We all want stronger relationships with our family, friends, and co-workers. But strong relationships don’t happen overnight. It takes consistent daily action to make any relationship better.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the root of so many relationship problems is that people stop giving to each other—or they give the wrong things. This is very common in parent-child relationships. Parents are more likely to give children “things” rather than experiences. Because young people WANT “things,” parents mistakenly believe that is what their children NEED.
Many years ago, Charles Frances Adams (son of President John Quincy Adams, grandson of President John Adams, and President Abraham Lincoln’s minister to England) wrote in his diary one day, “Took … >>> READ MORE >>> →
We all want better relationships with those we care about. Whether it’s a relationship with your partner, kids, friends, or co-workers, you have to work at strengthening the relationship every day. The good news is that when you strive for better relationships with others, you also improve your own mindset and self-esteem. Following are 5 tips for improving relationships with others as well as with yourself.
- Give affirmations. A simple acknowledgment 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.
- Use quality
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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. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 criticizes you?
- How do you feel when someone blames you?
- 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?
Yes, criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Disagreement between people causes stress; there’s no doubt about it. Whether the disagreement is large or small, it can quickly ruin a relationship.
Sometimes, even for small matters, the disagreement escalates to the point of verbal fighting. Once that occurs, the stress levels of both parties will be high, and agreement will be elusive. Fortunately, you always have a choice in how you handle a situation.
Chances are you can tell when a disagreement is escalating. This is when you must take control and direct the conversation. Rather than letting a disagreement get out of hand, you can reduce stress by doing the following.
Say to the other person, “I don’t want to win. I just want to understand what … >>> READ MORE >>> →
For many people, happiness seems like something elusive and unattainable. But if you look around at your family, friends, and co-workers, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others. They also don’t try to control anyone but themselves.
You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have considerable power, the constant resistance in some form by the people they are trying to control promotes stress, hinders optimum relationships, and greatly diminishes the happiness of everyone involved.
If you try to control others, you will be met with constant challenges. If you try to control … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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
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Relationship stress is a common problem. The relationship can be between two adults, two children, and even between an adult and a child. The quickest and best way to ease relationship stress is NOT to try to change the other person. Instead, change something about yourself first.
If you are convinced that another person is wrong and they are the source of the stress, there is always the chance it could just be a case of “mistaken certainty.” Or, perhaps, the two of you just have significantly different belief systems. Or, perhaps, it could be the case that “I know you believe you think you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what … >>> READ MORE >>> →
When you alienate others, you prompt negative feelings in them. Have you ever had the experience of wanting to buy something, but the salesperson alienated you? Perhaps you were turned off so much that you did not buy from that person—even though you really wanted the item. That’s how strong the negative feelings can be.
Every successful salesperson knows not to alienate the customer. However, too often we talk to people in ways that prompt negative feelings, which alienate and often promotes stress. Negative feelings stop any DESIRE to do what you would like other people to do. People do good when they feel good—not when they feel bad or when they feel coerced.
Why Telling Prompts Negative Feelings
Quite … >>> READ MORE >>> →
A number of experts in sales emphasize the importance of building relationships for achieving success. Such an approach also makes interactions with others less stressful.
Here is a classic from Ed Oakley’s “Enlightened Leadership.”
There is a famous story about a life insurance company. The salespeople went through the training program and were very successful for about 18 months. After 18 months, their sales dropped off.
The company made quite an intensive investigation as to the reason. They found that the people followed the training approach of the company, which was to ask questions. Using this approach, the salespeople not only got to know financial problems and concerns, but also something about the people themselves. The questioning approach led to … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Cultivating stress-free relationships in your life takes time and practice. One tool that enables such relationships to grow is charisma. However, most people, including heads of state, chief executives, parents, teachers, and other leaders, are not born with the power to inspire.
For much of human history leaders have been depicted as having various characteristics. The topic has been of interest to me since my masters’ thesis included a study of leadership characteristics.
Leadership is now commonly defined as a social process, as opposed to a trait, that enables a person to motivate others to help achieve group goals. Having this trait often has a side benefit of fostering stress-free relationships.
Leaders often have some kind of charisma by using … >>> READ MORE >>> →
At some point, every teacher will have troubled youth in their class. These students may appear reluctant, apathetic, and/or disengaged. When working with these students, patience is critical, and building relationships is the ONLY way you will have success. These students trust no one, and it will take time for them to truly understand that you are concerned about them and their own best interests.
Here are some suggestions for interacting and reaching these students:
- Since success is built on success and not failure, compliment them on their successes. This will give them hope—the most essential ingredient for success and something they have had very little of.
- Be wary of using any of the seven “deadlies”: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging,
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
I was brought up on the principle my mother instilled in me, “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.”
This counsel grew into the first principle of my life’s practices: positivity, which is described in my book as the first principle to reduce stress.
In building relationships, negativism is the biggest enemy. You don’t want it in your mind. You don’t want it in your classroom. You don’t want it in your house. You don’t want it in your environment. You don’t want it in your discipline approach. You don’t want negativism for those who may work for you, your friends, your associates, and especially your students. You don’t want anything to … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The front page of the Los Angeles Times on April 9, 2014 featured a huge photo of 375 empty student desks, which represented the 375 students who drop out of the district’s schools each and every week. To reduce this drop-out rate, the superintendent of the district is asking for $837 million for a number of projects, including:
- More tutoring and greater access to counselors and other services for 11,600 foster youth.
- More instructional coaches and training materials for teachers of 154,110 students learning English.
- More assistant principals, counselors, social workers, special education workers and other support for students at 37 schools with low-performing students and high teacher turnover.
- 192 library aides and 15 middle school librarians.
- 130 new
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A personal connection is the best gift that a teacher can give to students, especially troubled or challenging ones. In fact, strong teacher/student relationships can curb discipline problems.
We know that the brain is a seeker of connections. When new information is given to students, nothing in the brain may take place until a connection or hook is made. For some students, cognitive connections are not made easily. The human connection can serve as the part of what provides a hook for persistence that is so necessary for success with these students.
A teacher is an encourager. In his article “Teaching for Intelligence: In Search of Best Practices,” Jim Bellanca stated it succinctly: “Teaching is a strategic act of encouragement.” … >>> READ MORE >>> →