In Part I of this post, I talked about the first five basics necessary for great relationships. Check those out here: (https://lisamerlobooth.com/creating-great-relationships-the-basics-part-i/). Below are the remaining five basics that everyone needs to know if they hope to create great relationships. Learn these, practice them and incorporate them into your relationships consistently. Without any of these, your relationships will most certainly fall short of great.
6. Pay attention (real attention). Nothing shows someone you care more than your time and attention. Put down your phone, shut off the television, make eye contact, show up, and tune in to your loved ones. Take the time to interact, have conversations and connect completely. Even giving your undivided attention for 10 minutes a day can make a tremendous difference in your relationships. Try it!
7. Talk through issues. Avoiding hard conversations just creates more difficult issues. Stop running from conversations and instead face issues head-on with respect, honesty, and forthright dialogue. If you’re unhappy about something, say so. When you need or want something, ask for it. Any time someone is treating you poorly, set limits. Issues, upsets, and conflicts cannot be worked through if they are not discussed and worked through. Find the courage to have the conversation and resolve issues rather than letting issues fester and grow.
8. Make amends. One of my biggest pet peeves is the saying, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” This is a ridiculous saying that has no place in healthy relationships. We are all human beings and as such will make mistakes, screw things up and even cause our loved ones unintentional hurt at times. Pretending we didn’t mess up is irresponsible and more hurtful. If you did something wrong, have the courage to acknowledge your mistake, apologize for it and repair any hurt or damage you caused. Accountability is about being a grown up and an overall decent human being. Find your integrity muscles and own up to your mistakes. You will feel better for doing it and your relationships will benefit because of it.
9. Help out. Running a house, having a family and being in a relationship with a child, parent, lover or friend demands teamwork. Relationships run smoother, feel better and are much closer when all parties participate. A stay-at-home parent should not be the sole person responsible for everything in that home. Their job should not be 24/7 just because their partner works outside the home. Both parties need to negotiate and agree to the management of the home in a way that feels good to both. Similarly, children living in the home should be helping in their home. When everyone pulls his/her weight, there is less resentment, more connection, and a more positive environment. Outside the home, this same rule applies; no one person in a friendship should be the primary holder of the relationship. All parties in relationships should carry their weight via support, communication, giving and receiving. Don’t be lazy in your relationships or you’ll burn them out.
10. Be thoughtful and thankful. Close relationships should feel good to be in. Take the time to give a compliment, do a kind act, be supportive, and overall make being in a relationship with you a positive experience. A good lover, friend, parent, sibling, etc. feels great to be around. Make sure you feel good to be around.
Relationships should feel good to be in and be a mutually positive experience. If yours are not, then revisit the basics. Make sure you’re both practicing the basics as well as holding the bar up for others to do the same with you.
Challenge: Take some time to assess your relationships vis-a-vis the basics above, as well as the basics from Part I. Be deliberate in honoring these in all your relationships and see what happens.