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For Busy People: How To Make Your Relationship New Every Day

For Busy People: How To Make Your Relationship New Every Day

We all have a lot of things on our daily to-do lists. Even if it’s stuff closely related to our goals in life, we still need to get back to reality and dedicate time to the small things that matter. At the end of the day, they are the things that actually make a difference.

I’m talking about finding the time to improve our relationships, to say something nice to our loved ones, to ask them about their day, and listen to them with a smile on our face. Take the time to remember how you first felt when you fell in love. Remind your partner of these emotions whenever possible.

We all know we should be doing that, but with everything going on throughout the busy day, we come home exhausted and just want some time for ourselves. Unfortunately, if we let things be like that, it soon becomes a habit. We may not notice that right away, but the ones closest to us do. They may even be hurt by the lack of attention.

That’s why you should start doing something small daily to remind them that you’re here and you still care, even though you’re busy.

Here are some little things to do daily to renew your relationships:

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1. Practice random acts of kindness to remind people that they are loved.

It may be a small gift every now and then, an unexpected call at work, preparing a meal when they don’t feel well, or doing most of the work at home so that they can relax. For example, I sometimes call my mom on Skype just to have a quick chat with her since we live in different countries. She’s always happy to hear my voice and see my smile. I also send messages to friends whom I have not spoken to in a while, just to see how they are doing.

All these seemingly small things can make someone’s day. The most important thing is that they are random. The other person doesn’t expect them. Furthermore, once it happens, they see you’ve been thinking about them and are doing something special, even though you don’t need to.

In the long-term that can keep a relationship alive, or even renew an existing one.

2. Be a good listener.

We speak too much and listen too little these days. Most of all, we crave to be heard.

To overcome this, sit down every day for 10-20 minutes and pay your whole attention to what the other person has to say. Don’t interrupt. Don’t try to express opinion or talk about yourself, simply listen and try to read between the lines.

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You may ask questions to make him feel comfortable, so they can share what’s on their mind. Once they start talking, let go of anything else that distracts you and focus on their words.

For me, this is always during meal times. My wife and I have a rule where we put away our phones when we eat so we can concentrate on each other. It takes no time at all, but can become a powerful ritual of connection and compassion. Accordingly, your relationship will thrive.

3. Don’t judge and criticize loved ones during the short time you spend together daily.

It’s easy to constantly criticize people, expect more from them, and judge everything they do; however, it’s also completely wrong. To make matters worse, someone usually gets hurt in the process.

Instead, accept them for who they are. We’re talking about people you love here, so there are many reasons to appreciate them. You’ve chosen to be a big part of each other’s lives, so remind yourself of the main reasons more often.

Soon you’ll stop judging these people, and will be grateful for having them around instead. They will feel loved and more comfortable being themselves around you. This makes your relationships grow stronger over time.

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I have a number of friends who consistently do things which I find incredibly silly or self-destructive. I have long decided to accept them for their faults and just be there to support them when they need it. This has made it a lot easier for me to let go of my frustrations and just enjoy their company instead.

4. Establish traditions and make them a priority.

If you want to make your relationship with someone you love new every day, but are really busy, create a tradition. It means making time for a conversation, or a meal, or to gather with friends in the evening. It could be anything.

Start with once a week, if you can’t make time daily, but stick to it. Make it your top priority. Once you see how beneficial it is to the relationship, you’ll see it’s worth finding time for it each day.

I make sure to bathe my daughter every day. It is our special time in the shower together and she enjoys talking to me. She also enjoys “helping me” wash my hair. Even when I get home late, she will wait for me so she can have that time with me. I really love this precious time together.

5. Be completely honest with the other person.

It’s important to say everything as it is. If you see that things between you are going in the wrong direction, talk about it. Say it directly. Also, share the fact that you don’t make enough time for that person and feel bad about it. This way they will see you still care and are ready to make changes.

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If you never talk about it, they may think you haven’t even noticed that things are bad and don’t care. That may mean losing the person without realizing, only because you haven’t been honest and they have moved on without you. Don’t let that happen.

My wife and I have agreed that we will always be truthful with each other, even if it means letting each other know that the other party looks fat in that new pair of jeans. It helps so we don’t go out looking like crap!

Conclusion

No matter how busy you are, make some time daily to renew your relationships. Hopefully, with these tips you can improve your relationships and live an even happier life.

Featured photo credit: Couple d’amoureaux dans une brasserie parisienne / Jean-Marc PAYET on Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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