In one form or the other, everyone has to be a part of a relationship. As parents, children, colleagues, spouses, employers & employees we share our space in this world with many many other people. But relationships are about more than just sharing spaces; they’re about making real,valuable connections with human-beings.
Often we sort of “fall” into relationships and let them happen as we go about our daily tasks. Relationships have merely become automated links to the people around us. We pay attention to them when something goes wrong or someone becomes tragically ill. Then when everything is okay we fall back into the routine of expecting these relationships to just exist. We fail to actively nurture & care for them.
Here’s the thing about relationships: The condition of your relationships is a good indicator of the quality of happiness you will experience in every major area of your life. If you’re unhappy in a specific area of your life, rest assured that growing your relationships will help you find more direction,purpose & fulfilment in that area. And that’s because our relationships affect us in more ways than we think, from our mindset and moods to our perspective on the world around us the quality and nature of our relationships eventually shape the type of people we become.
3 Practical Steps To Grow Your Relationships
1. Communicate your appreciation
Often, the people who do the most for us are the ones we thank the least. If the people around you don’t know that you’re appreciative of their contributions to your life, they’re not going to feel recognised or acknowledged. Eventually, they may even convince themselves that you’re just using them or that you don’t care about them.
2. Speak for yourself
People make insulting or hateful statements all the time. How many times have you heard a person say,”But I didn’t mean it that way” or “I’m sorry I said that. I didn’t intend to”? The vast majority of people who make disparaging or insulting remarks don’t intentionally mean to hurt anyone. They’ll tell you that it came across wrong or that they won’t say it again. Yet how is it that people say hurtful things all the time? This happens when you allow your ego to speak on your behalf. When next you’re upset or hurt, take a few moments to consider what you’re about to say and whether it’s your true authentic self saying it or your ego speaking on your behalf.
3. Be aware
Be acutely aware of who and what influences you and your children/spouse/parents. When you understand why the people around you behave the way they do, you will understand how to react towards them better. Let your spouse know about the influences from your past and your present that have shaped you into the person you are. This will help him/her understand you better. People will react to you after taking 2 things into consideration:
A) They will mentally link your current situation with a similar situation that they may have experienced. They will then react in they way they’ve seen others react in similar situations.
B) They will form an opinion of you based on what they see and hear from you. If they’re not made aware of your personal challenges they’re going to react based purely on what they see. They may see obstinacy when in reality you have fear. They may see arrogance when in fact you’re trying to avoid confrontation. To remedy this, ensure that those close to you are aware of the challenges you currently face and the occurrences from your past that have shaped you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to practically nurture your marriage and craft a lasting, fulfilling relationship with your spouse, you may want to consider attending my annual marriage seminar where I share time-tested strategies and methods to grow the best possible version of your marriage.