6 Ways To Improve Your Relationship.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
The art of life, and of taking responsibility for one’s own relationships, overwhelms me day by day. We have the full power to be in charge of the roles we play in our own movie of life. Think about it for a second.
It’s incredible how much we can learn about ourselves through others, and how much we can influence all of our relationships in daily life. Sometimes people suck, that’s normal.
But mostly, it’s not them, but us being all of what we want to see in others.
To me, talking to new people means always adapting to them to a certain degree. Normally, we want others to like us, and mostly, we are happy to like them back.
Actually, we can apply a few tricks to raise the chances of liking somebody and be liked back in return.
I believe that there are certain practices to cultivate better relationships, and when applied, miracles start to happen. I believe that living is an art as much as building relationships.
It doesn’t matter if it’s with your boss, your friend, your mom or your husband — we are all human beings and function similarly. Here’s what helped me to strengthen my existent relationships and to build amazing new ones.
1. Positive attitude: If I go out of my house with an attitude of not believing that I can meet some amazing people, well, it actually never happens.
Instead, if I have a great mood, feel very good about myself, smile at strangers, and am open to new, different people, I always meet somebody cool in the most unexpected places.
I meet amazing businesswomen, wise kids to learn from, interesting people, creative couples, artists, etc. Amazing people, with great stories to share, seem to be everywhere.
When I look at strangers and give them a smile or a spontaneous compliment, they want to talk to me and come over. We can learn amazing things from each other. It’s as easy as it sounds.
Just communicating with each other, either verbally or physically, via a smile, a kind word, a glance, or even random small talk, can help.
I consciously made a deal with myself to look for good qualities in people first, but also to accept if I don’t feel a connection with somebody.
2. Compassion: The easiest and fastest way to connect with somebody is through compassion. We often judge people, but have no single idea about what they’re going through.
It’s okay not to think about everyone’s problems, but we should keep in mind that everybody struggles just like we do. Everybody has a broken heart, has some personal or professional problems, or a fight with a parent or partner.
Sometimes we just don’t feel well physically or mentally. Showing compassion and holding the space in the moments when people are fragile (they may seem unfriendly or angry, but they are in survival mode) is a big art of life.
People’s hearts can melt if we jump over our egos and show empathy when it’s needed the most.
3. Vulnerability: The more openly I talk to somebody, the more open they become. Especially by talking about our struggles, fears or failures, we give others the permission to be themselves, also as flawed as we are.
The burden of impressing somebody falls from our shoulders, and the chance to have an amazing talk from soul to soul increases drastically.
I constantly share with people what I’m going through, and it is encouraging when they reveal their own stories.
This touches me, and just like that, we have this amazing human connection based on compassion, support and love. Making ourselves vulnerable, if it comes from within, of course, is essential in life, work and all kinds of relationships.
4. Compliments, giving and receiving: If I see something I like in a person, I say so. So, if I like somebody, I say I like you. If I find somebody beautiful, charming, talented or funny, I say You’re so talented.
I don’t think Oh no, what if (s)he misunderstands me? We suppress so much throughout life. I even dare to pay flattering compliments if I fall in love with someone’s soul, be it a woman, a man, a bird or any sentient being.
I find that giving a compliment is easier than receiving. Especially when someone I like wants to give me any.
I often struggled with accepting a compliment, and immediately tried to laugh it away. Now mostly, doesn’t matter how hard it is, I say Thank you and that’s it.
By not accepting a compliment, we’re putting ourselves down and questioning the opinion of somebody else. A lose-lose situation.
Sometimes, we should just accept our greatness, and consider that people might look up to us and love what we do, who we are, and how we appear.
5. Asking questions: I love to talk about my experiences, my philosophy and myself in general. So does everybody else. Everybody tries to track the talk back to (him/her)self.
We rarely listen without giving out advice, based on our experience (which doesn’t mean it’s good for anybody else in this world).
We rarely give people the chance to talk and support them in their journey by asking the right questions. I struggle with this one very much, but still try my best to be a good listener.
6. Being present, being free of judgments and making time: Being present means giving the other person 100% of what we can give: an open ear, a hug, eye contact, advice if needed, support, a funny story, or whatever.
There is no space for judgment in this moment, because this moment is as it is. Judgment arises because we have a different view, we’re pissed off, or because we can’t accept the other person.
If we are present in this moment, we just accept everything as it is.
Judging is easy, but questioning why the person thinks this way, what this person had to go or goes through and being sensitive, how we make the person feel — that is the art of life.
If other people feel that we are present, that we don’t rush and we listen, they will naturally want to be around us and become calmer.
We rush through life all the time, but sometimes it’s just amazing to say that we have all the time in the world (and we actually really do).
My high-aimed starting point in every new or existing relationship is the question: how do I want to feel? And this is exactly how I choose to treat people.
There are people who are just not on the same energy level, and it’s okay. But people who trigger something in us, either good or bad, those people are our teachers, our mirrors, our gifts.
With those people, we can practice ourselves (I look at most unpleasant encounters as a training for myself, my reactions, my behavior) and see how huge our power is.
We like people, who make us feel good about ourselves. So that is the golden rule for building relationships: creating the space for each other to be the best we can be.
We can improve our relationships in the moment in which we decide to be our highest possible self. Being kind, giving, encouraging, loving, tender, supportive and judgment-free is definitely the new Cool.
Olga Chirkova was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Germany when she was nine. She believes there is no journey which is more difficult than the journey to your own true nature. It can be hard, painful, confusing, but it’s worth it. It is the most beautiful and honest journey there is. Come with her on the journey on her blog.