Building stronger relationships is a goal most of us have and yet many have no idea where to begin.The people in your life whether they are your friends, your dad, your grocer or even your boss are all there for a reason. Usually that reason is because you love and care for that person, but even if you don’t have that level of emotion invested in a relationship here are some practical ways to make it stronger.
Switch Off The Phone
Give your full attention to the person you are with. This is such a rare thing in this technological age we are living in. Quality time is priceless and should not be taken for granted. If you only half show up for someone whether it’s texting over lunch with a friend or checking emails in a business meeting with your boss what you’re telling them (even if it’s unsaid) is that they do not matter to you and they are not worthy of your time, ouch! Its unlikely that you will be received well or taken seriously and you will miss the opportunities that come along. If you give your presence and really listen to the other person then you will hear what others let slip by. So switch it off.
Support Each Other
Be excited and happy for the other persons success. Be supportive of the other persons plans, goals and achievements because who doesn’t need a little support for their dreams and praise for their success once in a while? Jealousy is often what stops people being supportive of their friends, family and colleagues and it is completely useless. Jealousy will only prevent you from getting ahead whilst simultaneously creating feelings of bitterness inside you; when you think about it like that its easier to let the jealousy go. Everyone is walking their own path in life and you meet people at all different stages of their journey, some times that meeting is at a high point in a persons journey, or one that ‘appears’ high to you. Sometimes people who seem to have everything are struggling with problems and pain just as real as your own, so try not to compare yourself to them and certainly put jealousy to bed. Be their cheer squad instead; it might not get you to your goals any quicker but it means you will feel lighter on the inside and they are much more likely to help support you through the rough times as well as the good.
If the person cares about you but made a mistake, forgiving them and repairing the situation is the best thing you can do. Forgiveness will set YOU free, it is true, but whether the fault was small or big, intentional or accidental forgiveness can be difficult, especially if you’re new at it. I find the process of forgiveness easier when I remember that at some point in life I will make a mistake, sometimes big ones and when that time comes the grace of others forgiveness helps release the guilt of having messed up. A really good place to begin the process is here at Tiny Buddha.
Talk About It
The other person cannot read your mind, so let them know what you want, diplomatically of course. It always helps if the person you’re about to talk to is in a good mood; they will be more receptive to you. The flip side to this is to listen. I struggle with this one myself but I know how important it is not to jump in with my own opinion too quickly. Wait – you will never regret pausing and thinking before you speak. Allow the other person to be heard because in the end most of us just want to be heard and lastly make it your goal not to judge what you are hearing.
Hold hands, for the romantic relationship, or hug, for friends and family. Physical contact relieves stress and improves feelings of self-worth.
Date Your Partner
For the romantic relationship in your life; to avoid monotony and keep everything sweet, remind your other half how special they are by making time for date nights. This is also a great time to switch off the phone and open the conversation with a no-judgement attitude.
Make time for the relationships in your life that matter, be sure to give them time accordingly. This could involve:
- Phone a friend – yes speaking on the phone is still a form of communication and its a good one
- Invite to coffee, tea, a picnic, a jogging date, a dinner party or offer to help them out with a project like planting a new veggie patch
Remember: We all want to be heard; allow the other person to have their own thoughts, ideas and opinions. Listen to them and acknowledge them before you give your own. Appreciating people in this form is the finest way to show how much you care.
Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgement of others. – Dr. Wayne Dyer