All successful relationships have common characteristics. This is true whether the relationship is romantic, work-related, casual, or familial. Relationships are more stable and satisfying when all parties are on the same page. Communication is always a key element of healthy relationships, but there are additional important factors.
Practice these ideas in all of your relationships:
1. Accept responsibility. Forget about 50-50. Take full responsibility for your relationships. Relationships require regular attention and adjustment. Are you giving your relationship the time and maintenance needed to ensure success?
2. Be reliable. Regardless of the type of relationship, reliability is a key component. It’s imperative that you can be trusted and relied upon. The importance of trust and reliability can’t be overstated.
- Do you always keep your word? Can others count on you? Do others believe what you say? Relationships can’t survive without mutual trust.
- If you’ve been unreliable in the past, make a sincere effort to be 100% reliable going forward.
3. Forgive easily. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has bad days. Every person you know will hurt your feelings or let you down at some point. But it’s okay, since you’ll invariably do the same sometime.
- Every type of relationship has its rough spots. If you’re unable to forgive and forget, the relationship is forever tainted. No one is perfect, so allow yourself and others to be human.
4. Listen. Communication is key, and quality communication can’t take place without giving the other person your full attention. Turn off the television and close your laptop. Give others in your relationships the time they need to communicate with you.
When they’re finished speaking, clarify anything that isn’t clear. Then feel free to speak.
5. Communicate your needs. Let others know what you need and expect from them. Most disagreements in all types of relationships are the result of someone’s expectations being violated. It’s not weak to speak up and make your needs known. It’s assertive.
- Many of us expect others to read our minds and behave in a certain way. This is unfair and ineffective.
6. Mind your tongue. It only takes a few seconds to say something that requires years to undo. If you tend to say harsh things in the heat of the moment, learn to take a pause before saying anything further. Ten seconds of keeping your mouth closed could eliminate a lot of your relationship drama.
7. Accept. A person’s “flaws” are usually here to stay. Your ability to overlook and accept the other person’s shortcomings is necessary for any relationship. That’s not to say that you should overlook the fact that someone is a serial killer, but a relationship will be a source of grief without acceptance.
8. Regularly evaluate your relationships. You wouldn’t drive your car without looking at the gas gauge every once in a while. Take the same attitude with your relationships. Ask yourself how each of your relationship is doing and take the necessary steps to strengthen them.
Rewarding relationship enrich our lives in countless ways. The quality of our relationships affects our happiness and success. Relationships require analysis and attention to thrive. Review your relationship and find ways to enhance them. Be strong enough to forgive and communicate your needs. Relationships can be complicated, but they make life worth living.
The #1 thing I did for myself BEFORE getting married, is what has helped me stay married all these years and that’s #7. I accepted MYSELF, flaws and all.
Let’s talk about that more next time.
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Dr. Patricia Shaw, Master Relationship Coach
Teaching women who struggle to move forward in life and love how to go from burnedout and overwhelmed to living a liberated life. Overflowing with confidence, beaming with clarity, grounded in a commitment to who they are.