In February, we focus on our relationships with our spouses/significant others (at least you’d better.) Here are some tips for improving your relationships with your loved one, family and friends. This advice is also useful in growing your Vitamist business.
Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how important they are to you. Live in the moment. “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, That’s why it is called the Present.”
Communication is the foundation for building any strong relationship. Make sure there is constant dialogue and do not assume the other person automatically knows what you mean or are thinking. A direct conversation, phone call or hand written letter are better forms of communication than an impersonal email, online post or text message.
Listen more than you talk (that’s why we have two ears and just one mouth). Listen more closely by being an active listener. Many of the most well-liked and cherished people are good listeners. Resist the urge to think about your response while the other person is talking. Quite often, listening without a response is the best course of action. When you ask someone how their day is/was, really listen to what they have to say.
Smile and laugh more often. When you smile and laugh the world smiles and laughs with you. A positive attitude and good demeanor will do wonders for your relationships.
Get to know yourself better; you cannot make others happy unless you are happy with yourself. Find out what truly makes you happy and be honest with yourself.
Go out of your way to do something nice on a regular basis. Do not wait for a special occasion to do something nice. Do not be a creature of habit, use different ways to surprise someone.
Take an interest in the other person’s interest. Find out what is important to them and celebrate it. Be willing to try something new (sometimes that means doing something you don’t want).
Be on time, EVERY TIME! “If you are 5 minutes early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late. If you’re late, then you have got a lot of explaining to do.” When you are late, what your actions are saying, “You are not that important to me or I did not care enough to be on time.”
Recognize that everyone has hardships that they must deal with on occasions. Respect their feelings and privacy. It may not be easy, but try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Try it, you will find it worthwhile.
Omit the words “I told you so” from your vocabulary. Nothing is less helpful and more annoying.
Don’t talk about yourself all the time; trust me, NO ONE wants to hear it. Don’t complain, NO ONE wants to hear that either.
Never, ever lie. Trust is the glue to any relationship. Once your integrity is lost, you seldom regain it. “Do what you say, say what you do.” Be willing to take full responsibility for your own words and actions if you want your relationships to work.
First impressions highlight similarities, but it is often the differences between two people that make a relationship unique. Showing interest in the different cultures, beliefs, origins, and interests of your friends and loved ones can enrich and strengthen your ties.
If you are mad at someone, figure out if it is something they did, or is it something within yourself that is truly the root of your anger? Choose your words carefully when you are upset, once they leave your mouth, you can’t take them back. Conflict resolution is healthy and smoothes the rough edges of relationships. There will be disagreements, differences of opinion, and even disappointments. A commitment to resolve conflicts with respect, support, and equality can actually strengthen a relationship.
Find out what the other person expects from you and say what you expect from them. Do not get frustrated if they are not meeting your expectations, especially if you have not communicated them well. Make sure that your expectations are realistic. Be willing to do for them, everything you ask of them. Consider how your actions and expectations affect them.
Recognize that sacrifice is not for the other; rather sacrifice is for the benefit of the relationship. Recognize the balance in the relationship and that two halves make one whole. The more space you take, the less it leaves for the other person.
Relationships have no finish line. Relationships are wonderful journeys that must be allowed to unfold. I wish you the best in ALL of your relationships.