You are here: HomeRELATIONSHIPHow to improve your relationship part 1

How to improve your relationship part 1

Written by 
  • Print
  • Email

Any type of relationship, whether it is between family members, co-workers and friends takes a lot of work to maintain and build upon. The key factors of a happy relationship are developing trust, compassion and acceptance of the other. Differences must be taken into account as no two people are alike or have the same interests, and while you will naturally seek a common ground, accommodating both differences and compatibilities is essential for a long-lasting connection.


Know thyself: This simple adage is essential for building a good relationship. If you don’t know your own needs, wants, preferences and limits, you risk using relationships as a source of your own validation which can easily lead to co-dependency, clingy behaviour, aggressive possessiveness, manipulation or other unhealthy reasons for wanting to be with others. Knowing yourself enables you to be a creative, uplifting force rather than being destructive. We are always attracted to people who make us feel good about ourselves and ultimately, this is the number one skill in improving our relationships with others. 


Avoid being needy. At times, many of us come across as needy because we feel we are not whole unless we are part of a couple. Being single is not always a choice, but it is important to make the most of it and to continue to reach out to others rather than constantly seeming needy and lost. Learn to spend time with yourself in positive ways, see being alone as healthy rather than lonely and as another spectrum of your complete self. 

For those who come from broken homes, there can be a deep yearning to recreate a family that ‘works’. There is nothing wrong with this desire provided you do not let it affect the life you have; do not put your life’s fulfillment on hold because of a contingency you haven’t met yet. 

Remember that the best relationships are based on living, loving, and sharing: Living means letting others live as they choose as far as it doesn’t infringe on the dignity of others around them; don’t try to change people or direct their life’s choices, while there is room for guidance, don’t force your preferences on others. It also means actively enjoying being with other people by truly listening to them.. Cultivate being present as the best gift you can ever give to another human being.

Loving means giving to others without conditions, this is probably one of the hardest things to do because sometimes our sense of care for another person loses perspective in our responsibility or feelings of worry for another person and we seek to place conditions on our love as a way of shaping the outcomes we hope to see for them. Try very hard to get beyond that temptation and simply love people for who they are. If you see warts, keep scraping until you find the gem underneath.

Grasp the other person’s perspective: Another important relationship improvement technique is wearing the other person’s shoes. It is impossible to truly know a person’s motivations, reasons and actions until we look with care and listen with an open heart. It is easy to dismiss a person because they have done or said things we are not in agreement with or because we feel hurt on a superficial level and prefer to lick our own wounds instead of looking at the real motivations underlying their intent. 

Be ready to face difficulties and problems: Letting problems in a relationship fester is a recipe for misunderstanding and anger which can ultimately lead to a rupture. Talk to one another openly about feelings, issues and concerns. Avoid prejudging by gossip but do seek to clear the air when someone you interact with seems to have said or done something that reverberates negatively on you. 

When discussing things openly, there is no need to confess all your sins and give them your whole life story. Be circumspect about what you say and get to the point. Making up sob stories to have others feel sorry for you wears thin very quickly.

Be willing to take full responsibility for your own words and actions: After childhood, you are expected to be responsible for what you say and do; unfortunately, many adults are unable to grasp this simple notion and who feel safer, for one reason or another, in placing blame for their own inadequacies and actions onto others. After a time, this causes relationships to falter because nobody wants to be at the receiving end all the time, and it is both boring and exhausting to be around someone who constantly blames others but never takes personal responsibility. One very fast way to improve many relationships is to accept responsibility where it is due.

Grow together: Expecting someone to remain the same person they were 5, 10, or 20 years ago is both unrealistic and unfair. Do you want to be remembered as the same person you were 20 years ago or have you grown and changed in that time? Good relationships make space for growth and both parties accept it in each other. Bringing out the best in others is one of the greatest experiences of being part of a relationship, whether it is family, lovers, students, staff, co-workers, friends. 

Nurture your relationships: Any living being needs nurturing. This means setting aside time, however brief, to spend with this person. In intimate relationships, the time needed together will be far greater than the time for a boss with an employee or a retailer with a customer, but in every single case, the time spent must be dedicated, focused, and of quality. Give your full attention, show that you care and be mentally and emotionally available when you spend time with another. 

Believe, trust and assume good faith. Believing in people and trusting them is not always easy. Certainly, there are people who will abuse your trust and won’t live up to your belief in them. However, it is always better to assume that others will do the right thing and that they will seek to live up to your belief in them than to view the world through fearful or angry lenses. By all means use your wits and common sense about what doesn’t feel right when interacting with other people. 

People are more complex than we often give them credit for. In many cases this is because it is easier to assume things in black and white so that we can get on with our lives. However, this is often a disservice to others because we assume things that are often wrong and in doing so, we simplify them to their discredit. Instead, seek to understand more and in doing so, you will learn more about yourself too.

Read 1155 times
More in this category: « Ways to get over an ex-lover

Editors Pick

Donec mi lorem ...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...

Vestibulum bibe...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...

Nam dui risus ...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...

Curabitur aliqu...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...