5 Simple Ways to Make Your Personal Relationships Work Better
Life can be stressful. Let’s face it, we all need a break from our daily routine, anxiety, pressure and situations that make us feel closed-in and helpless. When life gets overwhelming, it is usually our partners, spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends that we turn to for comfort and understanding. But what about when those relationships are fractured? Then, who do we turn to?
Maybe the better question is:
How do we work to make these relationships better?
It’s vitally important to get our “house in order,” so there is peace and harmony in our most importantly worldly relationship — the one with ourselves. Then, we can turn our attention to improving our relationships with co-workers, parents, boyfriends, wives and friends. Life is more peaceful, enjoyable and fun when our relationships are in good shape.
1. Communicate (Lead)
Step up and be the one who takes initiative! Foolish pride prevents us from progress. Like when we wait and expect our husband or friend will speak first. Someone has to break the ice. Why not you? Each time my wife and I don’t see eye-to-eye, we take a few deep breaths. Then, we try and find common ground, as well as a tone that is sensitive to the moment and our emotions.
An angry, loud, combative approach is not going to bring your wife on your side. Practice empathy and understanding. Lead the communications but then, be willing to shut up and listen intently and with compassion. Not all communication is verbal. Let your body language be welcoming and lead with love.
2. Do Nice Things
This doesn’t mean spending money or buying a gift to smooth things over. Maybe, on occasion, a dozen roses or a nice gesture might work. But what about when that charm wears off? The best of us aren’t concerned with material things and monetary gifts that try and cover up wounds. Genuine, heartfelt actions that require only our time and effort work best.
What about opening the car door and letting your spouse or girlfriend in the vehicle, with a smile on your face? Maybe you make the PB&J sandwich that gives them a nourishing, homemade lunch that makes their day. Or you surprise your boss with a huge work deliverable a few days early, so they can take off to see their daughter’s softball came on Friday afternoon.
As you know, I’m very fond of the quote:
“I give without expecting anything in return.”
When you truly live and think with that mindset, you become happier and things tend to work out for the best.
3. Show Humility
A major part of making relationships work is acknowledging fault or responsibility where need be. Humility, as the great C.S. Lewis once wrote, also means:
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
We get tangled in webs of emotional pain and distress when we become absorbed in pride, envy or anger. So much of this, we inflict upon ourselves because we’re only thinking about our self-interest, not what is best for our brother or girlfriend. How about this paradigm shift: Start putting others first. By your thoughts and actions, live by putting others first.
Be willing to take the blame and you’ll find amicable relationships.
4. Respect “Alone” Time
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” — Albert Einstein
No matter how much of an extrovert you may be, you still need time to yourself, in solitude, where you can collect your thoughts and decompress. All of us do! When I plan my week, I always build in time for just me, when I think about what I need to do, what I want to do and all that matters most to me.
When we’re particularly stressed, sometimes, we just need a few moments to regroup and collect our thoughts, so we can then go into conversations and communicate more effectively. Ask your husband to respect your alone time, when you feel you need it. Do your best to let give your girlfriend time to de-stress by reading a book or going to the gym.
This alone time makes an enormous difference.
5. Love With All You Got
Last, but most importantly, so many problems that occur in relationships are solved by the presence of living in the moment, with love in our hearts. Don’t waste time or waste words on things that don’t deserve your attention. People are put into our lives for a reason. We’re meant to grow together, learn and add color and value to each other’s lives.
We were created to love one another! Given this, wouldn’t it be best to love with all we have and not waste a minute in anger or self-absorbed envy?
Take inventory of the relationships you have with your parents, siblings, significant others and work relationships. These relationships truly define who we are as people. Invest in them! Be caring, compassionate and loving in your thoughts, words and actions. Life is better that way.
If you enjoyed reading this piece, please be so kind as to share and recommend to others. Also, please consider following me here on Medium! My upcoming book on Values is due out this Spring. Contact me via my website here and subscribe for awesome updates if you feel inclined! Like my Facebook writer’s page here!
I’m so grateful for all of your support as I continue to dream and live out my journey. I fully support yours. Keep Going!