Saturday, March 10, 2007

20 Ways to Improve Your Relationships

For this month's article, I've decided to create a list to help strengthen your relationships. Remember, it's equally important to have a good relationship with yourself. Therefore, many of these suggestions can be done alone as well as with others.

1. Don't engage in petty arguments. Is bickering over things that have no effect on your relationships helpful? Of course not.

2. Play a game. Any kind of game: Board game, sport game, etc. If it helps, don't make it competitive.

3. Watch something you both like on TV. Television builds relationships? Hey, if it's all you're able to do- then yes, it most certainly does.

4. Compliment others. It can be as simple as "I think that's a nice shirt."

5. Accept compliments. You accept compliments by saying "thank you." Then you allow the praise to lift your spirits. This should motivate you to become even better.

6. Listen. Listening develops empathy. It causes you to think 'what is it really like to be such-and-such'. How do you listen? By simply not talking so much.

7. Spend some quality time by yourself. Sometimes healing yourself is the best path to healing others. Don't be afraid to be selfish when spending time with yourself, because that's really the point of it.

8. Tell jokes. Laughter equals healing. We can be very depressed. However, as soon as we hear something funny, we completely forget what was upsetting us.

9. Listen to relaxing music. Music helps clear our cluttered heads. By listening to soothing tunes, we're able to 'sweep out' all those garbled thoughts.

10. Volunteer at a community organization. You have very talented skills that could be useful to many people less fortunate.

11. Do a brief exercise in the morning. Yes, ten minutes of exercise helps. Much more than you probably think. Not hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock will make time for this if you have a busy schedule.

12. Write a journal about you or you and the person you want to build a relationship with. Record daily everything you did and how you felt. Later on, compare what you did with how you felt and see if you can connect anything. Moreover, check to see if you're making overall progress.

13. Spend time with your pet and/or children. Animals and children are both very similar. They're innocent, easily amused, and extremely thankful that you're giving them attention.

14. Write a personal success story. It doesn't matter what we've done or what we will do, we've all accomplished things that we're proud of.

15. Draw. Paint. Do something artistic. It doesn't matter if it's 'good', because you're not obligated to show anybody and art is subjective anyway.

16. Write down three good qualities about that one person you just can't stand. You may be surprised to see that you have more in common with your 'nemesis' than you realized.

17. Try something that you've never tried before. The possibilities are endless. For best results, continue trying new things.

18. Help without making it seem like help. In other words, don't try too hard. Build positive relationships the way you want to.

19. Do a 'random act of kindness.' Help somebody out without telling them that you're responsible for it. Keep the concept of Karma in mind when doing this!

20. Say 'hi' to people more often. We frequently forget how a simple greeting can mean so much to us.

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