Thanksgiving Week Lesson 3 – How To Add a Little Sizzle to Your Relationships

The miracel of love

Who are you spending thanksgiving with?

The nicest thing about thanksgiving is how you get to spend time with your loved ones – those people close to you and who make your life worth living.

This is the third in my series of five special posts for thanksgiving week – and it’s about improving all our relationships with each other.

Check out the first two posts here:-

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 1 – How To Embrace What You Already Have

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 2 – How To Let Yourself Give and Receive

Tomorrow as you spend time with your loved ones, you can appreciate and fully accept them, no matter what their quirks are.

Can’t you?!

However being in such close proximity of family and friends can often lead to fallouts or arguments!

Isn’t it ironic that we often have issues with those people that we care about more than anything else in the world?

We so often take people for granted only to miss them as soon as they have left. Many times loved ones leave, and we wish we’d told them how much they mean to us.

So show your loved ones you truly care for them everyday and not just on a few special occasions each year.

This article is about much more than just the relationship with your loved ones – I am covering the whole spectrum of all your relationships.

I believe that if we improve the one to one relations with all the people around us, ultimately relationships on a global level will also improve.

Ultimately, we all do want to have great relationships with everyone in our life.

People will come and go, but their impact on your life and their special essence remains with you forever.

Every person has a “gift” for you – a lesson – ask what you can learn and receive in each relationship.

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!

time to hug and make-up!

This thanksgiving, assess where improvement is needed in your relationships, and get committed to improving them.

Here are my tips 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 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 raise your own self esteem too.

Help other people feel important and valued, and they will be willing and ready to do anything for you. It really is no rocket science.

Of course that shouldn’t be your underlying reason for wanting to make them feel they count!

5. Don’t take things personally.

What anyone says or does to you is merely a reflection of their own reality. Become immune to what others say and do, when it’s negative or hurtful.

See it as a gift to you and an opportunity for you to help them.

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 genuine and open feedback about your habits of criticism (if any) 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 help avoid arguments and save you from 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.

Remember the old saying – do unto others what you would have done to you.

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!

When you catch yourself about to dump on someone, just pause, have a deep breath and find some space your own. Reflect on what’s really going on for you.

Ask how sharing your woes with others will really help you or them.

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 it or change your attitude to it.

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.

Ask for clarification any time you are not clear about something. Speak up even if you feel you might sound stupid or naïve – better to be clear now, than to have a fall out later. The other person will also appreciate where you are coming from.

Apply the four agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz in your life to get personal freedom.

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:-

“Improve your relationships with others by assuming that they can hear everything you say about them.” – Stephen R Covey

Make it Thanksgiving Day every day.

Just imagine what your life would be like if all your relationships were to be just as warm, close and loving as they are on Thanksgiving Day.

And you know what, they can be!

Start today with these simple tips for improving all your relationships and adding a little sizzle to them:-)

It is of course not enough that you just read these series of articles for thanksgiving week – you do have to take some action and commit to bringing about positive changes in your life.

Today, you will be glad you have done so, as almost immediately you will notice that your relationships with all the people in your life begin to improve.

As usual, do share your thoughts below – and especially please share the one thing you will do differently on this thanksgiving to improve your relationships with your loved ones.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone:-)

Please also check out the other two articles in my series of five articles for thanksgiving:-

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 1 – How To Embrace What You Already Have

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 2 – How To Let Yourself Give and Receive


improve your relationship even with the people who want to eat you!

Top Image courtesy of Kjunstorm

9 Smart Ways to FOCUS in the Age of Distraction

Get this life-changing guide, absolutely free, along with weekly Make It Happen tips delivered directly to your inbox. Just type in your email address below.


  1. Annie Stith says

    Hey, Arvind!

    Just a reminder —

    Many people are separated from their blood family during the holidays, because they can’t afford to go home, or because of a dispute that’s gotten between them. Either one can lead to depression, even suicide. (The rate of attempted suicides goes *way* up during the holidays.)

    Make this a *really* good holiday season by showing someone you’re grateful you know them by inviting them to your celebration. It’s a little thing for you, but a huge thing for them.


    • Hey, Annie,

      Thanks for that reminder that not everyone is necessarily with their blood family during this thanksgiving holidays, for whatever reasons.

      As you say, what we can do to make it a really good holiday season is to invite someone like to this to your own celebration.

      A small gesture like this can go a long way:-)

      Happy holidays, Annie!

  2. Hi Arvind,
    How small our world would be if we didn’t invest in building relationships with others. I love all your tips too – such wisdom in your words.

    We need to focus more on the good in others and refrain from criticizing so much. The more we focus on their good qualities the more they good qualities will expand!

    I’m so grateful to be able to call you my friend Arvind. It’s an honor and true pleasure to know you. Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend.

    • Thanks Angela for all your kind words!

      But the honour and pleasure is all really mine:-)

      As you say, our world would be a very small and also lonely place if we didn’t invest in building relationships with others.

      Let’s all focus more on the good in others and refrain from criticism. Focus on their goodness and you will get so much goodness back.

      Angela, happy thanksgiving in your new home:-)

  3. John Sherry says

    Arvind, I have to say this may be one of your best posts ever! The phrase, “give people your undivided attention” is simple gold in itself. Moreover it has reminded me that I’m short in some areas from being the person I want to be and have some work to do. You offer these truths so gently and uncritically it helps me take them on board in an inspirational way. My genuine thanks for the giving and your sagacious sense. With unlimited gratitude.

    • Arvind Devalia says

      Thanks John!

      That’s high praise indeed, if someone like you considers this to be one of my best posts ever:-)

      “Give people your undivided attention” – if all of us were to do just this all the time, the world would be transformed overnight.

      Thank YOU, John.

  4. Great advice! I will be going with all five of my young adult kids to a big potluck for Thanksgiving tomorrow. My two sons have autism, so their behavior is, shall we say, unpredictable. You have reminded me to take them as they are and relax. Thank you.

  5. Satya Colombo says

    Nice work, my friend! Really love the epic work you’ve put into this series — your voice is shining through!

    Wise words:
    “Every person has a “gift” for you – a lesson – ask what you can learn and receive in each relationship. ”

    – this is the winning attitude for success no matter what…! 🙂

  6. Wonderful! And a great reminder for all of us to make loved ones out of those around us, if we can’t be with our family.

  7. Hi Arvind,

    I love the awesome tips shared and couldn’t agree more. I have been reading all your wonderful lessons on Thanksgiving past few days and they are just awesome. I guess this is the one time when you can really express your gratitude and gratefulness to the people who really matter most to you.

    Thanks for sharing and wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Dear Harleena,

      Welcome to my blog!

      Thanks for your kind words – and I am glad you have found these tips and thanksgiving articles useful.

      I also wish you and your family a very happy thanksgiving.

      Love and appreciation


9 Smart Ways to Focus in the Age of Distraction


Get this life-changing guide, absolutely free, along with weekly Make It Happen tips delivered directly to your inbox.


Just type in your email address below:-