Everyone has ups and downs in relationships, whether it's a significant other, friend, parent, sibling, or what-have-you. If you don't then I bow down to you! But, as I often like to say; that's okay! Ups and downs are part of life, helps to keep things balanced and so that we grow and learn from one another and through those tough experiences. It keeps us on our feet.
But there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your relationships are mutually respectful and loving and beneficial. When it comes to problems you may face within a relationship, there are some key things that I'd like you to remember and keep in mind before getting huffy puffy and judgemental, or accidentally hurt by taking things too personally…
First, remember; Everyone is going through something! You may not always know or understand what it is, and you don't have to. Your job is to be understanding and supportive and to not let another person's problems affect you negatively. Also keep in mind that any personal attacks directed at you are usually not a problem with You, but a problem with themselves. People have a destructive way of deflecting onto other people, so don't take things too personally. Try to always keep in mind; everyone is going through something.
Most relationship bumps come down to one simple issue; Communication Problems, whether it's a general lack of communication or a miscommunication. Probably the single greatest piece of advice I can give in any relationship is this; Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! And to always do so in a respectful and receptive manner. Most problems can be solved simply by talking to one another, instead of dodging a problem and keeping quiet. Don't leave anything up to mind-reading, as people (usually) are not mind-readers. So speak up and say what you feel. I know, I know, so many of us hate confrontation which keeps us from speaking up when we do have a problem, but just because you need to talk about something doesn't mean it has to be done in a mean or condescending manner. Communicating shouldn't be intimidating and the more you practice talking respectfully and calmly, the easier it will get. Speak nicely, on a level of mutual respect. If the other person (or yourself) starts to get angry or yelling, simply walk away from the argument, cool off, and try again later. When I say communicate I do mean TALK, not argue. Yes, conversations can get heated, but that still doesn't meant that people need to raise their voices and start a yelling match. Listen, really take in what they have to say, and think before you speak. If you don't think it's possible to do this then try writing your thoughts out first and then talking about whatever the problem is. Be the bigger person and always stay calm and collected. Verbal abuse is still abuse so just plain don't do it. Communicate with openness, love, and respect. Always. And remember that practice makes perfect. You will learn so much about each other and work through things much easier when you remember to communicate at all times.
Remember to Listen and Be Understanding to the other person before you jump to quick conclusions and criticism as well. Have you been in their shoes before? No? Then don't judge them for the things that they do. Remember that no one is perfect. People are not always going to act the way that you want them to. If they did then they would be you… well, actually, half the time we don't even act in the way that we see best by the ideals in our minds, but we are usually more focussed on deflecting onto others instead of facing our own flaws. Which is another point to keep in mind; is it really the other person you have a problem with? Or is it with yourself? Pay attention to this as it is often your own issues deflected onto another.
Another thing to remember is that They are not You. There are always going to be differences of opinions. Stop trying to make others always agree with you. Everyone is allowed their own opinion, even if you may not agree with it. The point is to allow them to have their opinion and decide whether that opinion will be a major conflicting reoccurrence in the relationship. If it is, you may want to reevaluate the value of the relationship. If it isn't, then let it be and accept those differences may always be there or that you may some day be at the same level.
Know when enough is enough. We seldom leave a relationship when we should. And we seldom see the benefits of having left that relationship until we have--and then the startling revelation kicks in of "wow!" because you realize how much better off you are. Romantic relationships can end and you can still be friends with the other person. Other times you are just on complete opposite sides of everything and you are no longer compatible. With any kind of relationship, people change, you are changing, the people around you are changing. When you are no longer compatible with another person it is simply a reflection of growth in one of you or both of you--and the two of you no longer being on the same frequency. Stop viewing this as a bad thing and accept the beautiful ever-changing cycles of life.
Be Supportive. Again, coming back to love and respect, you should always be supportive of each other and there for each other through the highs and lows of any relationship. Be understanding and encouraging. Stand beside each other. And if you're not seeing eye-to-eye on something then get back to that communication and come to an amicable decision.
At the end of it all, sometimes relationships are just meant to run their course and move on to something else. I'm sure most people have been there, crying and heart-broken over a lost relationship. Most of you have probably moved on to other relationships, better ones at that. The truth is that some things are just not meant to be. And if that is the case then why would you want to keep the relationship anyway? You are growing and constantly improving yourself (or at least I am assuming so if you are reading this post) and therefor your relationships are going to change as well. Don't get hung up on this as people leave your life to leave it open for others to enter it.
Relationships should always be mutual and respectful in all aspects. You should both want to be with the other person, spend time with the other person, be kind, loving, understanding, respectful, and be willing to grow and work together, change together, and evolve together. And this is the case in any kind of relationship.
For any relationship to survive these things must be present: Gratitude, Respect, Communication, and Love. Follow these rules and you'll transform all of your relationships into mutually beneficial, loving, and wonderful experiences.
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