Today, I’m writing about relationships and how to improve them, because many of my followers have shared with me that if they could improve this one area, it would make the most difference in the overall quality of their lives.
Makes sense, right? You can gain the world, but if in the process, you lose a friend, you tend to be more hurt by the loss of the friendship than by the joy of all the rewards you’ve achieved.
When you struggle in your relationships, you can ruminate, you can raid the fridge or you can starve yourself; you can exercise or binge watch tv or movies; you can try various measures of distraction in order to get your mind off that big, eight-foot tall, hairy gorilla that pops up in your car, in your kitchen, in your bedroom and even follows you into the bathroom! Darn it!! Am I right? When you and I are challenged by relationships, it impacts everything else.
Well, I had similar struggles until I realized I had some major misunderstandings about what relationships were, how you manage them, and how you can make them extraordinary.
- We often don’t invite, we wait to be invited.
- We don’t ask for help, we offer help.
- We don’t pick up the phone to call, we wait to be called.
Often, you and I were taught not to ask, not to communicate and not to take action until the other person made the first move.
This framework was successful if your goals were to be alone more often, to help everyone regardless of need, and wait for the invitation that may or may not come.
I was taught this framework, because the goal was to be a “good person,” i.e., to not to be a bother or a burden to others and to always be ready to help whether you wanted to or not. With this “othercentric” strategy, I achieved my goal of not being a burden, of being helpful to others regardless of how I felt and I got really good at waiting for the phone to ring.
The result: I felt lonely, used, and found it difficult to develop deep and close relationships.
How about you? Is your communication strategy giving you the results that you are looking for?
Over time, this strategy was causing more problems than it solved, so I began researching the best tips, tools, and strategies that help to make ordinary relationships extraordinary. The people who had the best relationships, I found, did specific things to achieve that result.
They didn’t win the “relationship lottery” nor did extraordinary relationships just happen. They worked at it, but they didn’t “work hard” at it.
Having extraordinary relationships doesn’t have to be so hard, but it does require effort. The real question is, “Are you willing to make the effort to have extraordinary relationships?”A wise person said this
First, you need to become very clear about what kind of relationship you want whether it be with your partner, with your children, or with your friends, et al. Next, you need to define the qualities that make up that kind of relationship.Finally, you need to be consistent with your actions in each of those relationships, because we teach others not only about what to expect from us, but also, we teach others how to treat us.
Below are my top ten tips for gaining, maintaining and improving relationships in your life. When you are willing to do what’s required, the results far outweigh any effort that you put in.
10 Tips to Extraordinary Relationships
- Pay Attention – Be present when you are with another person and really listen to understand them and what they are sharing. When you do, you not only make them feel like you care, you make better and deeper connections. They feel seen.
- Complement Them – Take the time to notice something you like and communicate it. When you do, you both get a kick of dopamine that helps you to create a closer connection. They feel closer to you.
- Be A Friend – When you notice that a person is excited by something – share in their excitement. Ask questions. Become excited, because they are excited. When you do this, they want to open up even more. They feel liked by you.
- Surprise Them – Plan something that would make them smile or that would make them feel special or cared for. When you do, you both create a deeper bond, because of this shared experience. They feel special.
- Say Hello and Goodbye – Not a toss over the shoulder as you are walking in or out of the room kind of greeting. But rather, take the time to make eye contact with them and communicate with your body language that you see them. That kind of attention to detail makes all the difference. They feel like they matter.
- Notice A Need – Do they need help with something? Are they struggling to open that can of peanut butter or to finish that project? Whatever it is, stop what you are doing and help. When you do this, you are showing them that you are there for them. They feel like they are not alone.
- Mirror Their Feelings – What this means is to reflect their experience back to them. This creates connection and understanding. They feel like you get them.
- Include Them – Don’t fall into the trap of telling yourself you don’t want to “burden them” with what is going on or you don’t want to invite them, because they are not part of your other group. When you include people in your life, they feel part of your life. People are more flexible and capable than you know.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say – When you are transparent and tell it like it is, they feel they can trust you.
- Intention – Last, but probably the most important out of these 10 tips. Be intentional about how you want to interact with them. How do you want them to feel when they are with you? They feel important.
One more thing, in order to pull off using a new framework with these tips to improve your relationships, you have to be brave. You have to be willing to be seen, to be vulnerable and to be honest about what you want to have in your life. I want you to step up and have the kind of relationships that will make your life become so full and so rich just because of the peope in it.
If you think you may need some help with your communication and/or relationship skills, you can click here to Learn more about High Performance Coaching. I want the very best for you and coaching could be the next right step for you on your way to having an extraodinary life of meaning, contribution and success.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time, make the most of the time you have!
With love and respect,