Do’s and Don’ts of Great Relationships
It’s so easy to criticise others and see the 1% that is missing or not going right, rather than to see the 99% that is going so well. Studies show that as we compliment others, their confidence grows, they make fewer mistakes and they are likely to stay loyal longer to the task and relationship. If criticism has to be given then it should be given together with 10 compliments before giving a constructive suggestion! Also, remember our opinions are exactly that, ours, they are not always asked for or wanted.
Don’t take things for granted
Do appreciate and value
Tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. We are so quick to complain, but not so quick to appreciate… It’s as though we take all things for granted… so here is another piece of advice… don’t take people or things for granted…
In long term relationships it’s so easy to take others for granted and that is a very unfair demand to place on others. Familiarity is the root cause of disrespect. When we learn to value and appreciate each and every small deed, and very often it is those small deeds and not the huge ones that can make all the difference in our relationships. Just a little kind word, a smile, valuing others, these are all small steps to appreciation.
Do be quiet
Well it is certainly an art knowing when to speak and when to stay quiet. When you are not so sure, then best to stay quiet. In Hindi we say, ‘tol tol ke bol,’ which means it is best to weigh your words before speaking. Because once they are out, there is no way of reclaiming them. We don’t have to speak all the time, no one wants to hear our mental commentary. Sometimes we say too much, when the answer is silence or quiet, or a listening ear. That sometimes does the trick. And when we do speak, let us ask: Are my words of value; are they necessary; are they positive and true and are they kind words?
Depending on the type of relationship, it is very important to connect – every few hours, days, weeks or months with the other. Every species loves to connect or to bond as we say, it is not exclusive to only us humans. If we can’t connect for any reason, then we feel alone and isolated, as many have experienced through this period of lockdown. Those relationships are still there, intact regardless of distance, even though one lives in Australia and the other in Sweden. Sometimes because one can’t connect, there is an emptiness or feeling of isolation. So don’t disconnect just over small things. Best to clarify and get things cleared up so they don’t stew and brew over time.
Don’t hold it in
Do communicate and let it out
Often we will find that we hold things in when we need to communicate, and then we communicate what we need to hold in! It’s a good idea to know how to communicate things without the emotions of anger or aggression. When we have been holding onto hurt, it can sometimes erupt like a volcano. Although it is good that the feelings are out, there can often be more damage done than good. So, it is important to learn how to manage our feelings, choose the right moment and express what is necessary and in the right way. Be assertive, not aggressive or passive.
To drift here meaning to float away into our own little bubble. It’s very easy to ‘self-isolate’ even whilst amongst people and think that we are OK. We do however need to make the effort to relate, attune, and harmonise ourselves with others; to create a synergy with others. Attuning is like a dance, knowing when to move forward with the dance partner and knowing when to move backwards. It’s when each dancer is in perfect step with the other that there is harmony, then that dance is beautiful. Attune with those around you and yourself.
Don’t be negative
Do be positive
Of course, this has been said many times but it must be repeated. It is just so important to stay positive all the time, and not only in times of desperation. Learning to stay positive with those around us, learning to give them the benefit of the doubt will go a long way in creating smooth relationships. Remember there is always power in the positive and loss in the negative. The positive empowers, negative drains and dis-empowers us.
It’s always good to be honest and clear in relationships… this builds up more trust. Withholding information for no other reason than to hide it just creates more question marks, doubts and suspicion which can dampen and destroy relationships. Perhaps you would be surprised to learn that many people would prefer the honest truth even if it hurts. They would rather know the ‘facts’ than be left with the rumours, gossip or imagination, this is a place of limbo and uncertainty. Better to know where we stand and make a clear decision about that relationship, otherwise we expend so much time and energy fighting the unknown; some invisible enemy.
It’s always good to acknowledge and celebrate even the small things. We can always ignore the small victories or small acts of kindness, but if we do take the time to appreciate and celebrate them, this helps to build relationships. As with many things in life nothing will happen if we don’t applaud, but if we do, we will be greater for it. Acknowledge the good, and choose not to empower the negative in life, because we know the law of energy and attraction is always at work… and what we put out we will surely receive.
Everyone wants blessings. Blessings are those good positive vibes that come our way, oiling the wheels of our life. They are good energies that make everything go ever so smoothly. Curses are those negative energies that obstruct our path, that make life difficult. Of course there are several ways to overcome these obstacles, but prevention is better than cure. Bless others, so that those blessings are returned multi-fold.
Don’t be quick to react
Meditation helps us to manage our reflexes. So that we don’t react as quickly as we might have, but we take time to respond. Res-pond means to ponder, and to think. Think before you even… think! It’s so easy to jump to conclusions and make poor judgements – but remember that is a reflection of our mind, not the other person. What we think comes out of our mind. We can never know what someone else is thinking.
Don’t take offence from small things
Do see the bigger picture
‘Let go and Let God’ is a very important slogan. It is really not useful to fret over the small things. Those things will pass, but the relationships will stay. That’s why it’s always good to see the bigger picture. Use powers of tolerance and accommodation, and don’t mind and it won’t matter. If we mind, then it becomes our problem. If we don’t mind, then we won’t be giving unnecessary stress to ourselves.
Don’t go to bed angry
Do resolve the issue
It’s always good to resolve things as quickly as possible. Going to bed with angry thoughts means we will wake up with the same thoughts and today will become the same as yesterday. We will then find ourselves in an ever repeating cycle. Of course, it is good to try not to create conflict and mis-understandings, but if it happens then clear it up as soon as possible. It’s the Big Ego that does not allow us to apologize or bend in the situation. But we will be so much happier for it and more at peace if we do.
Don’t break confidentiality
Do keep the secret
When people come close to each other, its only normal and natural that they start to share confidential things amongst each other. And if we want to keep the relationship we better learn to keep those secrets. There is nothing more hurtful than a close one betraying us. We share confidential information in confidence and trust, but if that is broken, then it is so difficult to build that trust again. So, learn to keep secrets… that is what makes a great friend, spouse, partner etc.
Do take responsibility
It is so easy to blame others for the responsibilities that we don’t want to take up in our life. But when we blame ‘them’, what are we saying? That we are giving away all our powers over to ‘them’! We begin to believe that only they have the powers now to make us happy or powerful once again. But once we take that self-responsibility, we can take back charge of our life again. And when we are the master of our life, there is no greater joy than that… because we are independently happy.
Both women and men can be naggers. It’s that constant bickering that just does not allow for peace in our life. Remember that no one wants those sound effects all day long… people generally want peace and quiet. So, learning to tame that chatter of the mind will help considerably in our relationships. Be patient with yourself, with the situation and others… this will create more calm in life and the lives of those around you.
It’s Time… to choose the most beneficial way forward in creating great relationships. Every drop of goodness and kindness counts in making it a good one!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK