“Relationships are a cornerstone of happiness and living a full life.”
Relationships do matter. They provide us with a wide range of benefits and rewards. They are the foundation upon which other things are built such as family, career, business, community, etc.
Relationships are a determining factor to how far we can go in life, how smooth the journey will be and the rewards we get from it.
But it’s a wonder how many individuals pay little or no attention to building and maintaining great relationships.
The same way you maintain your car, generator, health, equipment, etc., so as to get them to function optimally, it is the same way you need to maintain your relationships to get the best out of them.
All relationships require time and effort. It doesn’t matter the kind of relationship. You must be willing to invest in your relationships in order to reap the dividends.
If you ask a lot of individuals why most of their relationships fail, you’ll get a thousand and one reason why. And trust me when I say they won’t put much of the blame on themselves.
There are a lot of reasons why many fail in their relationships. It ranges from lack of time, individual differences, past experiences, etc. But I’ve come to figure out that one of the major reasons why most people fail in their relationships is because they aren’t intentional about them thus they don’t put in the necessary effort needed to make it work.
The sad reality is, if you don’t put in the required effort into your relationships as often as you should, you will end up destroying them. You’ll keep on forging and building relationships that will end up being destroyed because you neglected the aspect of servicing them.
Building a relationship makes it stronger and enables it to grow and blossom. It also builds us and the others involved.
There are things you must do in order to build and maintain your relationships. They are listed below in no particular order.
1. Communicate often and effectively.
This cannot be overemphasized. Communication is like petrol to a car or oil to an engine. Without petrol, a car can’t move and without oil, an engine can’t work.
2. Always give room for feedback.
It shouldn’t be a one way relationship. The goal is to be happy and to also get the best from the other end. If you’re not open to receiving feedback in your relationship, chances are that it will fail. Receiving feedback helps you to see and know the other person’s pain point and strive to do and be better.
3. Always show appreciation.
Show appreciation as often as you can no matter how little. It makes the other individual feel valued and respected. Showing appreciation provokes the other individual to do more.
4. Speak up.
But do it in love. Don’t bottle things up. Bottling things up doesn’t solve the problems in the relationship. It doesn’t give the other person insight on how you want to be treated and loved. Learn the art of communicating your feelings, hurts and grievances in the most loving and polite manner.
As long as it doesn’t go against your beliefs and core values.
6. Be a giver.
As much as possible, give of yourself, your time, resources, energy, encouragement, etc. The more you give, the more you will receive. Although it might not be in the area you expect.
7. Respect each other’s privacy.
In this case, sensitivity is key. No matter how often people want you in their space, there are times they will need their alone time. Always know when to step back to give the other person breathing space.
8. Let go of pride.
This kills relationships faster than anything. It hinders you from giving your best and receiving the best from others. Relationship isn’t about competing, it is about building and completing each other.
9. Give room for mistakes.
Understand that no one is perfect, not even you. Allow the people around you to make mistakes and learn from them. By doing so, you will be creating an environment for growth.
10. Respect each other’s uniqueness.
Don’t try to change anyone. We are all unique in our own way.