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25 Tips to Help You Improve Any Relationship In Your Life

25 Tips to Help You Improve Any Relationship In Your Life

Humans are social creatures, and we thrive in small and medium-sized groups. Even the loners out there have a few family members and some friends in their close social circle. This means that we have to work hard on developing good relationships with those around us—our family, friends, lovers, coworkers and bosses. Here are a few nifty little secrets that will help you become a better people person and improve any relationship in your life.

1. Acknowledge the opinions, feelings and needs of others

It’s very easy to get caught up in our own little world. Sometimes we feel so eager to express our feelings and point of view that we neglect the opinions and feelings of others. If you want to build strong, long-lasting relationships you need to start letting people express themselves. And always respect their right to an opinion, even if you don’t think they are right.

2. Be more open to suggestions and compromises

Making the right decision and choosing a course of action that benefits everyone requires input from everyone involved. Try to be democratic when deciding on things like where to go for dinner or dividing tasks amongst colleagues. Understand that you will often have to compromise, and that this sometimes means giving up a lot of ground in someone else’s favor.

3. Give 100% of your attention to the job

Doing your job as best you can not only improves the relationship between you and your colleagues, it also means less stress and more peace of mind during your free hours. This will make you less irritable and more energetic when you hang out with your friends, family, and lover.

4. Spend more of your free time out with people instead of locked up at home

Getting to spend some quality time with your friends, partner, and even colleagues is an essential part of getting to know them on a deeper level. It also allows you to relax and share all kinds of information. Spending more time outside with other people is also a good way to improve your mental health by talking about the problems you might have with your partner or friends—problems that would otherwise eat away at you and put a strain on those relationships.

5. Get a grip on your emotions through regular practice

toddler crying

    In order to keep a discussion from escalating into an argument and to deal with the emotional outbursts of others, you need to be able to keep a level head. This means controlling your emotions. With exercises like bikram yoga you can get physical health benefits while learning to stay calm and breathe properly. Sometimes a good run can help clear your head and release bottled up frustrations.

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    6. Work on overcoming your insecurities

    If you go into a discussion with someone and you have tons of insecurities weighing you down, you will always be nervous and looking for the right thing to say. In fact, it may be difficult for you to open up or meet new people. Spend some time each day working on coming to terms with your appearance and lifestyle choices and start making some small positive changes. It will greatly improve the way you interact with others.

    7. Learn people’s emotional triggers and avoid setting them off

    Just like you have fears and insecurities, so does everyone else. There are topics and even specific words that will trigger a strong negative emotional response. As you get to know someone, try to pick up on these touchy subjects and avoid hitting these triggers when you interact with that person. They will greatly appreciate this and you will fight less often.

    8. Goodhearted banter is fine, but keep things positive

    Although joking and teasing may not set off any big triggers, if you are always critical and mocking, people will start thinking less of you over time. You want people close to you to actually enjoy your company, so be sure to have a healthy balance of banter and positive comments and don’t dish out more than they can take.

    9. Start saying sorry more often

    acrobatic apology

      Let’s face it, we all mess up sometimes and end up upsetting a friend, family member or partner. It is important to accept the blame and say that you are sorry. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way towards maintaining good relationships and mending ones that have taken a bad turn.

      10. Learn to forgive

      This one goes hand and hand with apologies. You can’t just keep asking for forgiveness from others, while holding grudges and pouting. Sure, you will need some time to cool off, but you need to allow people to apologize so you can move on. If someone extends a hand in a gesture of peace, don’t slap it away.

      11. Free yourself from emotional baggage

      This point builds on the previous one. Sometimes people won’t approach you for truce negotiations or even say they are sorry for something bad they have done. You don’t need to bend over backwards to rekindle shattered friendships and relationships, but try to let go of all that emotional baggage, let your wounds heal and keep going forward without being resentful and blaming others for all your problems.

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      12. Encourage healthy discussions instead of fights

      Important issues will often come up and you will have to address them with your significant other or your friends and acquaintances. This is normal, but a screaming match where everyone is red in the face will only drain your energy. Instead, try staying calm. This is where all that meditation and yoga breathing comes into play, and discuss your issues without raising your voice or interrupting each other.

      13. Stop sweating the small things

      Hades goes crazy

        Small issues should never even get to the discussion and problem-solving stage. If it is a benign issue, then just drop it and never look back. It may irk you for a while, but you’ll soon forget it and it will save you minutes or hours of arguing.

        14. Stop taking things personally

        Not everything someone says is a veiled insult or clever insinuation directed at you. People don’t always have some deep and hidden meanings in mind, nor are they constantly plotting to achieve a sinister goal. Shut your negative inner voice up and take things at face value without making huge logical leaps based on scant information. This will make you seem more relaxed and attentive, and help you avoid embarrassing misunderstandings and big fights over nothing.

        15. Don’t jump to conclusions

        Being cautious and suspicious are deeply rooted in human nature, but sometimes people go way overboard with insane theories and play out scenarios in their heads that only serve to enrage them and become resentful of another person who may not have even done anything wrong. Don’t let jealousy, anger or your insecurities cloud your judgment and focus on more effective communication that fosters trust.

        16. Ask more questions and pay attention when someone speaks to you

        By simply sitting a person down, saying what’s on your mind and asking them what you want to know will help you avoid a lot of problems. Also, when someone wants to talk to you, take the time to close your mouth and listen to what they have to say. Take mental notes and ask questions afterwards. This is the key for effective communication and building a strong bond between two people.

        17. Make criticism constructive

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        zoidberg giving a compliment

          When you want to point out some flaws in a person’s performance, strive to give them feedback instead of just criticizing, i.e., tell them what they can do to improve. You should also throw in small compliments to numb the effects of criticism. When it comes to partners, telling them you like something that they do will often motivate them to practice, improve and do it even better.

          18. Spend some time with your family in fairly regular intervals

          In order to keep your relationship strong you need to actually spend time with people. Family often takes a back seat to other obligations, but you should definitely make the time to see your parents, visit relatives or spend quality time with your partner and kids. Make sure you devote several quality hours to the people you love at least once a week for your nuclear and once a month for your extended family. You can always just call and have a chat.

          19. If you’re a man, “She is always right” is the golden relationship rule

          Women usually tend to take firm stances on some things, and on a societal level it is acceptable for them to be more emotional and take charge when it comes to running the home. Men are expected to be calmer and can save themselves a lot of trouble by just admitting to the woman that she is right. Of course you will need to speak up on important issues and draw some lines, but don’t try to use logic to prove that you are right – you stand to gain absolutely nothing from it.

          20. If you’re a woman, “He really doesn’t get some things, cut him some slack” is the golden relationship rule

          Ladies have a very different way of thinking then men, and are generally more emotionally driven, intuitive and more receptive to body language ques. You don’t need to be looking for a complex reason for why a man is behaving a certain way – it is usually the simplest explanation, and they really can’t grasp certain things. Just cut them some slack from time to time and know that they really are trying hard, their brains are just not wired the same way.

          21. For both same sex and heterosexual couples: pick your battles and let your partner win from time to time

          Concede defeat card

            No matter what your sexual preference or relationship status – if you are in it for the long term you’ll need to realize that you will at times get the short end of the stick. Swallowing pride and gracefully losing of an argument and admitting that you were wrong – even if you are objectively right – as well as saying sorry for getting mad for clearly being wronged are both necessary sacrifices that you have to make to keep the peace.

            One of you might end up doing this most of the time, while the other only occasionally does it, but as long as it’s just the little things and you are generally happy, it doesn’t really matter.

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            22. One roommate/partner will take on the lion’s share of the work in some areas, and that’s OK

            Speaking of getting the short end of the stick, when it comes to things like keeping the house clean, preparing meals, trips to the store, ironing or fixing things around the home, one partner or roommate will be more capable or have a greater attention to detail than the other.

            It will quickly become apparent who is neat and tidy, who is the handyman and who is a bit of a slob, but can fix the computer, etc. Let everyone do the lion’s share of the work in an area they are good at and that they find natural, instead of trying to divide all chores and tasks right down the middle.

            23. Don’t nag people, preach or give them unwanted lessons

            If you want something done, just tell people that. If you are displeased with something, tell them about it. Just don’t preach or insist that things be done the exact same way you do it, just because you are used to it and there is no logical or tactical reason not to do it any other way. Be concise when expressing your displeasure and don’t take up a confrontational tone right off the bat.

            24. Never make rash decisions or start conversations when you are feeling angry or moody

            Never go to bed angry with your partner, never make a phone call or start a conversation when angry or moody and never make any serious decisions until you have cooled down – live by these rules and you will do a lot less dumb things that you end up regretting.

            25. Do some traveling and experience other cultures

            Flying on a plane

              You can go on a trip with friends, your lover, your family or a combination of any or all of these. Being able to enjoy yourselves free of stress and your usual obligations, all while experiencing a whole new culture will help strengthen and revitalize your relationship, and you may learn some things about each other you never knew before.

              None of this is all that difficult to grasp, but some points may be difficult for people to accept and they will definitely be very difficult to implement. It takes a whole lot of devotion and patience, but if you stay focused and try to follow these rules every single day, your life will slowly change for the better and you will become much happier.

              Featured photo credit: Padlock/ Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on August 19, 2019

              How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

              How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

              We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

              When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

              In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

              Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

              If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

              According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

              No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

              When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

              Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

              1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

              When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

              Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

              When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

              Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

              In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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              It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

              You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

              Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

              What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

              You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

              That’s where we all should be.

              So, answer me this:

              How are you, really?

              And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

              Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

              Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

              Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

              Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

              It’s taking control.

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              2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

              You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

              You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

              In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

              Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

              You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

              Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

              But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

              It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

              In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

              It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

              Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

              Change will happen.

              Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

              You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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              And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

              You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

              That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

              You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

              When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

              There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

              3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

              Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

              In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

              If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

              Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

              Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

              How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

              Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

              “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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              Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

              Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

              It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

              Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

              “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

              What would you do if you felt you were enough?

              By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

              So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

              Final Thoughts

              By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

              Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

              When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

              You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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              Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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