Recently I really ‘blew’ it with a few of my relationships. I made a number of mistakes, and realised that I need to work harder at building great relationships with people. These are a few things that I learned, that have helped me these last few weeks :-
1. Appreciate people – it is amazing how we can forget to appreciate people and just take for granted what they do for us. This can really discourage them though. Saying a sincere ‘thank you’ – and being specific about what you’re really grateful for – goes a long way. Even better – write them a card, or give them a little unexpected gift. It will be especially impacting if you find out what their favourite chocolates or flowers are, depending on the gift, and give with real thoughtfulness. Recently, I did this to show my appreciation to someone who I had not thanked enough, and her response really surprised me. She was delighted! It immediately melted away any feelings of resentment and discouragement.
2. Don’t criticise people – look for the good instead. It can be so easy to think that everyone around us needs to change – and to tell them exactly what their weaknesses are, and how they need to adjust their behaviour. Criticism is very hard for anyone to receive though, and negative feedback should always be given with caution!Instead, try finding evidence – no matter how small – of the positive behaviour that you are looking for – and praising them for it lavishly whenever you see it. People will be far more motivated by praise than criticism.
3. Make people feel special – everyone wants to feel special and important. Everyone loves to be noticed and to be listened to. Take an interest in people. Ask them about their lives, their weekend, their interests and passions. People love to talk about themselves. We have two ears and one mouth – do more listening than you do talking, and people will feel special around you, and because of that, they will love to be with you.
I have focussed on these 3 things over the last couple of weeks, and I have noticed relationships around me blossom and grow. I have had greater peace as a result, and more co-operation from others. Plus, I have enjoyed getting to know others at a deeper level. I hope you find these tips helpful – let me know how they have worked for you!