Of all the things that cause stress in people’s lives, relationships rank high on the list. Whether it’s between adults, family, friends, or children, relationship challenges are inevitable.
Here are three tips for significantly improving relationships and making them less stressful.
1. Give Affirmations
A simple acknowledgement can have dramatic results. This is especially important with young people. They want to assert their independence and autonomy. Just acknowledging that you have HEARD their point of view, regardless of agreement, can have a profound effect on how your growing young one feels about the relationship.
2. Use quality listening time.
Quality time is quality-driven, not necessarily quantity-driven. Simply give your full attention to the person speaking. By using eye contact, a nod now and then, and occasionally interjecting a clarification communicates that you are “with” the person. It helps them feel that you are not only listening, but also hearing what they are saying.
3. Focus on UNDERSTANDING the other person rather than attempting to influence that person.
Rather than assuming you know the reasoning behind another person’s viewpoint, ask for an explanation. Using this process, the person articulates the reasoning, and you may find that the person’s reasoning is well-worth considering. You may receive an insight about the other person which will assist you in your discussions with and understanding of that person.
The purpose of these three strategies is to have the other person feel acknowledged and understood (not necessarily agreed with). Having the other person feel and believe that his/her reasoning is recognized (albeit not agreed with) can have a dramatic and positive influence on the relationship.
Tip: Relationships need not be stressful. Listening and affirming go a long way to bridging any gaps.
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