Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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

        Advertising

        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.

            Advertising

            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

              More by this author

              Ivan Dimitrijevic

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

              40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s 50 Cleaning Hacks for Your Home That Will Make Your Life Easier 9 Unexpected Benefits Of Foot Massage That Make You Want To Have One Now

              Trending in Communication

              1 How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often 2 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 3 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track 4 8 Ways to Change Your Self-Sabotaging Behaviors 5 Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on July 8, 2020

              How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

              How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

              Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

              For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

              But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

              It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

              The Importance of Saying No

              When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

              In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

              Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

              Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

              Advertising

              Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

              “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

              When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

              How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

              It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

              From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

              We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

              And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

              The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

              Advertising

              How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

              Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

              The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

              1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

              Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

              2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

              Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

              3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

              When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

              6 Ways to Start Saying No

              Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

              1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

              One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

              Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

              2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

              Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

              Advertising

              Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

              3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

              Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

              Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

              4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

              Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

              Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

              5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

              When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

              Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

              A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

              Advertising

              6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

              If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

              Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

              Final Thoughts

              Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

              Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

              Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

              More Self-Care Tips

              Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

              Read Next