Seven Things to Do and Seven Things to Avoid to Improve your Relationships


We react from a place that is often automatic and creates a perpetual cycle of pain and suffering for all concerned. We blame the other person for doing or saying the wrong thing. When we take a step back, take our time and reflect on our goals we can take steps towards building a better relationship.

Each word can either destroy or build a relationship. If our goal is to have a fulfilling relationship with our loved ones we need to build bridges and not destroy them. It’s so easy to get into a pattern of defend and attack and lose sight of the bigger picture of what our goal is for us.

When we take responsibility for the words we use and our intentions behind the words, we build bridges. When we defend and attack, we destroy the bridges that only serve to keep us separate and disconnected, not only from others, but from ourselves in achieving our goals and dreams. In each moment, we create our own reality according to our perception. Perception is shaped by past experiences and the meaning we attribute to these experiences which leads us to react a certain way. This shapes how we experience ourselves and others around us. Essentially it’s all about how we relate to ourselves and others.

With the holiday season, you will most likely be spending more time with your family and this provides a great opportunity to work on your relationships. The New Year is a good time to reflect on what your dreams and wishes are and then make a commitment to yourself to stay motivated to attain your goal. If you are motivated to improve your relationships with your loved ones, it is possible with effort and dedication to achieve your goal. This may mean that you need to learn skills in communication, boundaries, assertiveness etc. to help you along the way.

All new skills you wish to muster takes time, effort and ongoing commitment. If you wish change your eating habits it takes time, effort and ongoing commitment to select and prepare healthy and wholesome meals. Similarly, with relationships the same dedication, time and commitment is required. You can begin the process of change by holding your goal in your mind and heart.

Seven Things to Do

Choose words of kindness even if the other person is not. Keep the focus on your goal and set a good example.

Take a few deep breaths to self regulate your emotions before speaking.

Carry out a random act of kindness, especially when the other person is not expecting it.

Look for the positives in the relationship.

Have gratitude for the little things that often go unnoticed.

Forgive yourself and others often as it will open your heart to more love and wisdom.

Accept the situation as it is right now. Remember nothing ever stays the same. We live in a world of constant change and movement.

Seven Things to Avoid

Avoid at all costs blame, criticism and contempt. In a disagreement, state the facts and how you are affected by the other person’s behaviour.

Avoid beginning a sentence with the word ‘You’. It will automatically trigger the defence mechanism in the other person and are less likely to cooperate with you.

Avoid raising your voice when you feel angry, rather state how you are feeling.

Avoid confrontation if the other person is angry – walk away and let them know it’s best you both discuss the issue later (give time frame – in one hour’s time etc.).

Avoid raising an issue when the other person is hungry, angry, tired, busy, etc.

Avoid bringing up the past when you are discussing an issue in the present. It will only make the situation worse and it becomes a distraction to the present issue.

Avoid raising small issues. If you are triggered, go to a quiet place and connect with your feelings, acknowledge how you are feeling and then bring up your relationship goal in mind.

Remember you are a work in progress. There is nowhere to get to but where you are in the moment. Work through whatever is arising within you before raising it with another person.

Relationships are not about who is right or wrong. Because when you are right and the other person feels wrong, you have gone off track. Realign by coming back to your goal. If your goal was to take a walk every morning but one morning you felt lazy and didn’t walk – wouldn’t you resume walking the next morning? Relationships are the same. Expect that you will connect and disconnect as it is part of your humanness. One day you will notice there are more times you connect and less times you disconnect.

For a more in depth process go to ‘7 steps to inner connection’



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