It’s easy to make your relationships more complicated than they are. Here are twelve simple reminders to help you keep them on course.
1. All successful relationships require some work. – They don’t just happen, or maintain themselves. They exist and thrive when the parties involved take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their minds and hearts. Open communication and honesty is the key.
2. Most of the time you get what you put in. – If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding. It’s a simple practice that works.
3. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in someone’s life. – Never force someone to make a space in their life for you. If they know your worth, they will create time and space for you.
4. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. – Some will test you; some will teach you; some will threaten you; some will use you. Others will heal you, and help you see your strengths, and help you to discover your authentic self.
5. We all change, and that’s okay. – Our needs change with time. When someone says, “You’ve changed,” it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes it just means you stopped living your life their way. Don’t apologize for it. Instead, be open and sincere, explain how you feel, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right.
6. Forgiving others helps YOU. – Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
7. You can’t change people; they can only change themselves. – Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example. If there’s a specific behavior someone you love has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t. If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows what you need them to do.
8. Heated arguments are a waste of time. – The less time you spend arguing with the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you. And if you happen to find yourself arguing with someone you love, don’t let your anger get the best of you. Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation.
9. You are better off without some people. – When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you. If someone continuously mistreats you or pushes you in the wrong direction, have enough respect for yourself to walk away from them. It may hurt for a little while, but it’ll be ok. You’ll be ok, and far better off in the long run.
10. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. – Honor your important relationships in some way every chance you get.