Improving relationships with friends and significant others is a common goal amongst people. People want to connect more with others, on a deeper level. That has led me to consciously consider my interactions and change them. It begins with having a good intention.
We meet great people and we’re so overwhelmed with excitement. We build this amazing relationship with that person and everything is great.
But then, the excitement dwindles and we get caught in a routine and we start to develop little pet peeves. That initial spark is forgotten. That zest of why the person was great eventually fades.
To create, improve or rejuvenate a once great relationship, your intention must be to be great. You have to make the other person feel great. You have to make the other person feel appreciated and loved. It’s difficult and we all fail, but I think these three methods can strengthen and improve any relationship.
Key #1 - Be Present
I went out with this girl for coffee. Midway through, her phone rang and she was on it for 15 minutes, as I stared in dismay. After her social call, she couldn’t let go of her phone, constantly texting or fiddling.
She was sharing her eye contact between her phone and I. She couldn’t give me her undivided attention for longer than three minutes. I find that incredibly problematic.
Most issues in relationships are caused by a lack of attention. You cannot show respect to someone, pick up on peoples’ non-verbal cues or feelings and completely understand the other person unless you’re completely present in their lives.
But, you can stand out. You can be the anomaly. Make a meaningful connection with your eyes and body, be present and envelope them with your unhindered presence.
Leave your phone on silent when you’re with loved ones. Or just leave it at home, and go for a walk with the person. Give them your undivided attention and they will understand how much they mean to you.
The cellphone ding makes people feel important, but what’s more important than the person across from you sharing a coffee right now?
Key #2 - Appreciate Them
Most people get wrapped up in the idea that appreciation involves extravagant gifts or these large spectacles like writing ‘thank you” in the sky. I thought I needed those to show people how much I cared for them.
But people don’t want your gifts. They just want to be appreciated, appreciated for all the little things they do, and feel and, most importantly, appreciated for who they are.
Appreciate who they are as a human being and, above all, be there for them. Be there when they need you, and be there even when they don’t.
Through all their ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ and trials and tribulations, they want to know that you’re there and that you truly care.
The people in your life want to feel your real appreciation. Thank you loses its’ meaning the more you say it. Instead, say ‘I appreciate you for…'
Key #3 - Make Complimenting a Daily Habit
There is a lot of power in words and they often get taken for granted. We think nice things about our friends and significant others, but rarely express them.
It seems like criticism gets more of the spotlight than compliments. In reality, compliments should be dominating the life-stage.
We’ve become people that forgot how to say nice things. When was the last time you complimented your friend or significant other? Personally, it has been three days and that’s a long time to hold nice comments in.
Make it a daily habit, or instead, a challenge, to compliment someone you care about. Solidify it into your daily routine and don’t feel completely fulfilled until you’ve made someone’s day through your words.
Say something meaningful and unique to make each compliment really matter. Make the person in your life feel like there is no one else deserving of those words in that very moment. True compliments arise from love and adoration.
This is the hardest step of the three because it requires both of the above steps. You need to be present to recognize the little quirks and you need to be able to appreciate that person for who they are.
These methods will change and impact your relationships in a very significant way. They are simple and just require a little presence, appreciation, and daily kind words.
Be bold, be free, and love on.