Yesterday’s post was about keeping toxic people away. Today let’s talk about building healthy relationships with others. This is one of the most important things a person should focus on. Relationships need to be strengthened in order weather storms that come along. Does this mean you should never have any disagreements? Oh, no absolutely not. There will be times when a disagreement over the dog/cat, children, parent, my stuff/your stuff … well you get the picture. Sometimes something unintentional causes this breakdown, and if not careful, irreparable damage is done. People are not going to getting along with their family or friends all the time, but relationships with a good foundation, provide a means for communication and things to be mended.
A relationship absolutely takes two people. It does not matter who those two people are: a husband and a wife; a parent and a child; a boss and an employee. In any relationship, there are key elements that must exist in order to make this relationship strong.
One is mutual understanding of what is important to the other person. You may be working on something important to you at home, but what if your young child interrupts you and wants you to look at something great that he has built out of Legos? Do you tell him that you are busy and that you don’t have time to look at it now? Or do you take a few minutes and let him show you his masterpiece that he is so proud of? If you chose the latter, you are telling your child that what is important to him is important to you, too. That goes a very long way in building your relationship with your child.
Little things that you do for each other in a relationship is important. Small acts of courtesy and kindness add up to a big deal. It shows that you are paying attention to each other’s needs, no matter how small and that you care.
Always keep your commitments. This is a very important element in a relationship. Keeping your promises builds trust. Probably one of the hardest things to heal in a relationship is broken trust. Sometimes it never heals. Take your commitments seriously. A relationship built on trust and mutual respect is one of the strongest that you can achieve.
Communicate and be clear of your expectations from each other. So many relationships break down because of misunderstanding and a lack of communication. How many times have you wanted to say something but stayed quiet instead? When expectations are not clear, they are usually not met, and this leads to disappointment. Disappointment leads to a loss of confidence in the other person or a feeling, whether true of not, that the other doesn’t really care. This is not good in a relationship.
When you make a mistake, own up to it and apologize with sincerity. I knew an individual that sounded defensive and insincere when apologizing; it really wasn’t an apology. Do not try to justify why you did it. A mistake was made, apologize and move on. Pride is often the culprit behind the lack of apologies. Some people feel apologizing will make them look weak. On the contrary, it takes great courage to apologize. It shows that you are not hiding behind any excuses and you care about the other person.
Maintaining strong and healthy relationships will give you rewards many times over. Remember this advice. Build up the relationship with the people whom you care about, keep those near you that build you up, and your life will be rich beyond measure.