# Common Factor

by Chris Jones

Since you might have slept through math, allow me to give a refresher on common factors.  They’re the numbers you multiply together to get another number, the product.  For example: two and three are factors of six (2×3=6), three and five are factors of fifteen (3×5=15) and three and seven are factors of twenty-one  (3×7=21).  Each of these equations share a common factor, three.  Three makes each of these products similar.  They bear a unique quality that three brings to the equation.

YOU IN THE BACK…WAKE UP!!!  It’s time to apply this to “real life”.

The quality of our lives is greatly influenced by the quality of our relationships.  Some are fun.  Some are serious.  Some are just straight-up toxic.  Regardless, each relationship is the product of all the factors we bring to them.  If a relationship is fun, one or both parties is bringing fun to that relationship.  If a relationship is serious, it’s the product of one or two serious people.  We get out what we put in.

The common factors in each of your relationships are the ones you bring, individually.  Maybe there’s a general sense of peace in your relationships.  It’s probably because you’re a peaceful person.  If there’s a sense of adventure and fun in your relationships, its probably a result of your adventurous, fun spirit.  It’s interesting, the things we learn about ourselves when we analyze what our relationships commonly produce.

The same is true, however, if you struggle in relationships.  Certainly, we all have relationships that fail for any variety of reasons.  It’s something entirely different, though, when each of our relationships is plagued by conflict.  While it’s easy to deflect responsibility for the role we played in any single failed relationship, a different responsibility exists when we see those patterns in the majority of our relationships.

The moral of the story is that we get out of relationships exactly what we put in: the good, the bad and the ugly.  Reducing the negative factors we bring to relationships produces life in it’s simplest form.  When you can take responsibility for what you contribute to your failed relationships, that is an uncommon factor.