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. … >>>
Maintaining a positive attitude, speaking positive words, and thinking positive thoughts is essential to a happy, stress-free, and productive life. I learned to focus on the positive early in life. Like many, I was brought up on a principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say something nice about a person, then do not say anything at all.” I took that to mean that we should not only refrain from negativity, but that we should also focus on the positive.
My mother’s advice eventually became the bedrock of my first principle to reduce stress: POSITIVITY. I now think of it whenever something negative pops into my head or if I am about to say something that can be … >>>
We all know that positive communications are vital to maintaining positive relationships. Most of us, though, are not conscious of the power of our communications. As a result, we say things that seem innocuous to us but that may make the other party feel bad.
The fact is that the words and phrases we use in our daily interactions have three major influences:
(1) They influence how we think and experience the world.
(2) They shape the way others see us.
(3) They determine how much cooperation and success we have with other people.
Remember that when words come out of our mouths, they don’t just go to the listeners’ ears. We hear our own words too. So our words … >>>
How you communicate with someone has a direct impact on how stressful the relationship is. But it’s not just about the words you use or the tone of your voice. Most people know that using kind words and not yelling is important for good communication. However, what many people fail to take into account is how the other person is perceiving your message, even if you deliver it with a smile.
For example, how many times do you politely tell others what to do? Maybe you tell your child to clean their room, tell your spouse to take out the trash, or tell your employees how to write a proposal. These are all normal, everyday things. But let’s flip it … >>>
People often ask me for relationship tips. 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.
But what if there were some simple ways to make relationships easier? What if you could be proactive to ensure your relationships no longer stress you out? Would you take a chance and try something new in order to reduce stress in this area of your life?
To help you have more peaceful relationships and less stress, here are my top 3 relationship tips that will transform your life. While these tips may seem simple at first glance, they are truly powerful tools that we … >>>
Here’s a simple piece of relationship advice. Most relationships fail, suffer, or break down because of one key thing: the people involved simply don’t understand each other. In other words, when disagreements occur (which they will in every relationship) both parties try to force their viewpoint on the other person.
A better approach—and one that will significantly improve relationships—is to focus on understanding the other person. In fact, you will find that you can achieve agreement much more quickly by using this approach.
Rather than assuming you know the reasoning behind another person’s viewpoint, ask for an explanation. Ask questions. Engage in discussion. Have a conversation. Try phrases like, “Can you elaborate on that more?” “What makes you say that?” … >>>
We all want better relationships, whether it’s with a spouse/partner, parent, friend, child, or co-worker. In an attempt to make the relationship better, many people mistakenly do more of the wrong things.
If you’re not sure what the “wrong things” are, answer these questions:
How do you feel when someone criticizesyou?
How do you feel when someone blamesyou?
How do you feel when someone complains to you?
How do you feel when someone nags you?
How do you feel when someone threatens to do something to you?
How do you feel when someone punishes you?
How do you feel when someone offers you a bribe to do something?
Anger is a natural human emotion. We all get angry from time to time, and we all have the right to express our emotions appropriately. Unfortunately, anger is often the emotion that ruins relationships. That’s because anger can sting—it can come across as irrational, aggressive, mean-spirited, or even manipulative. It’s an emotion that can quickly push others away.
Therefore, the key is to control your anger rather than have it control you. When you do that, you can express your emotions in a healthy way and not destroy relationships in the process. One of the best ways to take control of your emotions is to focus on some reflective questions. When you take a moment and engage in reflective questioning, … >>>
During times of stress, it’s natural to focus on controlling people—what they do and how they act. After all, stress makes you feel like you’ve lost control, so it’s human nature to try to regain that sense of control in some way. Many people accomplish this by controlling others, including their partners, children, and co-workers. But did you know that the more you focus on controlling people, the more stress you’ll ultimately experience?
How do you know if you’re being too controlling? If you experience much stress when interacting with others, chances are that you are aiming to control them. The fact is that people being controlled have low motivation to carry out decisions IMPOSED upon them. As scores of … >>>
If there were one key question to ask yourself to gauge your relationships and your effectiveness, what do you think it would be? How can you really know how others view you? How can you know that you’re being the best person you can possibly be?
Self-evaluation is critical for personal growth. After all, you can’t improve unless you know what to improve upon. This is true for all aspects of life, whether on the job or within your family. Of course, self-reflection and self-assessment can be difficult. Libraries are filled with hundreds of books on the topic, each offering their own version of how to do it effectively.
But what if there were a simpler way? A single question … >>>
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, personality styles vary from person to person, and no two people are the same. Each individual, young or old, views the world differently, interacts with others in a distinctive way, and processes information uniquely.
Differences in personality styles are good. It would be boring if everyone acted, behaved, and thought the same way. But sometimes, interacting with people who are vastly different from you can be stressful.
Noticing behavioral and personality styles among people is nothing new. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to categorize behavioral styles. Jung postulated that every individual develops a primacy in one of four major behavioral functions: intuiting, thinking, feeling, and sensing.If you and others operate from … >>>
One of the hardest things about living during a pandemic and times of social distancing is the lack of human connection. The fact is that human brains are wired to connect. We need other people to fully enjoy life. And that sense of human connection definitely lowers stress.
Even introverts need human connection. If you’re doubting how “wired” we are to each other, consider this: Both laughter and bad moods are contagious. Yawn in front of someone and watch what happens. This occurs because of what neuroscientists call “mirror neurons.”
When we realize that even trivial interactions can affect a person’s physiology, we have to take it more seriously. For example, scientists can now show by brain imaging and other … >>>
During times of crisis, maintaining healthy relationships is more important than ever. But due to social distancing and more people working from home, it’s common for relationships to get strained. They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but it also opens the door to misunderstandings and tension. Whether it’s with a family member, co-worker, or friend, every relationship is prone to stress during times of crisis and separation.
Rather than let these negative times ruin your once healthy relationships, a better approach is to shift from being reactive to proactive.
Make a Shift for Healthy Relationships
When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds (and you will at some point), consider viewing the situation in multiple ways. … >>>
Your ability to truly listen to others is critical for building relationships and reducing stress. The reason is simple: The better you’re able to listen, the more the other person knows you care. When that sense of caring is present in a relationship, you and the other person experience less stress when you interact.
Unfortunately, few people know how to really listen. Have you ever talked to someone and noticed that they were not listening to you? How did it prompt you to feel? Disrespected? Unimportant? Angry? These are normal reactions. This is why listening is so important.
The key to listening is to be attentive. Don’t let your mind drift while the other person is talking. If your attention … >>>
Here is an important concept for all to remember regarding strong relationships: Not losing is more important than winning.
People’s desires will not always be fulfilled. However, as long as others are aware that they have a choice as to their responses, they are not put in a position where they feel that they lose. It’s that feeling of losing that prompts negative feelings. This is why “not losing” is a key to strong relationships.
No one likes feeling cornered, literally or figuratively. The belief of not having a choice encourages resistance because it prompts a feeling of being trapped. When a person feels there are no options, the result is not only resistance but also resentment. By contrast, offering … >>>
People do better when they feel good—not when they feel bad. This is a simple fact of life.
When your guide your thoughts and others’ thoughts to focus on the positive and constructive, then the self is nourished and enriched. That’s when people feel good.
Andrew Carnegie, the first great industrialist in America, understood this concept well. At one point he had 43 millionaires working for him. A reporter asked him how he managed to hire all of those millionaires. He responded that none of them was a millionaire when he hired them. The reporter inquired, “Then what did you do to pay them enough money so that they became millionaires?” Carnegie responded that you develop people the same way … >>>
We all want successful relationships in our life. Whether that relationship is with a significant other, a child, a co-worker, or a friend. Successful relationships help make life more enjoyable. The key is how to keep those relationships from becoming stressors in your life.
To help you navigate the many relationships you have, here are some tips for cultivating successful relationships.
Logic prompts people to think, but emotion prompts them to act. Communicate on both levels.
When someone upsets you, rather than talk about the person, focus on the behavior or comment that prompts upsetting or negative feelings.
Share your feelings about the effects of what someone does or says. It’s healthy and aids relationships to say, “That comment really
Chances are that at one point you’ve attempted to change another person. We’ve all done it. Unfortunately, most people try to prompt change in others the wrong way.
Dr. William Glasser, the originator of “Reality Therapy” and “Choice Theory,” believed that attempts to change others by using “external control psychology” (including the common approaches of imposing punishments or rewarding to control) are eventually doomed to fail. He referred to such “external approaches” as the “seven deadly habits.” He listed them as: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control.
To prove his point, just respond to the following:
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