I used to be really horrible at keeping, and maintaining relationships with my friends, family, and people in general… and it resulted in a lot of unhappiness, misunderstanding, and frustration in my life.
…And at the end of the day, people wouldn’t understand me, and I would end up not getting what I want.
Talk about a negative double whammy eh?
Over the years, I made a conscious decision to work on improving my relationships. Today, all my relationships are just great, even with the people that I never used to get along with. I can easily communicate my ideas, and get what I want.
It’s an amazing skill to have, and I’m going to share with you 3 effective techniques you can use to improve your relationships…
1) Listen First
It’s important that you give other people the chance to express themselves first.
It doesn’t matter if you like them or not. Or if they’re wrong or right.
You have to learn how to listen to what they have to say. Let them finish. Let them fully express how they think and feel.
Sometimes, people just want to FEEL heard, and understood.
After you listen, then you can start sharing your side.
Once you do this, then it will be a lot easier to communicate with people. Problems will be solved a lot faster, and both parties will feel a lot better.
2) Show Appreciation and Gratitude
Showing appreciation and gratitude for someone is one of the most powerful ways to building a healthy, and loving relationship.
This technique is so powerful that it can restore faith, trust, and respect in a troubled relationship. It will also improve the quality of all the relationships in your life right now.
Some techniques you can try out:
- Say ‘Thank You’ every chance you get with every person in your life. Don’t forget to say it specially for the ‘Small Things’ that people do for you
- Once in awhile, tell people that you appreciate them, and why. You can do it over email, face-to-face, or even write a card for them. For example you can say: “Name, just wanted to take time to let you know I appreciate you and everything that you’ve done for me. Thank you for (Insert something you’re thankful for here), Thank you for (Insert something you’re thankful for here), Thank you for (Insert something you’re thankful for here).”
- Every time you meet someone, say something positive about them. Give them a compliment, or mention something they are doing right that you noticed. For example, if someone always shows up early say “I noticed that you always show up early, that’s rare quality to find nowadays. You should know that”. Always make time to find the RIGHT in what people do, and mention it to them
3) Say How You Feel
Whenever something isn’t working out, or is unacceptable to you… you have to say it.
It is important to give people this kind of feedback. Over the years, I’ve learned that you ultimately teach people how to treat you.
So if people are walking all over you, and you’re not getting what you want, it’s because you’ve allowed it to happen that way.
Think back to the first time you got burned by something. You probably tried touching something that was too hot, and your reflex was to pull back and shake your hand. Afterward, you learned from it, and hopefully, you didn’t do it again. The feedback your body gave you (In this situation, getting burned), taught you not to do it again.
This same principle applies to your relationships. The way people treat you now, is based on your previous feedback to their actions.
For example, if someone says or does something unacceptable to you, and you say nothing about it, then they will keep doing it over and over again.
Just because they don’t know, that you don’t like it. That’s just to be expected since you never really gave them any feedback on their actions.
Here’s how you can put this technique into action…
- Let’s say someone is talking about a topic that you’re not comfortable with… simply say: “You know what, I’m not really comfortable talking about this, can we change the topic?”
- If someone keeps showing up late say: “Name, I think you’re an awesome person, but you can’t keep showing up late to our meetings. I feel bad about it because it makes me feel that you don’t value my time. I’m not angry with you. Next time, just make sure to meet me at the time we agreed upon, and if you’re going to be late, just let me know before hand.”
- If someone always cuts you off when you’re speaking with them say: “Name, can I be honest with you? I just noticed something about the way we communicate, and I wanted to point it out because it will help improve our communication. When we are talking, you have the tendency to cut me off, and talk over me. I feel bad whenever you do it cause I feel that I wasn’t able to express myself. Next time, can you please let me finish first before talking?”
It is very crucial that you don’t say things in a mean or angry way. Whenever you do that, it will distort the message, and people will just focus on your emotion rather than the message you’re giving them. Make it a point to always come from a place of love, and calmness.
At first, these techniques might be a little difficult to do, and implement in the real world.
You might even start feeling a little weird, and anxious before you do them for the first time. Don’t worry, it’s normal. It happens because of your ‘Fear of the unknown”. You don’t know what’s going to happen when you say it. You don’t know how the other person will react.
In my experience, people don’t react negatively to it, specially if you come from a place of love and understanding.
It will be a little difficult at first, but once you get used to SAYING HOW YOU FEEL, then it will be as easy as crossing the street for you.
I’m confident that these techniques will IMPROVE all your relationships tremendously.
The difference will be night and day.
Once you start using these techniques and making them a part of your every day way of being, you’ll notice that all your relationships will be better, stronger, and you’ll start getting what you want more.