Are you looking to find tips to improve your relationships with others and also with yourself? Relating to others isn’t easy at the best of times, because we all come with our own unique beliefs, histories, agendas, and everyone thinks so differently. I guess that’s the beauty of relationships too; they would be extremely boring, if we all thought alike! Anyway, I have come up with some tips to improve your relationships, so read on.
1. Express Appreciation
One of the simplest tips to improve your relationships with others starts with being able to express appreciation for that person being a part of your life, even if you haven’t known them for very long. Letting the person know just how thankful you are for having them in your life, and the joy they bring, is definitely part of building a relationship. I recently attended a project management training session and the trainer mentioned that the best thing Project Managers can do is ‘thank’ their team whenever they accomplish a task – no matter how small. Thanking people seems like such a simple thing, yet it has far-reaching implications and consequences.
2. Don’t Try to Change Someone
This is important advice to heed when it comes to relationships, as the only person you can truly change is yourself. If you notice that you’re always trying to change something about the other person in your daily interactions, think about why that is, and where it is coming from. It is usually something to do with yourself that you’re not happy with, so it’s worth doing an internal scan to see if you can pinpoint exactly what YOU need to change. Relationships are mirrors after all and they can help you understand yourself better.
3. Be Encouraging
Everyone enjoys being complimented, so if the person you’re interacting with is doing a fun activity in the future, try saying, “oh, that’s great!” or maybe they’re wearing their hair differently, so tell them they look fantastic today! Support and affirm their actions in some way; it goes far.
4. Put Your Ego Aside
Ooh, if only we didn’t have egos, the world would be such a better place! Try being more sensitive to the other person’s feelings and thoughts when interacting with them. If you can put your ego aside and not think about what you’re trying to gain from the interaction, then the relationship will be much smoother. This is invaluable advice, particularly if you’re engaged in an argument with someone. Give up your need to always appear right - it will help you out a lot.
5. Listen Well
Being able to truly listen can be challenging; we really have to learn to silence the internal chatter in our heads and pay attention to what the other person is saying. Sometimes, I lip-read or even tell my mind to quieten (as I know it goes off on tangents when I'm talking to someone). That way, my own personal agenda isn’t tied up with what the other person’s telling me. Become cognizant of your own self-talk and what your mind is doing when conversing with others - that way you’re armed with more self-knowledge and you'll be better able to tame it.
6. Don’t Depend on Someone else to Make You Happy
This might seem like an obvious tip, but a relationship won’t make you any happier than you already are. If you’re looking to the other person to instill happiness in you, then you’re looking in the wrong place! Try lowering your expectations from the interaction a little and see what happens.
7. There is No “I” in “We”
The simple fact that we are talking about relationships implies that it’s not all about you and losing that selfish streak can be challenging. The word “I” is great when you’re expressing feelings, but there is magic in the word, “we,” particularly when describing an encounter or other relationship aspects! Using the word “we” influences the brain to feel trust, generosity and collaboration – all components we need to create better relationships.
8. Educate Yourself
Research psychological issues, such as anger and communication issues, if you believe that you have such a thing! In reality, we interact in ways that reflect our internal beliefs that we have about the world. As our beliefs change, so do the behaviors that follow. If the interaction skills you learned in relating to others no longer serve or benefit you, reflect on your inner beliefs and explore other options.
9. Always Look on the Bright Side
Always looking on the bright side is something we should learn to do more often with relationships. I try to find the divine in my encounters with other people! Also, a great relationship is where you are both able to bring out each other’s best sides and better qualities.
Relating to others is an art and it’s something that is constantly changing and evolving. These tips will take time to embrace but hopefully you’ll find that your ability to relate to others improves and changes over time. What are some simple tips you can share about your relationships?