In a world increasingly tense and with international relations more uncertain than ever, it is key that we review how we all get on with each other.
Change however begins in our daily lives and if we improve the one to one relations with all the people around us, ultimately relationships on a global level will also improve.
Have you noticed how the personal conflicts in our lives are reflected in global conflicts around the world?
To bring about more cordial relationships in the world, change begins within us and around us. Make all your own relationships more harmonious and one day we can have more peace and harmony in the world.
Today it is more important than ever that we focus on improving our relationships. It is only by improving our own individual relationships that we can bring about a global shift.
This is Day 17 of our “28 day Relationships Adventure” in February.
You can read all 28 articles which are listed at the bottom of this post.
The ultimate purpose of these series of relationship articles is just that – to make all your relationships more harmonious and to bring more harmony in the world.
To learn how we really can be with each other, one simply has to observe young children at play. Next time you get a chance to do so, watch how they get on with each other and how any misdeeds are soon forgotten.
Children just get on with enjoying the moment – and you can do the same.
Once all of us improve our day to day relationships, the domino effect will bring about improved relationships globally. The key is to always do unto others what you would have them do to you.
Keep this in mind and all your relationships will improve. And as everyone in the world begins to feel and behave in a higher and loftier manner, bombings, war and injustice will soon be a thing of the past.
“Be the change that you want the world to be” – Gandhi
So to begin, ask yourself – do you get on well with everyone in your life? Or do you have frequent arguments and misunderstandings?
The state of our relationships with others directly affects our happiness. Remember that during the tough times, it is the people that we love and care about who get us through.
From Now Onwards, Take Responsibility for All your Relationships.
If someone’s behaviour is upsetting you, then you are also responsible for this, as you are allowing the other person to continue such behaviour. Set boundaries with this person about their behaviour, letting them know it is not acceptable and why.
The key is to know that people really appreciate honesty and openness in relationships. Always be true to your word and tell it how it is for you. Speak the truth directly and authentically.
This doesn’t however, mean being brutally rude. It is important to also be respectful of other people’s feelings and opinions. Be tactful as appropriate to the situation.
People will come and go from your life, but their impact and their essence remains with you forever. Every person has a “gift” for you – a lesson – ask what you can learn and receive in each relationship.
You always have a choice in how any relationship should be, even though this might be difficult to see especially with your family or partner.
You Also Have the Choice of Ending that Relationship
People appreciate honesty and openness in relationships. So always be your word and tell it how it is for you. Speak the truth authentically and directly.
Assess where improvement is needed in your relationships, and get committed to improving them.
Here are my 11 strategies for doing just that:-
1. Show Your Appreciation in All Areas of Your Life
Keep a count of the number of times you say “thank you” every day and keep increasing.
Say your thanks genuinely and whole heartedly in your relationships with your partner, colleagues, family and especially the strangers who do so much to make your life convenient and easy, such as shop assistants, the postman and the dustman.
2. Listen to Other People
The greatest gift you can give people is your undivided attention.
Practice listening skills and be completely present for that person. When people are talking to you, stop what you are doing, look straight at them and avoid distractions and interruptions.
Your undivided attention tells the other person that you genuinely value them.
3. Be Genuinely Interested in Other People
The emphasis here is on being interested rather than “interesting”.
People can tell when you are genuinely interested in them or when you are just faking it. It is what you put into a relationship that ultimately determines the quality of that relationship.
4. Make Other People Feel Important
By showing everyone that they count, you raise their self esteem.
And you will feel great too.
5. Don’t Take Things Personally
What anyone says or does to you is not personal and merely a reflection of their own reality. So make yourself immune to what others say and do.
Their opinion about you is just that – their opinion.
6. Stop Criticising Others
Criticism can be so demoralising and destructive for adults and children alike. Become aware of how you speak to the people you care about, and recognise when you are being critical.
Ask people around you to give you feedback about your habits of criticism and be big enough to change your ways.
7. Empathise with Other People
Start to listen and understand the other person’s point of view. This will eliminate arguments and save you draining your energy.
Anytime you are in a tricky situation, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you would like to be treated in this situation.
8. Stop Dumping on Others
Don’t relieve your own stress by taking it out on someone close to you. This doesn’t help either of you.
Your stuff is your stuff – deal with it!
9. Focus on Changing Yourself, Not Other People
Accept and realise that you can’t change anyone else.
If a situation bothers you so much, then change yourself. It is all about you and what you bring to any relationship.
10. Don’t Make Assumptions about Other People and Situations
Communicate with others clearly so as to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
Remember that everyone is doing the best they can with their current level of knowledge, awareness and understanding.
11. Stop Gossiping and Bitching about Others
It will inevitably come back to you and affect your relationships.
Learn to only say good things about others and your relationships will soon improve. To help you, just remember this quote from Stephen R Covey:
“Improve all your relationships with others by assuming that they can hear everything you say about them” – Stephen R Covey
Daily Exercise for Today
Having read some of my insights above, I now invite you to spend some time reflecting on your life and working through the actions below.
I suggest you get a notepad and start writing down your thoughts and also ideas of what you will do to improve your relationships.
It is not enough that you just read these blog posts – you do have to take some action and commit to bringing about change in your life!
You will be glad you have done so as almost immediately you will notice the relationships with all the people in your life improving quickly.
If necessary, read the above article again and then work through these action points:-
1. Review your relationships and assess where improvements can be made. Can you identify any patterns?
2. List up to ten ways you can start improving the relationships in your life.
3. Think of five people in your life, with whom you would like to improve your relationship.
4. List five things you will do in the next seven days, to improve your relationships with these people.
5. Write down and learn from what you did and how the relationship improved.
And if you haven’t already done so, do check out the previous 16 articles in this series here:-
28 Day Relationship Adventure
Postscript – Here are the complete 28 articles in this series from February 2011.
Please do check them all out:-)
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