Building better personal relationships

The frenetic pace of daily life can make our personal relationships seem fleeting and temporary. This is even more pronounced in the workplace where actions taken and decisions made within a second - sometimes with long-lasting consequences.

It doesn’t have to be like this. By following a few basic principles secure, stable, and lasting relationships can be developed.

Recognising the importance of the relationship

When we think of relationships, we think 'it takes two people to make things work', but that isn’t always the case.

While it may be easier if both parties recognise that the relationship is important, all it takes to put a relationship on the road to stability is for one person to decide to put in the effort. Only once we recognise the fact that our relationships with people are important will we be willing to invest the  time and energy needed.

This first step is key, and should the relationship not turn out as you hoped, if you are confident you've done all you can from your side then you can be comfortable in the knowledge that you did your best.

Listen without judging

The way our minds work, is that when taking in information, we are concurrently processing it – effectively judging that information. But while this is useful in times of crisis when snap decisions need to be made, in relationships it can prove to be a major issue.

When we say we’re listening, but are actually also judging what we’re hearing, we’re in fact not fully listening. By taking a moment to evaluate the information you have just heard before replying, you will have more of a chance to understand the motivations and grasp the feelings of the other person.

Too often, when immediately trying to get our point of view across, we only succeed in coming accross as defensive.

Location, location, location

We don’t always have control over when integral conversations which can make or break a relationship will occur, but in those moments when we do, where we hold those conversations can be just as important as the topic under discussion.

For many people, meeting in a relaxed and informal setting, puts them at ease, which makes them more sympathetic. The location of your discussion can affect the substance of your discussion.

Allow for feelings to be expressed

Relationships are created by sharing thoughts and feelings. When feelings are expressed, we show our true selves - which can make us feel vulnerable.

yet the upshot of that vulnerability is that it allows us to be more connected. Bottled-up feelings which aren't aired can be an impediment to building a true connection.

How can we expect to have meaningful, substantial relationships when one party is oblivious to another’s anger or frustration?

If you keep these principles in mind, you will have taken the first steps needed to build yourself relationships that are lasting and stable.

However, there is one core concept underpinning all of these principles, which, failing all else, is what you must remember: there has to be a willingness for people to work together, which, most importantly, means that we must be willing to listen to each other.

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