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Improve Your Relationships

Feb 21, 2008
Relationships are complex things, but following these basics will help you make your relationships healthy and strong.

When in doubt, listen first and check to see if you have understood the other person by asking them questions. Often relationships go awry when people feel they aren't being heard or understood and sometimes it's important just to listen. You have to know what they want, not what you think is good for them. Listening is what helps us to find connection with each other. This also means you need to tell others what you really feel, think, and want. You can't feel connected if you don't voice these things.

Communicate simply when it is most critical that they hear you. Get clear in your own mind what kind of outcome you would like and try to state it in the most simple and specific terms. You will more likely be understood the more clear you can be, and often that means fewer words, not more. Sometimes repetition is necessary in getting through to someone what is really important to you.

Always show respect. Respect means listening, accepting a no when you are given one, not taking them for granted, being honest in your dealings with them, and not criticizing often or discouraging them. It is also important that you do not try to control others, and just as important that you show respect to yourself and ask that they treat you the same or be willing to walk away.

Know when it isn't a healthy relationship. Just because you care about someone doesn't mean you should be in a relationship with them at this time. They should be good for you, not addicted to anything, not controlling or abusive in any way, and make you feel secure and happy. It is not possible to make a relationship work with someone who doesn't care about you, or who abuses a substance or you, so don't try.

Seek to be good for others and don't tear them down. People like to be with those who make them feel good and who are good for them. Lighten up and have fun together and your relationship will grow.

Do You Understand your partner? This looks little different kind of question, isn't it? Because all of us think that we understand our partner. Is that true for all of us? What is the truth?

What all do we need to know about a person to feel that we understand them? Let us list out. Food habits, clothing choice, hobbies, emotional response, values, ambitions, behavior, mental strength, IQ, EQ and others. How much do you know about behavior response of your partner? Let us not talk about everyday behavior but how do they behave during extraordinary circumstances. For example, if a burger enters the house at night, what will be your partner's reaction? They will feel frightened? They will go and confront the burglar? They will try to catch the burglar or they will try to kill?

We can raise many such questions and try and think if we know the answer. Suppose your partner is dressed in their best clothes and is attending a party. Somebody spills a liquid on his or her clothes by mistake. How do you think they will react? Can you answer this? Think of different situations and answer them to know if you really understand your partner.

Knowing about likes and dislikes does not mean understanding. To understand means to know the values, the life goals and the priorities of a person. To understand means to know what incidences made what impacts on that person. To understand means - you will be able to predict the reaction of your partner at a crucial moment. Can you do that with surety?

In the beginning of our relationship, we all talk about good things of life. Our focus is more to please our partner. Our focus is to get more pleasure in their company. we never think about the underlying psychological behavior at that time. After the relationship develop little further, we find that many times we get baffled by what our partner does and vice-versa. Better understand leads to stronger relationship.
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