It could arguably be said that the relationships we have with others are the most important things in our lives, even beyond the things we own. However, all relationships go through some tough times, in large part because people can be unpredictable.
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Keep reading to learn 15 things that should help you nurture the relationships you treasure, while steering clear of the people who treat you poorly.
1. You Can Make A Positive Impact In An Instant
While going throughout your day, you can make someone feel uplifted just by smiling at them.
Although it’s important to focus on people who are closest to you when strengthening your relationships, don’t underestimate how easy it can be to make new friendships, or even romantic relationships, just by letting people know you care and that you want to do your part to improve their lives, even in a small way.
2. Distance Doesn’t Always Make The Heart Grow Fonder
Even if it seems like you have very reliable friends, you may be surprised to find they’re not there for you as much after you do something that creates physical distance between them, such as moving away.
If that happens, try to cherish the people who did stick by you despite the distance, rather than getting too upset about the people who didn’t.
3. Fake People Are Very Common
Some people are more concerned with projecting a favorable outward image to others than being their real selves. As a result, you may discover that people aren’t really who you thought they were.
Try to see if people act differently when they are in private with you, versus with you out in public. If so, that’s a telltale sign they may not be as genuine as you had hoped.
4. You Can Learn Lessons From Even The Toughest Relationships
When you’re in the midst of a relationship that’s particularly hard, it may feel that all the strength is being drained out of you. After you’re out of it and things have improved, though, you’ll likely find that relationship taught you some valuable lessons about what to do so you don’t make the same mistakes that may have contributed to that bad union.
5. Prioritize The People You Care About
There are many distractions in life, and all of them can theoretically tempt you to not spend as much time with the people who matter to you. Even so, you must fight to prioritize them, and never convince yourself you’re too busy to give them time. Doing so should help your relationships flourish.
6. Always Be A Clear Communicator
Clear communication can help keep your relationships healthy even when you have to bring up hard topics. Try to get in the habit of not being afraid when it comes to communication.
Furthermore, always say what you really mean. That allows people to understand your message without having to rely on guesswork or assumptions.
7. Strive For Honesty At All Times
Sometimes, the truth hurts. However, it’s usually even more painful when people find out they were being lied to or misled.
When you think it’s best to tell a person in your life something that’s not wholly truthful, try to put yourself in their position and think about how you would feel. It’s very rare that you’d ever improve a situation by not telling the truth.
8. Make Your Words Match Your Actions
People can very easily say things that seem sincere but really aren’t. That’s why it’s so important to have unified words and actions. For example, if you say, “I love you” to someone, but are actively doing things that cause pain and chaos in their life, your actions are not matching the statement of love that you made.
That scenario could cause confusion for the other person and also breed mistrust.
9. How Other People Feel Matters
Some people go through life in very self-centered ways, and it’s very important to do all you can to not fall into that trap. For example, before saying something, consider whether it could be misinterpreted or otherwise cause the recipient to feel hurt.
Also, even when doing seemingly smaller things like replying to an e-mail a friend sent you, try not to make that person wait too long for a response. When delays happen or clear communications aren’t upheld, people can start to make assumptions and feel doubtful.
10. Some People Will Leave Through No Fault Of Yours
Even when you’re doing all you can to be a positive presence in another person’s life, things can still occur that make that individual leave you. In many cases, they are doing so because of a reason that’s completely unrelated to you.
Although it’s important to do a self-assessment to make sure you weren’t in the wrong, don’t beat yourself up over what the other person chose to do. Sometimes a person will leave and later realize that was a bad decision.
11. Don’t Tolerate Intentional Bad Actions, And Don’t Engage In Them
When a person lies or cheats, they may apologize and say a mistake was made. However, remember that deciding to lie or cheat is an intentional choice. Not setting an alarm clock to the right time and taking too long of a nap so you’re late for a date is a mistake.
Being untruthful or unfaithful is purposeful. Don’t accept people who behave that way, and don’t demonstrate the behaviors either.
12. Understanding Is The Key To Great Relationships
When things get hard, having an understanding attitude can be really helpful. When necessary, try to be as understanding as possible with the people in your life, but within reason.
13. Don’t Let Yourself Get Taken Advantage Of
In line with the point above, be careful to stay aware of when it seems like you might be getting used by another person. Stay on your guard at all times, and listen to your intuition. If something seems amiss, it probably is.
14. Set Healthy Boundaries
People treat you the way you permit them to treat you. If you’re not okay with how another person is interacting with you, set clear boundaries and let them know you can only tolerate so much.
15. Manipulation Is Not True Love
There are people who will only love you if you behave exactly how they want you to and when they want. This is not an expression of love, but pure manipulation. True love is not conditional.
If you notice a person is treating you in such a way where they only seem to care about you if certain parameters are met, it’s more than likely you’re being manipulated, and that the person only cares about you enough to get what they want.
Hopefully these relationship pointers will help you go through life with supportive people who truly care about you. If that happens, your existence should be fulfilling and mutually beneficial to those who matter to you.