Why do relationships matter?

I had three experiences today that reminded me about just how much our lives revolve around relationships with other humans. Relationships of all types have always been really challenging for me.

This next bit will seem way off the topic above but hear me out, it adds a bit of context that I feel is important. For the first 7-8 months of this year, the word storytelling was really haunting me, I was seeing or hearing it every day. It got more and more intense over time. Then, at the end of August, I started blogging every day, and while I still see the word fairly often, I don't feel like its bludgeoning me over the head with a Flintstones club anymore.

My relief was short-lived.

Shortly after I started blogging I starting noticing that the idea of relationships showing up all over the place. All types of relationships, from business relationships to friendships to family, the idea and word started to show up very prominently in my life.

I was discussing all sorts of relationships with people close to me. I was being forced to build and maintain new types of professional relationships. I was also being challenged in family relationships and friendships.

I found myself way outside of my comfort zone, from trying to start new friendships to building professional relationships to troubleshooting solutions for a client project that didn't go as smoothly as hoped.

I think what's hitting me over the head now is that EVERYTHING in life revolves around relationships. I cannot pretend any longer that relationships don't matter.

In reality, I am not an island, as much as I might think I'd like to be. I have to build positive relationships with other people for everything I do. My career depends on it, my day-to-day life depends on it, my mental health depends on it, and even my dog's happiness depends on it.

This is frightening territory for me, and I haven't even had to face the idea of romantic relationships yet. Finger's crossed we just don't have to cross that bridge any time soon.

Have you read any great articles or books about building relationships? Personal, professional, or romantic? Let me know in the comments if you have any resources to recommend!