How to Make Your Relationships Last

How to Make Your Relationships Last
By the time we reach adulthood all of us carry some sort of relationship baggage. We bask in the glory of our successful relationships. We mirror ourselves in the benevolent reflections of others. Then we fall apart when our relationships break apart. Why do we lose ourselves in sadness when a relationship no longer works, or runs its natural course? Instead wouldn’t it be uplifting to our personal identity if we embrace the good memories and valuable lessons, holding them close to our heart, to step into our next life adventure. By letting go we can move on without regret, bitterness and anger. Without the weight of negativity, we can be truer to our core identity, or to the person we aspire to be.

The relationship you have with yourself ripples out to all other relationships. It might sound selfish to regularly establish quality “me” time for a relationship to grow. However, when you are self-fulfilled and joyous, you radiate that spirit to others. Good moods overflow. In contrast, if people are constantly plugged into you, they deplete your good energy. Consequently, you become irritable and complain a lot. People shy away from Debbie Downers or those filled with self-pity, even when they experience truly difficult situations. This does not mean that you cannot vent to a friend or a significant other, or cry in front of them, but rather when this sad song becomes your theme song, relationships will inevitably dissolve. People set unofficial time limits to grief. Know that your bad moods become toxic to those in your midst.

Nietzsche once said: “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” So whether it is a friend, teammate, or a mate you are looking for, a strong relationship can take root when someone feels comfortable in your presence.

Here are 9 easy tips for creating close friendships:
  1. Be a good active listener. All you have to do is listen! Refrain from giving advice unless you are asked. You don’t have to fix everything.
  2. Cultivate a sense of humor even if you are not really funny or spontaneous. Watch comedies, read humorous quips, or at least laugh at someone else’s jokes. Laughter is a great de-stressor and cheers people up.
  3. Become a CAT: Compliment, acknowledge and thank others. Affirming others helps them to relax and trust you. Make people feel good around you.
  4. Communicate honestly and accept honest criticism to be better, do better. While you don’t have to overshare, you do have to share.
  5. Make sure there is reciprocity. A one-sided relationship eventually tips over.
  6. Do not depend on others to complete you, or make you happy. Find your creative outlet.
  7. Let the people you love – BREATHE. Relationships take time.
  8. Unplug technology and connect face to face.
  9. Reframe anger into compassion and forgiveness – keep your expectations reasonable.

For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.