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8 Keys To Attracting Healthy Relationships

8 Keys To Attracting Healthy Relationships

We all have relationship problems. That’s a given. Unless you live a solitary life on top of a mountain, you will inevitably need to deal with people. But if you are experiencing relationship problems with many different people in your life, you might need to re-think the kind of people you are allowing into your life. Here are 8 keys to attracting healthy relationships:

1. Know who you are.

How self-aware are you? What kind of behavior do you have in relationships? It’s so easy to blame others for relationship problems, but take a look in the mirror. Are you perfect? Of course not! No one is. So be honest with yourself about what you bring to your relationships. Some is good, some is bad. But be realistic while looking at yourself. Once you are aware of who you are, you can work on your “shortcomings” and bring your best self to every relationship.

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2. Know what you want.

What everyone should want is to be treat with kindness and respect. However, there are many relationships where these qualities don’t even exist. If you’re looking for a romantic partner, write down the qualities of the person you want to attract. If you don’t know what you want, write down what you DON’T want. Then just flip that list around and write the opposite. For example, if you don’t want someone who doesn’t show affection, then you want someone who is affectionate. Even with friends, what kind of people do you want in your life? Do you want to be connected to them 24/7 or do you want your space? Do you want a party friend, or do you want a shy “let’s go for coffee once in a while” friend? Get clear on what you want.

3. Know you’re lovable and worthy.

One of the reasons that people find themselves in bad relationships is because they don’t think they deserve love and respect. If you have low self-esteem, you will literally put out a slow vibration that will attract other people with low self-esteem. And those people might not treat you very well. So you need to start loving yourself as much as possible. Know that you deserve happy, strong, loving, respectful relationships.

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4. Teach people how to treat you.

If someone is treating you badly and you don’t stop them, then they will keep doing it. You need to set your boundaries about what kind of behavior you allow into your life from others. Even if a friend you really like is constantly an hour late whenever you get together, you need to have a talk and tell them that their behavior has a negative effect on you. If they frustrate and exhaust you, don’t put up with it. You can explicitly or implicitly send a message to people about what kind of behavior you will and will not allow in your life.

5. Love your own company.

You need to love yourself enough that you prefer being alone than in a bad relationship. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship, if you feel drained by being with someone, then it’s probably better to be alone. Even if you are an extrovert, you have to realize that it’s okay to be alone. If you love yourself, you will find being with yourself is more enjoyable than being with people who you don’t treat you well.

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6. Be aware of how you feel in other people’s company.

Do you have a lot of “energy vampires” in your life? Many people do. An energy vampire is someone who is a taker. You give, and they do nothing but take. When you’re with them, you feel bad.  When you leave their presence, you still feel bad — almost like you want to shake off their negative energy. You feel like they suck the life out of you. If you know people like that, then why are you still hanging out with them? Decide right here and right now that you will only surround yourself with people who lift you higher, not drag you down.

7. See people for who they really are.

Sometimes we fool ourselves. We have our “rose-colored glasses” on way too often. We see the “outer” person, but not who they are on the inside. They may have been the funniest, nicest, coolest, most awesome person when you first met them, but maybe that’s just their facade and not their true selves. Look at their behaviors, not their words. Do they treat you kindly? If not, then there is more to them than meets the eye. Be on the lookout for inconsistencies in their personality.

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8. Don’t settle.

Many people think they have to settle or else they won’t have anyone in their lives. But when you settle – either in a romantic relationship or a friendship – you will undoubtedly end up disappointed. I’m not saying that any relationship is perfect, but you need to define your standards. Define them, enforce them, and live up to them! Don’t lower them for anyone.

Having healthy relationships starts with you. You need to decide that you won’t allow anything BUT healthy relationships. Even if your patterns in the past say otherwise, remember that you have the power to change that.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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