There’s little wonder as to why many of us have difficulty building healthy personal relationships. In some instances, the fault lies squarely with us. Other times, the people with whom we surround ourselves are to blame.
In either case, if your personal relationships could stand to see some improvement, there’s no time like the present to get on top of this issue. Cultivating healthy relationships in a timely manner is well within your abilities – particularly if you equip yourself with the following pointers.
Take a Genuine Interest in the Lives of Others
Without even meaning to, many of us come off as self-absorbed in our interactions with friends, family members, coworkers and various acquaintances. Regardless of the topic at hand, we tend to consistently steer the conversation back to ourselves. Although this is often purely unintentional, your intentions are unlikely to matter to people who feel as if you make everything about yourself.
So, if you have a habit of monopolizing conversations and inadvertently making yourself the center of attention, make an earnest effort to catch yourself in the act. Whenever you become conscious of yourself making an exchange all about you, try to reverse course and focus on any other parties involved in the conversation.
This isn’t to say that you should never talk about yourself, but if you rarely ask your loved ones about their lives or regularly find ways to make their stories and anecdotes about you, it’s important to recognize that most people – even those who truly love you – are liable to find this behavior extremely off-putting.
Be a Good Listener
Taking an interest in the lives of others and being a good listener often go hand-in-hand. So, the next time a loved one shares an anecdote or comes to you with a problem, make a point of fully hearing them out before proceeding to offer your input. Furthermore, when sharing your opinion on the matter, try to keep things focused on the other party instead of steering the conversation towards yourself.
Conversely, if you develop a reputation for being a poor listener, few people are likely to come to you with their problems or seek your advice. If you have an issue on which you wish to receive guidance, it’s only natural that you’d expect the people you confide in to properly hear you out and process what you’re telling them. That being the case, there’s no reason you shouldn’t provide the people in your life with the same courtesy.
Consistently Honor Commitments
At some point or another, all of us have had to cancel plans. Furthermore, there are numerous legitimate reasons for having to skip out on personal commitments, with illness, emotional distress and work-related emergencies being among them.
However, if you repeatedly fail to honor plans you’ve made with others for no good reason, you shouldn’t be surprised if people in your life become frustrated and/or hurt. Additionally, if you start to receive far fewer invitations than you used to, there’s a good chance that your inability to honor plans is at least partially to blame.
Again, we all cancel on friends and family members at some point, and if you have no choice but to break a personal commitment, make sure to apologize to the affected parties and make an earnest effort to minimize how often it happens in the future.
Connect Over Shared Causes
If there are any causes about which you and any loved ones are passionate, consider bonding over making contributions to said causes. For example, no matter where you’re located, there are bound to be ample volunteer opportunities. Furthermore, if either of you are interested in aiding organizations that fight domestic terrorism, take care to read up on the McCain Institute. Provided you possess sufficient financial resources, you may want to think about making monetary donations to your favorite causes.
The quality of the relationships we cultivate can have a profound impact on every facet of our lives. From work to hobbies to leisure time, personal relationships factor into virtually everything we do. Needless to say, if the quality of your relationships is lacking to nonexistent, you’d do well to tackle the problem head-on.
Whether the blame lies with you, other parties or some combination thereof, identifying the root cause(s) of relationship issues and working towards positive change can do you a world of good.