Relationships can bring us our greatest joys and our deepest wounds. We can’t control how others choose to respond in their relationships with us, but we can establish our own ground rules for having and maintaining quality relationships.
Below are some thoughts to consider as you navigate the relationships in your life:
1. Surround yourself with positive people- finding like-minded, positive people will fill your cup. Spending the bulk of your time with those who suck the happiness out of you is unwise and unhealthy.
2. Accept people just the way they are – Save yourself the needless stress of trying to change people who don’t want to change. Fight the urge to engage in fruitless conversations, rather look for areas where you can agree and show support.
3. Forgive people and move forward – holding anger or bitterness affects us much more than the individual we have been hurt by. Forgiveness is not saying “What you did or said was okay.” It is saying “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness or steal my joy.” It doesn’t mean you forget it simply means that you choose to let go.
4. Do little things for those in your life – A card, a visit, a gift, an email, a text. Simply take opportunities to connect with and appreciate those your care about. We all feel a little more valuable when we realize that someone has been thinking of us.
5. Talk a little less, listen a little more – Our relationships will grow if we move away from being the talker and take the time to listen! A listening ear is the greatest gift we could give to those we love.
6. Be Loyal – be the kind of person that believes the best about those you love. Everyone needs to know that someone “has their back”. Be that person.
7. Pick your battlegrounds – don’t pick petty arguments. We aren’t always “right”. Focus on the things that truly matter and let the small stuff go!
8. Encourage and cheer them on – be excited for those you love! Spur them on! Don’t look at their opportunities or dreams with the lens of what it will cost you, rather keep them the priority.
9. Remember that everyone has baggage – we all enter relationship with a suitcase filled with past experiences; successes, disappointments, hurts, etc. Sometimes that “baggage” effects the relationship and needs to be addressed. However, using grace and understanding will always be the most fruitful approach.
10. Let go of friendships that are no longer healthy – some relationships can run their course and a necessary ending needs to take place. To force relationships to continue when the season is over can be exhausting and eventually more harmful than good. Be willing to appreciate the relationship for what it was, and then release it and move forward.
Relationships are our most valuable assets and worth the effort to keep them strong and healthy! Test these tips out and see if they help create healthier interactions in your relationships. AND–Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂