Maintaining good relationships with other people is something everyone struggles with. The nature of the human mind is that there seem innumerable factors that make it difficult to get on with other people. If you find yourself with many problematic relationships don’t despair, but, try to work through difficulties and learn the art of developing genuine friendships. These are some of the simplest ways to improve relationship with other people.
When we smile we are effectively offering good will to the other person. A sincere smile can say more than 100 words. When we smile we are effectively saying that we are happy to see the other person; this is the best way to start any conversation. If we give a miserable face then we are outwardly indicating that we are unhappy to be speaking with this person. We convey alot through our body signals; within a moment the expression on someone’s face can put is in a good mood or bad mood. When we cultivate a positive first impression then any problem will be easier to solve. We can smile at everyone, not just people who we like. If we can smile, even at our ‘enemies’ then we may be surprised at how much our interactions are improved.
Appreciate Their Good Qualities
This is a powerful way to help any relationship. In life we tend to get drawn to the negative. When we appreciate the good qualities of other people, we do two things. Firstly, we will make the other person feel better; it will encourage and inspire them to bring more good qualities to the fore. Through offering sincere appreciation we boost their self confidence and they will appreciate our kind words. The other benefit of appreciating others good qualities is that it helps us. It is usually people’s mistakes and wrong-doings that stick in the mind. When we take the effort to appreciate other’s good qualities we build up a more positive impression of our friend; it enables us to be more tolerant of their irritating habits.
Don’t Bear Grudges
This is one of the most important and perhaps difficult factors. At some point in a relationship something invariably happens which makes it difficult to forget and forgive their misdemeanors. This is one factor that can escalate and dominate a relationship so much that it sours. To let go of grudges is essential for maintaining healthy relationships. If we attach ourselves to a long standing grievance we will just make ourselves miserable.
When problems occur or we have issues with other people, it is important to talk in a positive way. Sometimes we don’t even need to talk about the problem, but just converse on a topic that helps rebuild trust. If we maintain a frosty silence, then we just brood on the problem and it tends to magnify the issue; the mind can easily blow it out of proportion. When we talk we regain contact with reality; we see that we have more in common than the problem which now seems less significant. The important thing is to avoid bringing up the issue in a confrontational way. It is better just to develop a normal conversation and find issues of shared interest. Sometimes if we can just share a humorous antidote or enjoy something together, the problem just dissipates of its own accord.
Don’t Worry About Unimportant Things
Often relationships break down over the most inconsequential of things. If your housemate is not so tidy or if a friend is not so good at being punctual, give these minor issues the importance that they deserve. Don’t let minor transgressions become big reasons to dislike someone.
Be Self Giving Rather Than Attached.
When we demand other people to behave in a certain way, we put an avoidable strain on any relationship. Our demands may not be explicit, but implicitly we often expect other people to treat us in a certain way. When developing a relationship we should have an attitude of self giving i.e. do the right thing without expectation of reward or reciprocal giving. A relationship that is founded on this principle will be much stronger; even if people let us down, we will not allow ourselves to be miserable.
Keep Criticism To Yourself.
Cricitising others is a razor sharp path. If we criticise unnecessarily we risk creating friction and problems. Consider how necessary the criticism is. Ask yourself whether criticism is really necessary; you are not responsible for every aspect of their behaviour and it is important we don’t overstep the line of interference. If we feel we really need to point out some problem; offer the criticism in a careful and sympathetic style which avoids hurting their ego.
Guest Post at Pick The Brain
I wrote a guest post at Pick the Brain on a similar theme – How To get on With Difficult Co-workers