Maintaining healthy relationships is one of the foundations for living a happy life. Whether you are interacting with your spouse, child, friend, parent, co-worker, or neighbor, you have the power to strengthen the relationship or to weaken it. The fact is that your words, actions, beliefs, and mindset shape every relationship you have—for better or for worse.
The good news is that no matter how stressed your relationships currently are, you can take positive steps now to change them. Following are 5 tips to help you develop and maintain healthy relationships with others.
1. Communicate using positive, rather than negative, messages.
Instead of telling others what you don’t want or don’t like, explain what you do want and do like. Remember that people are like magnets. They are drawn to the positive and are repelled by the negative. Positive communications are the key to healthy relationships.
2. Empower, rather than overpower, by offering choices.
No one loses when they feel they have options. Additionally, when people feel that they are making their own decisions, they feel ownership of those decisions and more likely to follow through on the idea.
3. You cannot change others; you can only change yourself.
If you want the other person to change, alter your own behavior first. Treat people as you wish them to be. In other words, if you treat others as if they are helpless and that you must do everything for them, you will be right. In contrast, if you treat others as if they are smart and responsible, you will also be right. People often live up to your expectations of them.
4. Listen to learn.
The other person’s different take on a situation can be an opportunity to learn … if you listen. Therefore, avoid listening in anticipation of what you think you will hear. Instead, be curious when you listen. Ask them to elaborate. Suspend judgment and think before you reply.
5. Express your desires.
No one is a mind-reader, not even you. Therefore, tell people what you need or want. Give others the opportunity to help you. The fact is the most people want to help others. They simply don’t know how. Change that by making your desires known.
Tip: Healthy relationships are vital for living a fulfilled life. Make your relationships a priority. In the end, they are really all that matter.
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