From the moment we are born, throughout our lives, relationships are critical not only for survival but also for enjoyment and fulfillment. Research has shown that people who enjoy positive relationships with family, friends and others tend to be healthier, happier and more successful in many ways. Here are some primary ways to enjoy better relationships for a more successful life:
Do your best to love and care for other people in your life. Love has been called the “killer app” because it makes life better for the person giving love and those receiving love. Love as defined in the Bible is not a feeling but an action taken to benefit other people. We are able to provide this self-sacrificing (agape) love to others because God loves us so much more. There is no path to better relationships than using agape-love with everyone we encounter in our lives. Just being kind and considerate of others you encounter during your day can go a long way to enriching their lives, your life, and making the world a better place.
Seek to understand others’ viewpoints and respond to their needs, before expecting them to understand you. The famous author-teacher-speaker Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Use two-way communication to be sure you understand them and they understand you. In other words just talking to or emailing or messaging other people can be a total flop if it is not two-way – that means we seek the other person’s response to ensure good, thorough communication
Be honest and open with other people. Make clear what you want, need and think. At the same time find out what others want, need and think. Expect and respect their differences; don’t feel you have to agree on every point. Do not lie or deceive – that always leads to harmful consequences sooner or later.
Forgive others and apologize when needed. You are bound to do or say something to hurt someone else’s feelings, offend them or make them angry. When you make a mistake, don’t hesitate to apologize and say you’re sorry. Likewise be quick to forgive other people who hurt or offend you, whether they apologize or not. Never hold a grudge or seek revenge – it’s poison to your system.
Pick your battles and don’t always have to win. Some people argue for the sake of arguing and want to always win. They get angry if they don’t win. Yes, winning is the main thing in sports, but in relationships that matter, allow the other person to win or have their way sometimes, for the sake of a good relationship. If you feel you must always win, or get upset if you don’t, perhaps it’s time to see a good psychotherapist.
These are a few of the many dimensions to relationships. Take time now to write down your thoughts about your current relationships, pros and cons, and what improvements you would like to make on your success journey,
Then move on to the next section, Work.