5 Ways To Kick Start Your Path to Self Improvement: Relationships
Chapter 1: Kickstart Relationship Change
We all want to be loved. This is human nature but how do we get the love we desire or just improve the love we have? Furthermore, how do we save some of our familiar or friendly bonds that may be changing in a direction that we aren’t ready for? Improving your relationships can breed happiness and improve your attitude which can lead to improvement in other areas.
1. Listen to understand, not to rebut- When we participate in conversations with other people, it can be enjoyable. But sometimes, we don't truly understand what they are saying to us. We listen to parts and pieces but because we are ready to hurry up and be heard, we miss a lot of what they are saying. You may even try to cut them off with your response, but because you are so focused on what you want to say next or trying to craft an “amazing” comeback, you may miss key points of the issue. I know it might be a challenge, but sit still, clear your mind, and wait until they finish their whole thought. It may explain what you were going to say or even answer your question entirely. Not to mention people will be happy that you sat and listened to their point of view.
2. Communicate until it hurts- Communication can be difficult, mainly because we already know what is going on in our head. We already understand the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of what we are planning to do. Unfortunately, we aren't giving others the insight on what we are doing. We make our decisions based on our ideas and facts, but we do not share our plan with our spouses or other important people. Just imagine, you woke up at 8 am and took the car that you share with your spouse to the auto body shop. You won’t get the car back until 6 pm. What you did not know was that your son had a doctor’s appointment at 2 pm. Now you have a missed appointment and you have an angry spouse. This could have been avoided by just speaking to your spouse or letting them know what you were going to do next. That may sound a bit minor, but miscommunication can cause small issues to blow up into major issues. Even if you do not believe it’ll be a big deal, communication must happen, even with the smallest detail. Try remembering that people cannot read your mind. They do not know what you are thinking or where your trail of thoughts will lead.
3. Make ‘I love you’ a staple phrase- Some of us have no problems saying ‘I love you’ to those we care about. Others, may not be so generous with this phrase. This is for those who have a hard time saying it. Expression of words can be uncomfortable or even awkward but just imagine how it feels to be on the receiving end of this phrase. This lets people know how you feel because sometimes they may be unsure. You may believe they know but your actions may not convey it in a way they can understand. Sometimes you must communicate to your loved ones in their love language which may be words or phrases of love.
4. Be vulnerable- Allow those closest to you to see that you are human. I know we are afraid of being hurt, but when that hard exterior is always there, others may find it difficult to relate. You may hear people say "you are perfect" or "nothing bothers you". When they believe this, they may not want to come to you because they believe that you may be judgmental or they may not believe they may not want to look weak. It is hard for other to share their issues and will go to people who may be in the similar boat as them. Although you may feel that you don’t have it all together, those looking from the outside in may believe otherwise. They won’t share their messy life or confide in you with their issues because they believe, you may look down upon them.
5. Say ‘Thank you’- I know what you may be thinking, “this is such an easy word. Who wouldn’t say it?” I know! Have you been around people who just bark orders constantly and never say thank you? It can make you feel overworked and even worse, under-appreciated. People seem to believe these days that ‘thank you’ holds no value which is quite the contrary. Acknowledging that someone did something that they did not have to do will make you memorable in their eyes. Especially when others do not practice this simple yet effective way to gain favor from a friend, loved one, or even coworkers.
Please check out more ways to improve yourself with my eBook 20 Ways to Kickstart Your Path to Improvement, available on Amazon.com for $.99!