“I want to warn you in advance, our Family works differently…” was how the conversation started, as I sat down with multi-millionaire internet marketing mogul Mark Hoverson and his family during the first week I arrived at his home in Gilbert, Arizona.

Little did I know this conversation would teach me one of the biggest reasons most relationships are predestined to fail before they even start and a surprisingly simple solution to the problem. Hint: when you read this article to the end you will experience  a state of newfound confidence in your ability to cultivate thriving relationships, not just in your intimate relationships either, but in your friendships and biz partnerships. Are you ready?

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by people who excel in this area. One person in particular who despite running a multi-million dollar business, has the most successful marriage I have ever witnessed.

His name is Mark Hoverson (see pic below), and I’m grateful to call him a mentor, friend and business partner.

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I first looked up to Mark because I saw that he wasn’t just successful financially, but he appeared to be successful in all areas of his life. Sidebar: Most of the time you look at people who are successful financially and other areas of their life are completely off-kilter. They’ve gone through divorce, after divorce, have horrible relationships with their kids… need I go on?

I was fortunate enough to spend 6-months with Mark and his family in 2014 where I witnessed first hand his incredible marriage. His Wife Shannon is an amazing woman, and they have that spark of a couple who has just begun dating.

He had friends from around the world being flown in almost weekly (from multi-millionaires to high school friends). Aka his social circle was booming and don’t even get me started on his kids.

It may seem like a fantasy, running a multi-million dollar business and having almost every area of your life together, but Mark pulled it off with ease and I wanted to know how he was able to accomplish such a feat.

Vaccination: Mark is still human and no one’s life is without some conflict or tension. The key to understand, however, is that while negative energy is the dominant forces in most people’s relationships, this just wasn’t the case with Mark.

***flashback moment***

“I want to warn you in advance, our Family works differently…” was how the conversation started, as I sat down with Mark and his family during the first week I arrived at his home in Gilbert, Arizona.

“…we regularly sit down and openly discuss poison drips (frustrations and minor annoyances) with each other, versus the majority of people who let seemingly small things build up until toxicity occurs. Leading to broken relationships and divorce. Don’t be surprised if you witness our family having regular court-style discussions.”  

***end flashback moment***

One of the most powerful relational lessons I learned while I was being mentored by Mark, was a concept I’m coining Poison Drip.

Here’s the reality: in every kind of relationship, small frustrations and annoyances are 100% guaranteed to arise. Whether it be a tendency to be late, “knit-picky” or “digging” comments, unreliability, dishonesty, unnecessary over exaggerations, the list goes on and on.

From this point forward I encourage you to think of all of these small frustrations and annoyances as the equivalent to a drip of poison entering your bloodstream.

The thing about one small drip of poison is, it isn’t enough to kill you.

So what do the majority of people do?

They ignore it, they bury it and try to forget about it. Believing it’s better not to say anything to avoid creating perceived tension (short-term pain). What they don’t realize, however, is that although that one drip of poison isn’t enough to kill them, as it starts to build up in concentration, so does it’s toxicity. Until it gets so bad they start to get irritated by someone’s presence without them even doing anything. Bitterness arises out of nowhere and that initial “spark” slowly disappears.

All of this leads to a tipping point of no return, where the toxicity gets so bad, friendships get broken and divorce / breakup become a recurring conversation.

All because of a lack of courage to go into the hurt, the pain and the falsehood.

All because you didn’t hug it out, talk it out and address the poison drip in the moment.

Soooo… what’s the solution?

Whenever you feel a drip of poison enter your bloodstream, address it immediately. Obviously use common sense and do so at the appropriate time (e.g. not in front of someone’s peer group), but say something like “Do I have your permission to be completely honest for the next 5-mins?”

When you get a “Yes”, address the drip of poison (go into how it makes you feel), explain why it’s so important to address it and watch as both you both suddenly feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. Sidebar: Ensure you encourage the other person to share potential poison drips you might be contributing to (this isn’t a one-way street partner). No one is perfect and often times we’re oblivious to actions which may be causing people pain.

It’s easy to think addressing poison drips would cause tension and in reality it might at first. What you will find out pretty quickly, however, is after the poison drip is addressed it brings you closer together. More importantly, it shows honesty, integrity and that you value the relationship enough to talk about subjects which can at first be awkward.

Simple?

Yes.

Somewhat common sense?

Certainly, but it’s definitely not common practice. As such I urge you to take immediate action and address the poison in those relationships you truly care about. Flush the poison out of your system and work towards addressing drips of poison the moment you feel them entering your bloodstream.

I believe if more people did this, we would all have an abundance of thriving relationships.

Quick & Easy 5-Minute Implementation Guide

#1- Write down a list of people who just being around can frustrate you or tend to get under your skin…. often times without the other person even doing anything.

#2- For each person, write a separate list of all the poison drips you can think of. Hint: you will probably experience a release of negative energy just by doing this.

Examples:

  • They’re always late
  • They’re unreliable at times
  • They make “knit-picky” or “digging” comments
  • They are dishonest
  • They make unnecessary over exaggerations

Note: Have a moment of self-reflection during this time and be honest with yourself about potential instances where you may be depositing poison in others (this isn’t a way one street partner).

#3- Schedule a date or hangout with the person and then address the poison. It’s key you don’t come off with an attacking tone or you will create conflict. Always ask for permission to “go deep” or to be completely “honest”. Once you get permission, explain WHY you want to have this conversation. ONLY THEN, do you go into addressing the poison and at the same time encouraging the other person to address poison drips they may have from you.

Example Conversation:
You: “Hey bro can we go deep for a few minutes?”
Other Person: “Sure”
You: “Awesome, so I recently read an article on cultivating thriving friendships/relationships. It’s really cool, you should check it out. But anyway– I really value our friendship and wanted to know if there was anything I was doing which frustrates you or pisses you off? The reason I’m asking is I don’t want there to be any unresolved tension between us.”
Other Person: “Well actually….”
You: “Great bro, I appreciate your honesty and I will work on improving myself in those areas. It’s just a small gripe, but do you mind if I share a couple things that have been on my mind?”

…. you get the picture.

#4- In the comments below share your experience to encourage others to address the poison in their relationships. Note: Don’t include actual names, but I would love to hear about your experience(s) with taking action on this concept.