Relationships: Where Can You Go Take Off The Mask?

For the last 3 weeks I have been discussing the book The Power of The Other by Dr. Henry Cloud.

In the book, he talks about the four (4) types of relationships which he refers to as corners. So far I have covered the first three:

I think of them as isolation, inferior, and addiction as it relates to the outcomes each corner represents.

Today, I discuss the fourth and final corner: the true connection.

I have come to think of corner 4 as freedom. The freedom to be me raw and unpolished…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Most people around me think I’m brutally honest and transparent. If they only knew how much I actually filter what I say.

Very rarely do I give a unpolished version of me. Most of people around me can’t handle the ‘true’ Juan. This is not a good place to be all the time, and it’s actually one of the reasons why I fall into the 3-corner roundabout I discussed last week.

The corner 4 relationship is only one that can helps us become the best version of ourselves. To paraphrase the book the ‘real thing’ is a connection in which you can be your whole self…both parties can safely share what each truly thinks, feels, believes, fears, and needs.


My question to you is do you have these types of relationships?

I have very few people in my life with whom I can take off my masks. And all of you know, this really isn’t about quantity but quality.

I don’t really have much to share other than a brief list of what I have been able to do, learn, or change because of these important people in my life.

  • The courage to change careers and let those that started with me move up the success ladder faster.
  • The awareness to recognize that not everyone thinks at the same speed I do.
  • To embrace the concept that the only way to be fulfilled is by accepting my gifts and using them unapologetically.
  • The bravery to claim my space and confidently state how good I am in my area of my talents.
  • The wisdom to accept that being useful sometimes requires me to let others take charge.
  • The ability to appreciate and recognize that life is meant to be lived from within and not defined by the outside.

I hope these 5-week series has helped you identify the types of relationships affecting your performance. If you are intrigued by anything I have written, take step forward and get the book. There’s a lot more to it than what I have shared.

In the meantime, I leave with a quote from the book

The range of human needs is broad, but the way to meet those needs I very narrow: it involves humbly and honestly embracing the need and reaching out to the “power of the other.”


What would you give to be surrounded by corner 4 relationships?




What is your experience with this concept?

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