One of the most profound experiences we can have in our lives is the connection we have with other human beings. Positive and supportive relationships will help us to feel healthier, happier, and more satisfied with our lives. So here are a few tips to help you to develop more positive and healthy relationships in all areas of your life:
1. Accept and celebrate differences. One of the biggest challenges we experience in relationships is that we are all different. We can perceive the world in many ways. We feel more comfortable when we feel that people “get” us and can see our point of view. Life, however, would be very dull if we were all the same. So accepting and celebrating that we are all different is a great starting point.
2. Listen effectively. Listening is a crucial skill in boosting another person’s self-esteem, the silent form of flattery that makes people feel supported and valued. Listening and understanding what others communicate to us is the most important part of successful interaction and vice versa.
3. Give people your time. Giving time to loved ones, friends, and work colleagues is a huge gift, since technology has somewhat eroded our ability to build real rapport. Being present in the time you give to people is also important, so that, when you are with someone, you are truly with someone and not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. The connection we make with others is the very touchstone of our existence, and devoting time, energy, and effort to developing and building relationships is one of the most valuable life skills.
4. Develop your communication skills. Communication occurs when someone understands you, not just when you speak. One of the biggest dangers with communication is that we can assume that the other person has understood the message we are trying to get across. Poor communication can affect our stress levels, especially when we don’t understand something or feel we have been misled. Healthy communication can have a positive effect on morale, when it works well and motivates individuals.
5. Manage mobile technology. By now, pretty much everyone has a mobile phone and many people have two or more. While they are a lifesaver in an emergency, and an effective tool for communication, they also can be a complete distraction when people exhibit a lack of mobile phone etiquette.
6. Learn to give and take feedback. The ability to provide constructive feedback to others helps them to tap into their personal potential and can help to forge positive and mutually beneficial relationships. Any feedback you receive is free information and you can choose whether you want to take it on board or not. It can help you to tap into your blind spot and get a different perspective.
7. Learn to trust more. Relationships can only grow and last with equal amounts of respect and trust. Some examples: take responsibility to own up to your mistakes, don’t gossip, put in the time, stay positive, say “thank you”, be a good listener. These are a few ways to build a trustworthy relationship with others.
8. Develop empathy. Empathy and understanding builds connection between people. It is a state of perceiving and relating to another person’s feelings and needs without blaming, giving advice, or trying to fix the situation. Empathy also means “reading” another person’s inner state and interpreting it in a way that will help the other person and offer support to develop mutual trust. Every relationship we have can teach us something, and by building positive relationships with others, we will be happier and more fulfilled and feel more supported, supportive, and connected.
Quick Tips Review
- Ensure that the relationship you have with yourself is a positive one.
- Accept and celebrate the fact that we are all different.
- Actively listen to hear what other people have to say.
- Give people time and “be present” when you are with them.
- Develop and work on your communication skills.
- Manage mobile technology and be aware of its pitfalls.
- Learn to give and take constructive feedback.
- Open your heart and find the courage to trust.
- Learn to be more understanding and empathetic.
- Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself.