Relationships are important.
Building relationships and connecting with others is vital to our emotional, mental, and even physical health.
We all have several different types of relationships that we are consistently maintaining and working on in our lives including familial relationships, friendships, work relationships, and romantic partnerships.
All of these relationships are important to us and our lives.
Enhancing these relationships can help improve your connections, deepen the relationship, and/or making it a more healthy interaction.
Here are 7 ways to enhance your relationships:
1. Maintain your integrity.
Don’t sacrifice your values for another person.
If you maintain your integrity, you set healthy boundaries for your relationships and what you are willing to give or do.
This will keep you healthy, and will establish a better bond with respect as the people in your lives will learn these boundaries.
2. Own your mistakes.
We all make them;
we all misspeak, misjudge, and make misstep.
When you own your mistakes and can admit them to someone, you are not only respecting them by doing so, but respecting yourself.
It also enhances your personal growth, and strengthens your relationship because when you can admit you made a mistake and the other person can accept that, then you both acknowledge that no one is perfect and it’s okay to be real with each other.
3. Care for yourself.
Acknowledge your personal limits and take time when you need it to make sure you care for yourself and meet your own needs.
This, too, establishes healthy boundaries and rectifies any imbalances you may have in your relationships where you are giving too much of yourself.
4. Stop seeking external validation.
We can put ourselves through the ringer when we are seeking validation of who we are and approval of our actions from other people.
Not only does it put an unrealistic and stressful expectations upon ourselves to meet everyone’s standards (or what we believe to be their standards,)
but it also puts an unfair amount of pressure on our loved ones to constantly validate us and give us our worth.
Self-worth is exactly that, our perception and value of ourselves.
While we should care what people think to an extent (such as being kind and respectful to others,)
validation and approval should come from ourselves.
If we like who we are, it doesn’t matter if you get validation from someone else.
Then, you can stop putting the pressure on yourself and on them to give you your worth.
You will have already given it to yourself and now you can just enjoy the other person’s company without worrying and needing them to tell you if you are enough because you already know that you are.
5. Don’t expect perfection.
Nobody is perfect.
Not you, not your family, not your friends, not your romantic partners.
Everyone is flawed and has annoying quirks, habits, and will say and/or do the wrong thing from time to time.
Don’t expect the people in your life to be perfect and to intuitively act a certain way.
People will grow and change, but they will never be perfect.
Understanding that and creating expectations that work with who they are and all their imperfections will enhance your relationship so that both of you can have your needs met and you can find common ground.
Likewise, don’t expect perfection from yourself.
Don’t set your self standards so high that you can never reach them.
Set manageable goals for growth, and give yourself a break when you don’t get there on the first try (or even the second!)
Not expecting perfection of yourself will also enhance your relationships because it will allow you to enjoy them and feel secure that when your flaws come out and your imperfections are exposed,
they will still love and care about you and accept you as you are.
6. Accept help.
It can be difficult to ask for help, and even hard to accept it.
Accepting help from the people we care about and have relationships with will not only improve our overall wellbeing, but enhance the trust and connection we have with the people in our lives.
This can be accepting help from a coworker on a project, or from a family member in the kitchen when preparing for a celebratory feast.
It can be accepting your friends’ offer to help you move, or your partner’s offer to help you when you’re having a hard day.
You don’t have to do everything on your own,
and you shouldn’t feel like asking or accepting help from your relationships makes you a burden.
You don’t want to be completely dependent and unable to take care of basic tasks on your own for yourself at all thus becoming an actual burden,
but asking for and accepting help when you actually need it will enhance your relationships because then you both will know that they can give you something and support you when you need it,
and they will feel more comfortable asking you for the same and that’s what our relationships are there for.
7. Say what you mean.
Communication is great,
but it only works when you actually say what you mean.
Be honest about your feelings, thoughts, and needs.
Don’t be vague, don’t speak in obscure metaphors, and don’t say something is okay when it isn’t.
Say what you mean so that the people in your life know what you need from them, what they mean to you, and where you stand.
When you say what you mean, it will prompt others to respond in kind.
It will enhance your relationships by improving your communication and actually allowing you both to express yourselves clearly.
Taking steps to change your perspective and approach can drastically improve and enhance all of your relationships giving you a deeper connection, better communication, and stronger bond.