A lot of research has been done in last few decades and each one them have same outcome, and that is in the long term, the most important thing in everyone’s life is their personal relationships. More significant than your situations, successes or hardships, things you own or places you go, good quality relationships increase our resilience, our motivation, our happiness and protect us from depression and other “afflictions”.
This is real in the relationships which are fulfilling, be it friendships or the intimate ones, in such relationships people bring their best and cast away the bad things. They consistently focus on valuing their relationships, they spend time together, and they don’t make their interactions a competition.
You don’t have option to choose your parents and siblings; however, you can always choose your friends and lovers, and when you have chosen something or someone then you must make the best out of it. Below are some very simple steps towards improving the quality of your relationships which can help you find what you need to lead a fulfilled life.
- Decide which kind of relationships you want: If you are a people’s person, and you value relationships based on sharing, learning, fun, empathy or listening, then go for it. Or if you want to uplift your social stature, then go for the professional relationships. But, generally speaking, the most fulfilling relationships are those which make you feel part of something which is eternal and are not meant to regulate your self-esteem level.
- Decide what you value most in life as a person: You can never have fulfilling relationships with people with whom you cannot bond with. Finding out what you like and value, what is imperative for your growth and happiness will help you look for the same virtues in the people you bond with and with those people you can develop better relationships.
- Evaluate every relationship: Every relationship is important, but you need to evaluate each one of them based on what you decided that matters for you. Give them points according to your priorities. It may benefit you to give points to those relationships that help you stay true to yourself and don’t force you to pretend you’re someone else, are emotionally balanced and above average when it comes to the valuing relationships. You might want to spend more of your time and energy on the relationships which matter most to you.
- Get rid of everything that consumes you emotionally: If you are in relationships which make you weaker emotionally or influences your self-esteem by lowering it you need to get rid of them. Without being blunt, avoid relationships that favour conflict and nurture those that do you good.
- Interact frequently: Communication is the key, you need to interact more often with people that make you feel good. At home or work, look for individuals that raise your energy levels, give you reasons to smile and be optimistic, start making more interactions with such people, and you will see that you will find your self-esteem boosting up.
- Nurture your relationships: It is very important to nurture your relationships. Once you have streamlined them, it’s time to work on them. Focus on keeping them live, healthy and fulfilling, particularly focus on their quality.
- Give more, expect less: People often ask what’s in it for me. In relationships, many people tend to ask themselves the same question: “what do I get from it?”. You need to first give then only you should expect something out of it. You need to invest time and energy into nurturing those relationships. As you sow so shall you reap.
- Don’t argue, but learn to compromise smartly: Conflicts always happen in any relationship, but smartness is not to argue, and not to drag it too long, rather handle the conflicts smartly. Smart compromise involves shared responsibility for the future of the relationship and assertiveness. When everybody understands the part they play in their relationships’ evolution, the focus shifts from arguments to finding a common ground. And then only your relationships become fulfilling.
- Sharing is Caring: Relationships are always based on shared experiences, rather than anything else. So, share your knowledge, experience, emotions, books, music, or the places you have been to or the things you know others would find interesting.
- Keep an open mind: Always keep an open mind in your relationships, care for other’s emotions and feelings, and embrace the good and different you see in others. Chance is the others see the same in you and might reciprocate in the similar way you treat them.
These steps are just a hint of what you could do towards improving your relationships. All of them might not fit in your case, but one thing is very sure, which is “Communication is the key”, you need to work on the communication part, communicate in a healthy manner, do not point out the flaws in others, listen to them carefully and patiently. Do whatever it requires to make it better and live a contended life with best people in the world.
“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.”
Also published on Medium.