Life Area: Relational
Topic: Relationship Tips
10 Tips For Having More Meaningful Relationships
In this last of my February Relationship Series, I give you 10 tips for having meaningful relationships. The term “relationship” encompasses many forms: clients and customers, work colleagues, one’s significant love, parents, children, even acquaintances and strangers to a certain extent. All of these “relationships” can have a positive or a negative influence on our lives. The condition of our relationships, and most certainly our most significant relationships, have an impact on our successes in each of the 7 life areas.
Want to know how to achieve more meaningful relationships with those around you? Start with these 10 simple tips:
1. Take inventory of the relationships you have.
Some relationships are meant to last for a long time, others serve a short-term purpose or life lesson. Take an inventory of the relationships you have and see which ones you would like to keep and which you should let go. Letting go of unnecessary or toxic relationships make room for new ones to show up.
2. Be happy with yourself.
3. Be positive.
Here’s a quick question. Would you rather spend time with someone who is a downer or someone who is upbeat? Barbara Frederickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, backs up the obvious by writing in Psychology Today, that positive emotions help us “broaden and build” relationships.
Would you rather spend time with someone who is a downer or someone who is upbeat?
4. Don’t be someone else.
Be yourself. Be authentic. As Adrian Savage puts it in LifeHack, “If you can’t trust yourself, why should others trust you?”
5. Be clear on what you want.
None of us like feeling disappointed. But, did you ever stop and think that maybe you didn’t get your needs filled because you didn’t specify what you really wanted? Even if it seems uncomfortable, always be honest in what you want or need.
6. Follow up.
If you feel like you’ve hit it off with someone, professionally or personally, don’t wait for them to get in touch with you, make sure that you follow-up. Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, suggests that you should follow-up within 48 hours of the first meeting.
7. Learn to trust others.
Even if you were hurt by someone in the past, either professionally or personally, you have to learn to trust again. All relationships – family, business, platonic – require trust. Each year I pick a focus theme. One year one of my real estate partners and I chose “Business moves at the speed of trust,” and we made a concerted effort to build more trust into each of our business relationships from our team members and builders, to our lenders and partners.
8. Find common interests.
No matter how big or small, finding a common interest is one of the best ways to establish a meaningful relationship. When I first visit someone in their office or home, I take in all that I see that is on display and I try to find a common interest to talk about to break the ice and build rapport. It could be sports teams, travel places, or hobby, anything to acknowledge a common tie.
9. Be patient.
Building and maintaining meaningful relationships takes time. Exercise patience and grace toward the other to help cope with the inevitable frustrations that come up. If you don’t have patience to deal with life’s little aggravations, then how can you expect to have a durable long-term relationship?
And lastly, don’t forget to laugh! Laughter is extremely contagious. Besides being beneficial for your overall health, laughter can also strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and emotions. Laughing with one another bonds the relationship even more. And, on the subject of laughing, don’t forget to laugh at yourself every once in a while too.
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