Keys To Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships
Relationships exist in our life in many forms. When we are surrounded by good relationships, we feel better about ourselves. If we are surrounded by toxic relationships, we struggle to find our happiness.
Take a few moments to look around you. Chances are everything in your life revolves around relationships of some kind. This is why it is so important to constantly be working at building positive relationships. Relationships can be with your family, your friends, a significant other, your co-workers, your teammates...the list goes on. Positive relationships will build you up, boost your self-esteem, and make you feel good about yourself. All relationships take time to build, and must be built on a mutually beneficial base consisting of trust, respect, honestly, understanding and support.
I am a firm believer in the “New Golden Rule”. You’re probably familiar with the old Golden Rule – the one that says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The new golden rule is a bit of a twist from the old one, and simply states “treat other people the way they want to be treated because they way that you want to be treated may not be right for them.” Relationships are all about understanding others and meeting the needs of others, we can accomplish this better if we focus on treating others the way they would like to be treated.
Following using the “New Golden Rule”, the next thing you can do to improve any relationship is to listen more and talk less. Listening to others with genuine interest in what they have to say, looking at them when they are speaking, and summarizing what they have said to you, or asking questions regarding what they have said, are great ways to show someone you care about your relationship with them. If this isn’t your strongest area – don’t worry! It is a skill that can be worked on and improved, and one that you will reap the benefits from in all aspects of your life.
Another big factor of positive relationships is building others up, rather than tearing them down. Yes everyone has room to improve, but rather than focusing on that, focus on the good things about others in your life. When you find them, tell them! As you do this, you should also stay away from gossip and rumours that only have intention to harm. Avoid talking behind people’s backs. Remember, good relationships with others begin with your own personal behaviour.
If conflicts do arise, take responsibility for your part in them. Before you begin or continue an argument, ask yourself if it is worth arguing over. Is it more important to be happy, or be right? Is it a subject you must be right about? Is it worth giving up a relationship over? If it’s not, try instead to agree to disagree, and move past it. You will not always agree with what others in your life have to say, nor will they agree with you. That is the beauty of freedom of choice and opinion. Indeed, it is actually one of the things that can make a relationship great.
Positive relationships do not happen overnight. They require effort on both parts to keep them positive. Having and maintaining positive relationships can have a direct effect on our overall happiness in life. Make sure you take the steps you need that will insure you improve the relationships you already have, and that will help you create new relationships in your life.