In a world where technology is king and social media rules, we are still governed by human interactions. We are naturally drawn to each other and have a desire to build relationships with persons. For some of us it started in our youth with our family relationships. For others it may be work relationships with colleagues or intimate relationships during courtship. Bottom line, we have built relationships with others and it is important for us to be able to maintain healthy relationships with the people we care about and those we work with or serve.
My marriage is still in the young phase, however it is very important for me to nurture the relationship with my husband so that we will have a happy and healthy relationship into our mature years. Also, in my line of work relationship building and maintenance is vital. As such, I am constantly seeking ways to improve my relationship building skills and equally as important I seek to maintain these relationships.
Here are some tips that I have found useful in my quest for happy and healthy relationships. I think these can be applied to most types of relationships (work, school, intimate, etc).
1. Improve Communication: This may sound like a scratched record but communication is probably the most important element of building and maintaining relationships. All parties involved have to be able to speak, listen and react in a way that the other person can understand and relate to. Take some time to assess your verbal and non-verbal communications and also observe the same for the persons with whom you are building a relationship. Then and only then will you be able to relate to each other.
2. Have Patience: This is very important and sometimes one of the hardest things to acquire. It takes time to get to know someone’s behavioural patterns, flaws, likes, dislikes, habits, and so on but it is worth knowing. Getting to know these things about a person can help you to draw closer to them and to better communicate with them. It can become frustrating especially when it seems as thought it is taking too long or it seems that the person you are getting to know is giving you the cold shoulder. Lots of people are naturally guarded and it takes time for them to let people in. So don’t give up, just continue to find little activities or projects that you can do with the person in order to get to know them better.
3. Be Helpful: A sure way to improve existing relationships and to create new ones is to be helpful. People will always need assistance with something whether they care to admit it or not. Being helpful shows the other person that you can add value to their lives and it makes them feel good. It helps to open the doors of trust which helps to create loyalty in a relationship.
4. Be Consistent: Everyone needs someone they can depend on. Show that you are dependable by consistently doing things that the other person counts on your for. It could be something as simple as always greeting them with a smile or something more involved like always assisting them with projects. This also helps to create trust which is vital to any relationship.
5. Be Selfless: This may be challenging for some but it is probably the most important of all the tips. Being selfless will help you with tips 1 through 4. When you are genuine, people are naturally drawn to you and will want to build relationships with you. In this tip, I am not suggesting that you completely forget about yourself. However, I am saying to give more thought to other persons and adding value to their lives without thinking of what you will get in return. If you are a true seeker of this, it will bring you true happiness in life. You will grow from it and you will develop meaningful relationships in all areas of your life.
Relationships are so important to our very existence so let us build and maintain meaningful ones.