Tips for Better Relationships
Are you having relationship problems? It could be with your spouse, lover, boss, or neighbor. One of the keys to getting along with people better is to know how to deal with them effectively. There are various steps you can take to improve your everyday relationships. Here are some of the most effective ways to improve your relationships:
1. Spend more quality time
This is especially important if it’s a romantic relationship with a husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. A recent study showed that couples who did this at least once a week were happier about their relationships. A key is to take some time out to find the best time for these outings. The best approach is to compare schedules to find out a day/time each week you can spend eating out, watching a movie, walking in the park.
2. Put your smartphone down
“Phubbing” is a type of snubbing that involves people keeping their smartphone in hand or within reach when talking with someone, and checking for notifications. This can be a major distraction in a romantic relationship. An interesting study showed that only one-third of people who were victims of phubbing were happy about their relationships. Technology and mobile devices in particular are valuable tools for providing us with the latest news and info. However, there’s also a time for serious face-to-face conversations and when they take place its better if there are no distractions.
3. Be understanding
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has a bad day whether it’s a tough day at the office, getting stuck in traffic for hours, or spilling coffee on your favorite shirt. If someone is having a difficult time it’s important to deal with it in an understanding way. What’s the best approach? It really depends on the situation and the person. There are some people who like to talk out their personal problems and others who want to be left alone. If you’re dealing with a friend, relative, or coworker you probably know the person well enough to figure out how to deal with the situation best.
4. Listen to people
This is one of the most important steps you can take in order to improve your relationship with people. There’s a difference between hearing and listening to people. One of the most important communication skills you can use in a conversation is being an active listener. This involves things like giving all of your attention to what a person is saying and understanding the spoken and unspoken messages.
It doesn’t mean you have to agree with 100% of what the person is saying. What’s more important is that you value what they’re saying and are hearing what they have to share.
5. Say something positive
Research shows that couples have happier relationships when there are 5 positive comments for each negative comment. It highlights the need to compliment people when they deserve it, for example. It can be tough to be positive 100% of the time but it should be your goal. Even when you have something negative to say it’s important to phrase/frame it in a way that it won’t have a devastating effect on the person.
6. Remember special days
There are red letter days in our lives including birthdays, anniversaries, etc. If you’re in a romantic relationship then Valentine’s Day is another big day to remember. These days are special to people so it’s important to remember them. You should also consider sending some sort of card, gift, etc. It doesn’t have to be overly expensive or fancy. What’s most important is you remembered the special day and showed that by sending something to the person as a symbol of that. Modern tech can be helpful in the process by sending you an alert that it’s someone’s birthday, for example.
7. Communicate on a regular basis
It’s important not to overdo it. However, there are so many tools for communicating with close family, friends, and lovers like email, social, mobile, chat, and others. You don’t necessarily need to have an hour-long daily conversation and especially if you’ll see them later in the day anyway. That said, it’s a good idea to keep in contact with them through an email, SMS, PM, or other channel just to make sure they’re doing OK. This practice doesn’t take much time and shows you’re concerned about the person’s welfare.
8. Talk about the good times
In any relationship there will be times when there are struggles. These are the times it’s important to remember better times and try to bring them back again.
9. Say “thank you” frequently
Regardless of the type of relationship it is it’s important to thank people. Sometimes it can be the words “thank you” after they’ve helped with housework, for example. However, there are other ways you can show your thanks like volunteering to do an errand, wash the dishes, tidy up a room, etc. It helps the person to feel appreciated so it’s important to show your thanks on a regular basis and each time the person says or does something to improve your life.
10. Spend time to reflect
This can involve different relationships including manager/employee, parents/children, etc. If possible to meet at least once a week and talk about what’s going in each other’s lives, any relationship problems that are going on, and so on. Sometimes we spend so much time in our day-to-day lives that we don’t think enough about things like how to improve our relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
11. Plan a date night
It’s an old-school option but can definitely be effective in improving your relationship with your spouse or lover. It doesn’t have to be a 5-star restaurant. What’s important is you spend the night with your special someone whether it’s at a restaurant or other type of location. This will help to keep your relationship fresh and add some variety to your everyday schedule. An alternative for families is a weekly family night.
When possible it’s best to make the date or family night on a certain day of the week so it’s easier to plan. There are times you might have to cancel but it’s important to try and keep the date night as consistently as possible.