All relationships require work. They don’t just materialize and maintain themselves, and they aren’t built on a foundation of convenience either. They take time and patience and two people who are willing to put in the effort.
Here’s how to do your part – nine things your relationships need from you:
Neglect based on lack of attention damages relationships far more often than malicious abuse. There’s nothing more vital to the bond you share with others than simply being there for them.
When we pay attention to each other we breathe new life into each other. With frequent attention and affection our relationships flourish, and we as individuals grow stronger. This is the side effect of a good relationship – we help heal each other’s wounds and support each others strengths.
Bottom line: Stay in close touch with those who matter to you – communicate openly on a regular basis. Not because it’s convenient, but because these people are worth the extra effort.
The entire fabric of our society – people working, living and breathing together – relies on the positive beliefs we have about each other – a subtle, inherent trust. This trust is the glue that holds every peaceful civilization together. Which is why trust is the greatest compliment you can give a person, even greater than love.
The only way to build this trust, or find out if someone is trustworthy, is to trust them. When you do, without a doubt, you’ll automatically get one of two results: A friend for life or a lesson for life. Either way the outcome is positive – you determine which relationships are worth your long-term attention.
When your intentions are good and your cause is just, honesty will always help you. When your heart is open to love and truth, your lips will not utter lies that haunt you. When people are honest with each other up front, the truth may hurt sooner, but the suffering always dies faster, and out of this suffering comes growth.
Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want in a relationship and how you want to be treated. Be honest with every aspect of your relationships, always.
The bottom line is that relationships don’t hurt. Lying, cheating and twisting reality until it screws with someone’s emotions is what hurts. Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own. If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so. Always be open and honest.
Stand by those you care about in their darkest moments, not because you want to stand in the dark, but because you don’t want them to either. Brave the shadows alongside them until they’re able to find the light. On the flipside, stand by these same people on their sunniest days, not because you want to scorch your skin, but because you’re not afraid to let them shine bright.
In other words, be loyal. You can’t promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours. When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority. Loyalty means the world.
The most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting others half way. You will achieve far more by working with people, rather than working alone or against them.
That’s what healthy relationships are all about – teamwork. The strength of every relationship depends on the strength of its members, and the strength of each member depends on the quality of their relationships.
Anyone who helps you to make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through passion, love and teamwork, is a precious friend and teacher. They are part of your dream team. These people are out there. Connect with them and conquer the world together.
There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Even if it seems perfect now, it won’t always be. Imperfection, however, is real and beautiful. It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of a relationship that make it ideal.
The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. They must appreciate their similarities and respect their differences.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest virtues to which you should always seek. Imagine if everyone you knew was willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that you all would not be able to solve?
The willingness to admit that we are all human, and to forgive sincerely, is a sign of your emotional strength and maturity. Ultimately, this forgiveness is for you. It sets you free from the shackles of the past so you can take the future in stride, regardless of whether you choose to bring certain people along for the ride.
Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did is OK.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness forever.”
Forgiveness is YOUR remedy.
Sometimes we feel as though the world is crashing down around us, as if the pain we are experiencing is unique only to us in this moment. This, of course, is far from the truth. In fact, the very demons that torment each of us torment others all over the world. It is our challenges and pain that connect us at the deepest level. We are all in this together and we should treat each other as such.
If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life – the ones who truly made a difference – you will likely realize that they aren’t the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems. They’re the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who lent you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the answers, but stood beside you anyway. Be this person for the people you care about.