As a human, we have to sacrifice some things in order to maintain any form of relationships. The word ‘relationships’ refers not only to romantic relationships but to all the relationships that we share, be it our parents, relatives, siblings, friends and children, relationships between bosses and co-workers, lecturers and students, neighbors, anyone we interact with.
What is a Relationship?
Relationships, in a straightforward manner, mean any situation in our life that involves others.
Human beings live in a society and man is a social animal. Thus our happiness, self-esteem, and ability to work, are greatly influenced by the standard of our relationships, thus affecting our psychological state itself. And it is these relationships that lead to problems and also maladjustment in our lives.
It is important to understand that in order to change relationships in a very positive manner, we can only change the way we relate to others. Only this will change the way others relate to us.
Guidelines to Maintain Any Form of Relationships
To maintain any form of relationship with people, it will work best if you are ready to be yourself within them. Relationships in which you can be yourself are likely to feel easier and to make you happier. Some very good relationships can be provocative and challenging too.
However, this in no way means that one can throw tantrums or be rude to people as one wishes. Also, relationships tend to be unsatisfying when one is fulfilling a role instead of being oneself. It is important to improve such relationships.
Below are three guidelines to help you maintain any form of relationship:
- Work on changing yourself, not on changing others.
- Changes take time.
- Work with people as they are.
1: Work on changing yourself, not changing others.
The temptation, particularly if a relationship is stormy, is to insist to oneself and to others that it is not you that must change but the other person. Now it may be true that the other person could change but since you cannot change other people, it is not worth trying.
The only way you will change another person is to change the way you relate to them. Working to change one’s self is always difficult. However, to maintain any form of relationship, the changes you make will eventually bring in the necessary changes in others. Leave these changes up to them, and therefore the relationship will feel better to you both.
2: Changes take time.
When you change the way in which you relate to others, they will resist that change and do things to make you change back. Making changes in relationships can take longer than making changes in yourself alone, and it requires persistence and sustained efforts over a period of time. Give change, time.
3: Work with people as they are.
Be realistic. If you find yourself thinking “If only he would tell me what he’s thinking” or “If only he didn’t criticize me so much”, remember that if you want to bring about some changes in those relationships you ought to put away these “if only” and accept people as they are. Once you begin making changes in yourself, the other person is probably going to start to change.
The importance of this solitude
Although good relationships are valuable, don’t underestimate the importance of solitude; the power to enjoy, and to find creative strength in our own company. To be at ease with oneself alone can be a source of refreshment and energy. Solitude may be a necessary component of the many creative activities that need us to draw from our own inner depths.
Solitude is not the opposite of good relationships. In fact, if we are continually seeking company because we are uncomfortable with ourselves, this is likely to tarnish our relationships with others. If we are at ease with ourselves we will be at ease with others.
Before you go, you can take a look at “Side Effects And 7 Steps to Overcome Depression“