Improving Friendships and Relationships

Improving our relationships and friendships is vital to personal development and happiness. Recognising that we can improve our behaviour is the first step, but how do we change the way that we act. Expressing the best of yourself with people who you care about the most is fundamental to the depth and quality in all relationships.

It is human nature to be frustrated, worried, upset and angry at times and we display this to those closest to us, family friends and work colleges. It is easy to become aggressive, disrespectful and judgmental when we are under pressure. However our reactions harm us and the other person that is on the receiving end, especially if negative reactions have become a habit.

All of our relationships offer an opportunity for us to look at ourselves and learn how we do communicate and respond to others. In order to show how we behave in relationships we have to look at our defense mechanisms and learn about “who we are” and what makes us tick or explode.

How do we improve our relationships and friendships?

Develop Empathy

Empathy is the skill of putting yourself in another person’s shoes.  It enables us to understand the point of view of the other person. Applying empathy to interactions will help you to develop a sense of the other person’s emotional state. It also stops us from making snap statements and judgments. Developing the skill of empathy makes us more alert, sensitive and open and apply reasoning to the other person’s point of view.

Act Do Not React

Thinking before we react stops us from doing something we may later regret. A reaction is always an impulsive response where an action is a thought out response. Reacting instantly will provoke emotions in the other person and create further misunderstanding. Acting after we have looked at our own thoughts and applied empathy to have an understanding of the other person is responding with a level head.

Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility means taking ownership of everything we say or do. It is coming from a place of “I” and self-acceptance. By taking responsibility within your interactions we look at how we are coming across and can recognise if any aggression received is a response to aggression that we  are displaying. Taking responsibly means that we are in tune with how we are responding, are we acting or reacting with in the interaction.

Identify Responsive Habits

Identifying responsive habits is looking at what we react instantly to. Learning what our triggers are is a vital aspect to improving our communication so we improve our friendships and relationships. Highlighting what we have core beliefs about and what will cause instant negative emotions within us, making us act instead of react. Developing our self-awareness is imperative to recognise personal judgments that we have and explore where they stem from. Are they judgments we hold personally ours for valid reasons or have they been instilled within us.   

Relationships and friendships are about the quality not quantity of friends we have. Surrounding ourselves with people who can help bring out the best in us will improve our self-worth, confidence and the amount of positive experiences we have in life.