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 my boy fishing today. A wasted day.” His son, Brook Adams, wrote in his diary the same day, “Went fishing today with my father. Greatest day of my life.”
Any good relationship, whether it be at home or at work, is built on giving of yourself. It can be referred to by different names, such as caring, service, or recognition, but it all boils down to giving. And when you give, you naturally create stronger relationships.
Here are some considerations to improve relationships with anyone with whom you live or work.
- Give at unexpected times. Don’t just give of yourself when people ask. If you see that someone needs you, step in and offer assistance.
- Give what the other person would appreciate. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What would help them and show that you care? Remember, giving isn’t about “stuff.” It’s about you extending yourself in order to build stronger relationships.
- Give even when you don’t feel like it. We all get tired. But remember the law of physics that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays as rest.
- Give without expecting anything in return. Give because you want to, not because you want someone to “owe you one.”
Tip: Follow these simple ideas of giving, and notice how people respond. Then notice how YOU feel. There will be some wonderful outcomes.
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