As you may have noticed, I split the list into two parts to let the first lot sink in first and then share the last five with you. If you missed the first installment, check it out here.
And here are the final five:
6 – Listen More
It is a well known fact that people love to talk about themselves. The easiest way to create a bond with someone is to ask them about themselves, take a genuine interest in what they have to say, and really listen to them. Obviously, it is important to ensure a two-way relationship that you get a turn as well, and your turn will come, but don't sit and wait for your chance to speak. Listening is an art form. It is a skill that can be learned, and one that will benefit you in every aspect of your life.
"Seek first to understand, and then to be understood." – Stephen Covey
7 – Be Kind
If someone you love is suddenly acting strange, there is a reason for it. Things are happening every day in other people's lives that we have no idea about. We don't know what goes on behind the scenes, behind closed doors, or inside their heads.
Even if you live with someone, they may be dealing with something they aren't ready to talk to you about yet. As humans, we are prone to judge, and it is easy to look at other people's lives and think they have it better than you, they're treating you badly, or they're behaving oddly but we don't always know the full story.
It isn't acceptable behaviour but before writing someone off, it is always worth adding a little kindness because they could be dealing with something major and need everyone to give them a break.
"Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle" – Unknown
8 – Keep Your Promises
If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you say you're going to be somewhere, be there. It is difficult to put yourself out there and ask for help, but if someone asks for your help, it is crucial to the relationship that you do what you can to help them. If you don't want to do something or you know that you can't, then say that. If the relationship is strong enough, they will understand. Better to be honest straight away than flake out later on.
9 – Keep Tending
Relationships are like gardens, they need to be tended to so that they don't get run down. Obviously, there are some relationships that are well preserved and can be left for years and years and pick up right where they left off – but not without a lot of ground work in the beginning.
Keep in touch – we're so lucky to have social media and email, it couldn't be any easier than it is right now to drop someone a line, text, or a quick Facebook message to let them know you're thinking of them. Geographical distance is no longer an excuse to let relationships get overgrown. It's EASY!
10 – Give and You Will Receive
Have you ever noticed that your strongest relationships are the ones you are most actively involved in? You bring a lot to the table. Your thoughts about someone will directly impact what your relationship is like. What if you put all your energy into making your relationships the best they can be? Most likely, you will see a positive impact from the effort you put in.
The more that you put into the relationships you build with those around you, the more you will get out of it (whether loving relationships, work relationships, or random interactions with people you may never see again),. Don't get me wrong, building strong relationships is not for purely selfish purposes but, ultimately, better relationships will make life easier and more fulfilling, and they might test you at times, but they define who you are.
Here's a recap:
My challenge to you this week:
If you choose to accept, is to take one (or two or all) of these into consideration. Whether it be making sure not to flake on a friend, stopping a pointless argument before it escalates, making a new friend, working on a damaged relationship, or being kinder to everyone you interact with.
What do you think? Are you going to give it a go?
Images – 1, 2