Want to build positive relationships? Then make sure not to commit the following 10 things that disrupt relationships:

  1. Giving hurtful comments. Are you hurting others by your lack of tact? You might think that you’re being helpful, but your intentions might have hurt the other party instead. Put yourself in others’ shoes first. If it’s not a comment you appreciate hearing yourself, then perhaps it’s not something others will appreciate either.
  2. Giving solutions when the person is really looking for a listening ear. Probably an understatement: A lot of times what people want is a listening ear. Deep down, people have solutions to the problems they are facing – they are just looking for someone to share their frustrations with because they have had a long and hard day. I had a friend who would always butt in with suggestions whenever I shared my frustrations. Our conversations became stifling – in the end I stopped talking about them altogether because I wasn’t getting the refuge I wanted. Be more conscious of what the other party is looking for, and adjust accordingly to fit that.
  3. Being judgmental; Thinking you are above others. No one likes to be judged or labeled. If you are constantly judging others for what they do/say, it might be good to reflect that upon yourself.  Putting someone off doesn’t make someone a better person; it just makes him/her appear insecure. Humility is a timeless virtue that’s appreciated by everyone.
  4. Being defensive to criticism. How well do you respond to criticism? Do you become defensive and wall yourself up? Or do you graciously take it into stride and use the criticism constructively for growth? Learn to deal with critical people – it might be the most important skill you can ever acquire.
  5. Telling people what to do. Most of us don’t like it when people try to boss us around. Learning to energize people and get them on board a common vision is more empowering than trying to order people around.
  6. Being aloof; Not being responsive. I have experienced situations where acquaintances do not respond to correspondences, possibly because they do not see them as important. Subsequently I form a very bad impression of them, and deprioritize their requests when they seek my help later on.
  7. Thinking you know it all. The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know. There is a wealth of knowledge out there for us to learn. Thinking you know everything, rejecting new methods and vehemently insisting on your ways prevents you from connecting with others. Be open to trying new things.
  8. Being a complainer. It’s okay to complain every once in a while, but doing it all too often puts off people. Complaining too much makes you an energy vortex – it becomes draining to be around you. People like to be around positive people, not energy vampires. If you are one, it’s not too late to change – start by focusing on positive things around you and work from there.
  9. Not following up on things you agreed on. One of my pet peeves is when people don’t follow up on things they agree on (be it appointments, favors, etc). I think it makes them unreliable and leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. These are the same people that I make a note not to work with in the future.
  10. Not listening. Are you present in your conversations with others? Or is your mind on something else? When conversing with someone, learn to not only listen, but listen actively. Seek out the underlying message behind what someone is saying.

Here are some classic posts on dealing with people which you should check out:

Let’s work hard to build more meaningful relationships in 2011!

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