5 Must Haves for a Great Relationship
We’ve all been in and out of bad relationships, or saw a good one go south because of mistakes made by both parties. Here are 5 simple steps to help eliminate some major relationship pitfalls we all succumb to from time to time.
You’ve heard it a million times before and you are hearing it again. Why? Because it is worth repeating, it is an unbelievably crucial aspect to all interactions.
However, I am not referring to talking just for the sake of talking, I’m not even referring to the touchy feely stuff psychiatrist are always going on about, I’m talking about Effective Communication. It is a technique that is employed in the professional sphere as well as the personal realm and yields amazing results when done properly.
It entails clearly delivering your thoughts and feelings, but also insists that you are aware of whether or not the recipient received the message as you intended. Never assume, ask questions, find out how well they understood your meaning and if something was missed, clarify.
Pay special attention to non-verbal cues and be aware of emotions not expressed. Then coax them into discussing them with you by creating a conversational environment that is judgment free and dialogue oriented. Now it’s your turn to listen attentively and strive to understand the entirety of what they are telling you. Again, never assume you know what they mean, ask questions, summarize for them what you think they mean and get feedback.
Understand this fundamental truth, you cannot change someone else. You cannot mold them to make them more acceptable to you. You cannot control another human being through force of will.
The only thing you truly have control over is yourself, and this boils down to approximately 3 things.
- You control your thoughts.
- You control your words.
- You control your actions.
Attempting to change another is an exercise in futility. The “if onlys” will serve to frustrate not just you but them as well.
Accept them for who they are in their entirety, if this means that you cannot maintain a relationship with them, then so be it. After all, you wouldn’t want someone trying to change things about you, would you?
3. Maintain your own identity
When we meet people who dazzle us we have a tendency to want to be around them constantly. It feels good and who doesn’t want to feel good? The downside is that we lose sight of who we are as individuals.
We stop doing the things that we enjoyed doing before, we stop seeing the other people in our lives as often and we stop thinking in terms of self. We forget that all of those things contribute to making us the people we were when we met them. That is the person that they were interested in, not some shell of our former selves that no longer resembles that person.
Step back and think about it logically, if you are around each other constantly what do you have to talk about? What are you bringing to the conversation? What news do you have to share? Not much, because they were there too.
This is not about absence making the heart grow fonder; this is about simply maintaining the stunning person that you are so that you can both happily share in each other’s’ accomplishments and lives.
The key necessity in any relationship is Trust. You must trust them with your confidences, you must trust them to be there for you in a time of need and you must trust them with your heart. We make ourselves very vulnerable when we put our trust in others.
If a trust has been violated you must think long and hard about whether or not you can truly trust them again. If you choose to maintain a relationship with someone after the trust has been broken it is your responsibility to process the situation and honestly, 100%, know without doubt that you have moved past it. If you do not, the only outcome will be resentment and bitterness.
I cannot overstate the importance of Respect enough. It encompasses all of the other ideas in a single word. Respect them enough to communicate effectively with them, Respect them enough to accept them for who they are, Respect them enough to let them maintain their individuality, Respect them enough to trust them.
And off course, above all that, expect that same Respect in return.
One final message. If you have read this and thought that it applied to a relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend, wife/husband, lover or significant other you are correct.
If you think it ONLY applies to those types of relationships, look again. These tenants apply to ALL human interaction. Whether it’s a family member, a coworker or a friend, these ideas are fundamental to any successful relationship.
We have an inclination to cloud our minds when we categorize our interactions, especially those we call intimate. I strongly recommend you view your intimate relationships through the same eyes you view your friendships and family members. With the same expectations. In doing so you will build a more stable and rewarding connection with those you care for the most.
Please leave a comment, share your thoughts. I welcome feedback.