asks you something; when somebody looks for a commitment from you. If it's not something that you value or, not something that you want to do or, it's not something that you think you can keep to; you say no straightaway.

Yes, people may be temporarily disappointed with you but in the long run it's far better than promising to do something and then letting them down at the last minute. Think about that for a moment; relationships that have been damaged throughout your life; which did you find more damaging, somebody who said no upfront or somebody who let you down at the last minute. Because nobody really wants to let other people down. It's just that they overcommit themselves.

So, I'm not encouraging you to just avoid commitment altogether. What I'm saying to you is recognise the commitments that are important; make those commitments but also recognise the commitments that just are not worth the effort; not worth the hassle and; not worth the stress. And avoid making those commitments in the first place because when you don't make those commitments you will be a lot happier for it you will be a lot less stressed and you will maintain better relationships because you cannot break a commitment that you never made in the first place.

So that's my tip for today. Stop making so many commitments, only make the ones that you know you can really adhere to. If you do that, you will have better relationships.

I'll talk to you soon.

​How do you celebrate their expenses

In today's 5 minute relationship tip, I discuss the topic of celebrating the successes of your friends and loved ones. The successes of those whom you care most about provide great opportunities for building stronger bonds.

You can listen to the audio by clicking the play button. Alternatively, you can read the transcript below the audio.:


​Hi it's Carthage Buckley here again with a five minute relationship tip for you today.

I want to talk about celebrating the successes of your friends and loved ones; the people we care most about. Everybody has great moments in life and those moments are made better when we celebrate them with people we care about; but do you really celebrate your friends and loved ones successes? Think about how, when somebody comes to you and they tell you about something good that's happened to them; how do you respond? Most of us like to think that we do really love and support the people in our lives but; we stop at saying:

 'Congratulations, that's great news, well done'

That is supportive but it's not really, really supportive; it’s not really helping someone to celebrate their success. I recently read a great tip from Tony Crabbe, in his fantastic book called 'Busy'. He has some wonderful advice and one piece of advice that really stuck with me was when somebody comes to you with good news; dive deeper with it take an active interest in what's happened for them. Do it in a way that helps them to relive that experience or, you can do simple thing like asking them how that makes them feel. So, let's say your friend got a promotion at work; just ask them:

 'That's excellent! How do you feel about that? '

It helps them to understand and process their own emotions and; experience those emotions again. Get them to tell the story too about how it went; was there an interview involved? Was it based on their performance throughout the year. Simple things like that, because as they tell the story again, they relive it again. They get to experience all that joy of their success once again. But not just that; you get to feel even better about them, you get to feel even better for them, you get to experience it because you weren't there the first time. You're getting to experience what happened now and; moments like that are super for creating the bonds of friendship. It helps you bond more to the other person as they can see that you genuinely value your friendship with them and, of course, if it's a family member you value your relationship with them.

It communicates to the other person because they can see that you genuinely care and that creates some wonderful experiences in life. And, it’s those little moments in life that really make or, break your life. It's not about the big successes, it's about those moments of joy and happiness you get to share with other people so, on that note I just want to give you a few quick questions for reflection, to help you to see how you do in this area of life.

Questions for reflection

The following questions will help you think more clearly when you are facing a situation where ​someone you care about experiences some good news / event in their life:

1. ​How do I normally celebrate the successess of the people I care about?

​Think about that for a moment. Are you passive in that you just congratulate them and say well done? Or, do you dig deeper and help them to experience that great moment again, and you experience it with them.

​2. How do I feel about their successes?

​Because in this era of social media we do have a lot of people shoving every bit of good news into our face every time we turn on Facebook or Twitter. Somebody is talking about how great their life is and often they are lying or, you know, only telling you the good bits and leaving out the bad bits. We all experience that but forget the majority of people here. The people whom you truly care about, who you are most passionate about; how do you feel when they have successes in life, when things go good for them?

​3. Am I being the best friend / family member I can be in helping them to celebrate their successes?

​Because that's part of the role of being a friend of a family member, helping people to truly appreciate the good times in their life and enjoying those good times with them. As I've said they really help to build the bonds of great relationships so, next time somebody comes to you with good news, don't just brush them off with a quick congratulations. Ask questions, take a genuine interest. Show them that you care and enjoy the experience with them.

That's all for now. I'll talk to you soon.


​If you want more great strategies to improve the qualtiy of your relationships, check out How to Talk So Others Listen.

If you would like to check out another five minute relationship tip, check it out below:

​Should you give your opinion

In today's 5 minute relationship tip, I discuss the topic of ​opinions. Often, we ​have really; enjoyable conversations which revolve around the sharing of our opinions. ​However, sometimes our opinions are both unwanted and uappreciated which can lead to major arguments.

You can listen to the audio by clcking on the play button below. Alternatively, you can read the transcript beneath the audio.


​Hi it's Carthage Buckley here again from Coaching Positive Performance. I have another quick five minute relationship tip for you this week.

This week's tip concerns opinions. Every day we see the world through our own perspective. As William James said. 'We are all amateur psychologists'. We develop our own understandings about what we witness and about the world around us. We try to fill in the missing gaps because there is no way we could have facts about every single thing that is going on.in this big old world of ours. So, we try to fill in those gaps with our interpretations and our opinions.

Opinions are the basis of many great conversations. Think about the times you talk with your friends about maybe your favourite actor, your favourite musician, or your favourite sports star. It's great! It gets a bit of lively debate going and it's usually friendly and amicable. However, some of the biggest arguments we'll have in our lives revolve around opinions. Somebody else does not want to accept our opinion, or, of course, maybe we don't want to accept there's. And it turns into a heated debate and that goes a bit too far so, it makes opinions a little bit controversial at times.

I'm someone who if I see a problem somewhere, I like to point it out. If I see the potential for a problem, I like to point it out. If somebody asks me for my opinion, I'm usually quite happy to give my opinion. Unfortunately, that has actually led to quite a bit of conflict at times in my life, where somebody doesn't like what I have to say. In my younger days, if somebody didn't accept my opinion, I was maybe a bit too strong and a bit too defensive of my opinion because; once you express your opinion, you often feel obliged to defend it when somebody challenges it. So, it is a question of should you actually give your opinion in the first place? Because I'm sure you've probably had a situation too where people ask for your opinion; you give them your opinion and, they get angry. They get really defensive, as they are very upset by your opinion. So, you think why did you ask for my opinion in the first place if you were going to be so defensive about it?

The truth of the matter is that they usually ​didn't want your opinion. They wanted you to validate their opinion because they were doubting themselves. They wanted you to agree with them so that would give them a little bit more self-belief but when you thought something different or, you expressed a different opinion, it actually made them doubt themselves more. So, in a way, inadvertently, you made them feel bad about themself because now they're more confused than ever. Or maybe, they ​knew it was a strong opinion, and you validating it would've made them feel better about having that opinion.

I go back to that question again; should you give your opinion? One thing I would always say is to be a truly assertive person, you should always feel comfortable about giving your opinion but that still doesn't mean that you should give it. I know that might sound like a contradiction; you shouldn't be afraid to express your opinion, but you might just say it's not worthwhile in this situation. I'd like to give you a few questions to think about in terms of should I express my opinion?

Questions for reflection

The following questions will help you think more clearly when you are facing a situation where you are thinking of giving your opinion:

1. Is ​it a professional setting?

​If you are being asked for an opinion in the area of your work; you are usually paid to give your thoughts and opinions as well as do your work so, if that's the case, then yes. In fact, in some workplace situations, you may be required to point it out. So, for example, Health and Safety or, if you work in a bank, around money laundering. If you have any thoughts or objections to raise, you should always raise them in those situations. And, there should really be a safe environment for you to do that.

2. Do they really want your opinion?

​The first time somebody asks you a question or, ask for your opinion, you can't really be sure of that but if this is somebody who regularly gets annoyed when you express your opinion; why waste your time with the conflict? Why waste your time having to deal with that? it's often better off just saying, listen, 'whatever you think is right'. Just say 'you know, you choose the one you feel is best for you and I'll support you in your choice.'

3. Is it important to you?

​If there is the potential for the other person to take your opinion badly, you might then want to think 'is it actually important to me? ' 'Do I really need to say what I want or what I think here?' Because if it isn't important, sometimes it's better off just to shut up and say nothing.

​4. Is it ​necessary to give your opinion?

​This applies probably where your opinion may be a little more on the controversial side. Is it actually necessary? If you don't like something; is it necessary for others to know that you don't like it? Or, can you just let it slide? Say nothing, let them like what they like, and you like what you like.


So, there's a number of questions I think you really should consider before just jumping straight in and offering your opinion. As I say I'm someone who's always been, I suppose, opinionated is the right word but I've learned over the years that sometimes, when I shut my mouth and say nothing, I'm happier. It's not just about pleasing the other person. I don't mind somebody disagreeing with me but if it's when they are getting offended for the very fact that I have an opinion in the first place and, that that opinion differs from theirs, I just couldn't be bothered with it and I think that's something that, from a relationship perspective, ​we really need to consider more often.

Have your opinion. Respect your right to have an opinion. But sometimes it might just be best to be silent.

Thank you for listening.

Resource:​ If you feel that you must express your opinion, you must communicated if clearly and effectively. How to Talk So Others Listen will help you to do so.

If you would like to check out another five minute relationship tip, check it out below:

​Why you ​need to forgive


In today's 5 minute relationship tip, I discuss the topic of forgiveness. Often, we struggle to forgive others and we hold onto the resentment. That's often due to the fact that we misunderstand what forgiveness really is.

You can listen to the audio by clcking on the play button below. Alternatively, you can read the transcript beneath the audio.


Hi - It's Carthage Buckley here from Coaching Positive Performance.

Everybody experiences conflict. We swear that we are never going to forgive the person who's treated us badly when these conflicts arrive. We think that we're hurting them but the truth is we're only hurting ourselves. The incident weighs heavy on us. It's like a ball and chain tying us to that moment in time when the conflict occurred; that moment when we were treated badly. We don't seem to be able to escape from that moment. The person whom we have the issue with; well they have moved on. They probably don't even know that we're upset. Even if they do know, they probably don't know how bitter and hostile we are towards them and they certainly don't know that we're not forgiving them and; they probably don't care either.

You see, holding on to the bitterness, the hostility, the resentment, when conflict arises doesn't hurt the other person. It hurts us. Forgiveness isn't for the other person. We need to understand that forgiveness is something for us. Forgiveness means letting go. It doesn't mean that you're forgetting about the incident; it means that you're not going to live your life by that incident again. You're just freeing yourself up to move on. You don't ever have to associate with the person again. You don't have to forget that it happened. You don't have to put yourself in a situation where it can happen all over again but you just need to stop this thing from being the center of your attention. You need to stop being attached to it.

It happened, you learned a lesson from what happened, you implemented the lessons and you moved on. And, it is essential that we move on. You don't even have to tell the other person that you have forgiven them because that's not important; they are actually not important. If somebody has upset you you. Forgiving them for what they've done is irrelevant to them. It's nothing got to do with them. It's all about you and your feelings because there's an old quote which is so so true; wanting revenge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The truth is your poisoning yourself with the bad thoughts, with the bad feelings towards the other person that you're not forgiving. Forgive them and move on.

Resource: Forgiveness is an incredibly important. value. You can learn to identify and live true to your values with Values Based Living.

Questions for reflection

The following questions will help you think more clearly when you are facing a situation where you are struggling to forgive:

1. Is this going to get me the outcome I desire?

When I worked in New Zealand many years ago, I still had a serious problem with my temper. When somebody treated me badly I would really overreact. Not to them not while they were there but when I walked away; and then I would start saying all the things I'd love to say and do to them and my boss, Dan, used to just look at me and go 'Is that going to get you the outcome you desire? '

Of course not, I realised that if I said any of those things or I did those things; not only would it create a rift in the relationship but I would feel bad because it wasn't the person I wanted to be.

2. Can I achieve my desired outcome and forgive?

We're going back for a moment to question one. The outcome you desire, what ever it is, it's going to include a certain element of being happy. You want to be happy and if you hold on to the hostility and you refuse to forgive, it's going to damage your ability to be happy. So, then you think about question two - 'Can I achieve my desired outcome and forgive?' Well, if being happy is part of it you certainly can. And the truth is whatever it is you want to achieve; you can forgive.

As I said you don't have to forget. You don't have to have that person in your life but you can forgive, you can move on and you can pursue the outcomes that you really want from life. And that is what I recommend you do. It's what I try to do but I can be honest; I'm not perfect at it. We all struggle with it. But whenever I manage to forgive and move on I find that I tend to get the results I want and I'm much happier in life and I'm much happier in myself.

So, use those two questions to work through any situation where your struggling to forgive

That's all for today. Thank you for listening. I'll talk to you again.


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