Sunday, 14 October 2012

Creating Meaningful Relationships

Do you have people in your life who you know would be there for you if you needed them? Are those people supportive and caring? And do you want to know how you can contribute more to a relationship (any kind) to make it meaningful and inspired? In this article I will talk about the specific ways in which you can find meaning in a relationship or add more meaning to one.

1 First Find People Like You

By "find people like you" I am talking about not settling. Don't settle in relationships with people who bring you down with negativity or whatever else that is unhelpful and destructive. Don't waste your precious time and energy on people who are not making an effort to see beauty and be happy. Be with people who share the same values as you.

2 The Equal Exchange

In a relationship where both people involved feel good, there is equality. An equal exchange involves both contributing and receiving. Therefore, while you put your time, energy, commitment and effort into a relationship, the other person is also doing the same for you. Maybe you have more that you can contribute to a relationship to make it deeper. Or maybe it is the other way around: you have much to give, but the person isn't providing you with the support that you need. In this case, it is wise to simply not invest in the relationship- we can affect our own actions and decisions, but we cannot control the decisions of other people.

3 Listen

Yes, I know this sounds very simple, but it can often be challenging. I used to be a terrible listener! I hardly listened to what others had to say because I was thinking only about what I wanted to say. What I didn't understand then was that it wouldn't matter very much  if I didn't "get it all out". What I now know is this: if something is very important, you will remember it. Otherwise, fully listening to the other person is the most important thing you can do. Because when you listen to the other person, they feel appreciated, you will have relevant things to say to them, and they will most likely be more willing to listen to you! There is an equal exchange here and definitely a great opportunity to build a meaningful connection.

4 Swap Complaining with Asking for Help

Complaining to someone about a problem is not helpful and a waste of your precious energy. And by complaining, I mean talking negatively about a situation just to enforce how bad it is. This is very different from asking for help. If you have a problem and either need to release emotion or receive support in dealing with it, this is when asking for help is a great thing to do- it shows strength and incentive.

5 Appreciate the Good

Really take the time to see all the great things in the people around you. See them and appreciate them because in being grateful, the fulfillment you gain in your relationships will be increased.

6 Honesty is Always the Way

An honest relationship is worth more than any amount of lying and game-playing to maintain a fake one. Being honest to others about your feelings is the best way to have strong and long-lasting relationships. You can be yourself and there is nothing to hide. So be honest about how you feel, share your ideas and opinions in a constructive way and see the difference. See that you don't have to spend energy pretending to be someone you are not.

7 Eye contact!

Simple and powerful. When talking to someone, look them in the eye and really focus on what they are saying. It shows that you care, have respect and are interested. In doing this, you will gain more respect from others and connect with them on a deep level.

Now go out and own this day!


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