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6 Things you Can Do and Not Do to Improve Your Relationships!

I want to preface this blog by stating I am NOT a therapist or a relationship expert. I am simply sharing observations and insight from conversations all that said I am thoughtful and I work to manage my relationships, because people matter!

Throughout this post you will see friendship and/or relationship used. Friendships matter and so do intimate relationships. So the advice can apply to both. That said I hope this touches something in each of us. Some of the items on the list I struggle with myself, so this acts as a reminder to me as well.

6. Do not let your ego over shadow your friend and/or relationship.

When I look at some lasting relationships I see people who can laugh at one another and also laugh with one another. Some of us let our ego over power us and our partners. We are too good to be wrong, we have to be right and we get in the weeds of things that do not matter. In your relationship your credentials, degrees, cars and age should not be used to trump your partner. EVER! Throw all that out the door. Yes you worked hard to attain and accomplish certain things, but your friendship and/ or relationship should not be the place you prop yourself up in, it should be a safe place to just exist.

5. Respect your friend and/or partners time.

This may seem like common sense, but it is vital. If you have a commitment meet it or give notice prior to the date and time you cannot meet the commitment. Things come up. We overbook ourselves and sometimes we forget, but if you consistently drop the ball or disrespect their time, then you are communicating to that friend and/or partner that they are not valuable.

4. Publicly Show Respect to Your Friend/ Partner.

Acknowledging your friends and/or partner is important. Be sure you are not spending all your time arguing about a sports team, movie, singer, etc. At a party or gathering mention how proud of your friend/ partner you are. Social media is inundated with arguments over people many of us do not know, but what about that/those special individual(s) in your life. When is the last time you bragged on your friends and the work they are doing and the achievements they are completing?

3. DO NOT AIR YOUR LAUNDRY IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!

Think of it this way. When your apartment or house has a leak or broken appliance. Are you going to post about it on Social media for days or even weeks before fixing it or are you going to get to work trying to fix it? The same goes for friendships and/or relationships. Do not vent to social media about your relationship have a conversation with the person(s) you’re in relation with unless you are prepared to share ALL OF YOUR shortcomings! Do not try to show up or embarrass or send a message via social media.

2. Be respectful of your friend and/or partner’s other friends and family and expect the same.

You may not like one of your friend’s and/or partner’s other friends or family members, but instead of trashing and tearing them down and involving your friend or partner have a respectful adult conversation to try and resolve or mend things. Nothing good can come from you libeling, attacking and attempting to discredit someone else. Make an effort to be in a healthy communicative interaction with people that you WILL have to share space with, that your partner love.

1. Actively work on you.

Friendships and/or relationships are the process of evolution. Your friend(s) and/or partner should be able to support you and you do the same. However if you are simply knee deep in their business and their endeavors you cannot evolve on your behalf in the best way. Yes you may have times where one of your friends and/or your partner may need you, but to completely dump your dreams and abandon your own ambition is a recipe for disaster.

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Thanks, But No Thanks!

Can you imagine how communication channels would open up if we listened with the purpose of actually hearing what people are saying?

Recently I did some soul searching as a result of some encounters that made me look at who I have been to people.

Sometimes in an effort to help or aid people we do more damage to relationships. I am sure you are asking how is that possible?

Here is how, when someone shares an issue, incident or road block, and without even hearing what they have done already or the attempts they have made to solve the issue some of us begin sharing unwanted and unnecessary “solutions”. We say, “what you should have done or what you could have done is.” Now the person who shared their issue with you is not only frustrated, but insulted. Especially if they have already gone to great lengths and tried what you suggested, plus some. 

Consider this, the next time you want to offer up advice or help solve the problem, ask the question, “Is there anything I can do to help?” Or “Would you like help?”

Can you imagine how those two questions may open the door for communication, salvage a relationship or you may uncover the person just needed to vent. Think about that person in your life who has annoyed you when you were dealing with an issue that you exhausted nearly every possible solution for. 

Often times people are not the issues our communication methods/styles are the issue or lack there of. Try something new when encountered with the opportunity to respond. Listen and then ASK if they want the help you are itching to provide. 

Good luck as you go and interact with friends, family and the world. 

What are you not saying?

Yesterday I was talking to a friend in a relationship. My friend said he was struggling with his current relationship. Nothing was wrong per say, but he was encountering a lot of extra from people he had previous relations and relationships with.

Let me stop here this post or blog is not to glorify or to absolve people who cheat physically and or emotionally. It is just to say THERE IS very real reason.

Back to the conversation while speaking to him I realized that I had done many of the same things in my previous relationships. I had entertained and engaged people who filled me up where I did not get filled up in my relationships. 

I asked him a simple question, “What is the thing he wishes he could change about his relationship or what is it that bothers him about the interaction he currently had with his partner?” He responded, “I have little quirks like the feeling of being talked down too or like I’m a child. But I get over that. ”

As we chatted I realized he was engaging with and being pursued by individuals who saw that he needed something and they were happy stepping in to provide it, regardless of his relationship status. 

The challenge for him, myself and so many others is to communicate with our partners what we need and don’t need, in more effective ways. When your partner says or behaves in a way that emasculates us as men or women if you are treated less than a woman we have to address it. We have to talk about it and teach people who we want to be treated. 

If you don’t address it those little things become bigger things that become the scape goats and doors we use to disrespect our relationships. 

As a partner who may have made your partner feel less than understand that you aren’t absolved from guilt. You may not do the same thing as your partner does when you’re made to feel bad, but your role in a relationship is to communicate in a way that your partner receives your message and is not slapped with it. 

My friend may have had an issue with the way he was spoken to, but in my past relationships I’ve felt like I’ve carried the emotional and financial weight. Which caused the universe to provide every candidate who wanted to carry that emotional and financial weight. What I should have done is communicate what I needed and what I wanted from my partner to provide them the opportunity to improve or to rebut. 

The point is simple communicate and when you are communicated with listen to fix the issue not to be right or wrong. Right never saved a relationship and wrong never ended it, but it sure did add a few more road blocks to a happy path. 

Think about that today as you go through your interactions with friends, family, and your significant others.