I highly believe that our goal on earth is having good and authentic human relationships.
After all we are human beings, and being a human is hard work. According to my own experiences, and what I observe around me, a lot of good, or potentially good, relationships are continually coming to an end. Whether romantic partnerships, friendships or family relationships, we mostly lack the characteristics that help maintain those bonds. Personally, many relationships I was involved in ended due to the lack of these characteristics.
Sadly, we no longer have the energy to see what’s beyond the horizon. Our ego blinds us to an extent that we only see the image our own mind draws about other people. Frequently, I think we take our thoughts too seriously and dismiss the inner core of our being––where mainly truth lies.
In order to prevent failed human relationships, I believe we should fill ourselves with traits on which we can build strong foundations. Below are nine that I consider crucial for mastering human relationships in an utterly new way.
Human relationships are never perfect. The reason is because we are not perfect. Normally, people do us wrong and we do wrong to other people. Sometimes, we get mad at each other, get hurt from certain persons, or commonly get disturbed from someone’s behavior.
Hailing from planet Earth, it’s totally normal. However, it is not about the incident; it’s about what happens next. No matter what the other person did to us, we constantly seem to punish the other person. We punish him by keeping whatever went wrong alive in our minds. This in return, results in punishing him by staying away from him.
If you ask me about my past, I would say that I never had enough forgiveness inside of me. What I kept inside however, were feelings of bitterness and grief. Today, I always practice how to forget, forgive and give others second chances.
If there is one thing we excel at, it is judging. Our mind adores judging other people. Before, I used to judge others by their behaviors, their way of dressing, their way of talking and living. I never bothered to get to know people the way I should have. It resulted in losing many friends only because I thought they were “this” or “that.”
Before drawing any conclusions about anyone, I learned that we should try at least to get to know that person better. Time is the only judge when it comes to human relationships. Let’s learn more about others, study them, analyze them and investigate more.
We always have the energy and time to finish a book or finish a movie, but we never dedicate one more hour to read each other better. Some might even turn out better than the book we are reading, but unfortunately we refuse to believe so.
Without patience no human relationship can flourish. We’re never patient enough to get to know someone better, or get to know more about whatever went awry in a certain relationship. Lately, it seems as if we have set up curtains between us and other people. The moment something goes wrong, we instantly close the curtain and shout “next.”
I know many friends of mine who are not patient enough to fix or forgive; they are always in a hurry to jump into the next friendship or next relationship. This is why we tend to leave so many partners in romantic relationships; we basically don’t have enough patience.
What I concluded with time is that human relationships are like trees. A seed needs time to grow. But once it does, it turns out to be an astonishing tree. Grow patience and give yourself a chance to see that tree.
Despite the fact that humans have common traits, eventually everyone is different. Before, I never realized this. Unconsciously, I tried to turn persons I knew into someone I would like to get familiar with. Not accepting other’s differences has become majorly problematic in my human relationships.
I figured that not only we don’t accept each other’s traits, but we don’t accept each other’s decisions too. Non-acceptance for opinions, beliefs, traits, lifestyles and mind-sets, is resulting in violence and hate.
We should bear in mind that we are not others and others aren’t us. Personally, I learned that we should accept and learn to live with whoever is different from us. At the end, we are all going to die one day. We came to this life together, and we’re leaving it together. Why not live it together?
Respect is mandatory in all forms of human relationships. I believe in order to gain another’s respect, first we have to know how to respect ourselves. Once we do learn how to treat ourselves with respect, we will know how to treat our family, friends and loved ones better.
Respect is important everywhere in our lives. Whether in our home, workplace or public, it is imperative to maintain a healthy relationship with everyone around us. Without it, we will lose the good qualities that we, as humans, are blessed with.
We should first practice respecting our words, promises and actions. When we do this, we will successfully transfer it to others.
We often underestimate the importance of listening to other people. Some of us just want to talk, without listening to what others have to say. Conversations are never fruitful being one-sided. One-sided conversations always ends up with someone being rejected.
Listening to others means respecting their words and their opinions. We all have stories to tell and point-of-views to share. Hence, to listen is a virtue that offers the other person love and attention––two major things we all crave for.
Listening is mainly quite important between couples. Some relationships ended in my life because the other person simply never listened; I felt as if my words were treated as nonsense. If one partner doesn’t listen to the other, he indirectly hijacks the relationship, creating feelings of rejection and non-importance.
Mostly, we are grateful for God, the universe and life. But rarely do we pay gratefulness to people. Whether we know it or not, we wouldn’t be who we are today without the people who passed through our lives. Every human relationship I had in my life taught something pivotal and I couldn’t be more grateful.
To be grateful isn’t enough though. To let others know about our gratefulness is crucial as well. It mainly has the capability of strengthening any relationship between any two people. Knowing that our presence or words are positively affecting others successfully fills us with love and happiness.
Let’s start practicing saying out loud the words, “I am grateful” to others––I started just lately. Even if the other person hurt us, I am sure even that helped us to grow in some way.
If we pay closer attention to our life, we can notice that some of us tend to be kind only to the people close to us. But we’re rarely kind when it comes to other people or to strangers. Just like kindness can give birth to beauty in relationships, kindness can also give birth to actual relationships.
Whatever the person did to us, we must always stay kind. This is how we maintain a good relationship with almost everyone. They might forget the sound of our voice, how we look like or how we talk, but they will never forget our kindness.
I am especially now learning kindness during my travels. I am trying to break the walls that we indirectly build between us and strangers. Whenever I do, I remember that our sole goal in life is to be kind to others as it fills me with immense joy.
Human relationships can never survive without honesty. If I am not honest with others, they will take me for a liar, a cheater or careless person. Distorted truths are never a good thing to anyone. Even if one party decides to break off any sort of relationship, he should state the reasons honestly and with kindness. One relationship I was in before, ended because of dishonesty. The other person was never honest with me and it eventually came to an end because of this.
No matter how much the truth hurts, we should be brave enough to say it. Personally, I always appreciate honesty. I respect any person who comes clean with the truth. But lying and sugar-coating stories are never appreciated.
To build better relationships around us, we should always speak the truth no matter how disturbing it will be. With time, the other person will respect us and definitely appreciate it.
Although human relationships might seem complicated, they can be quite simple with the right behaviors and right traits. Whatever trait we lack, we can practice it with anyone at any time. It is never too late to forgive, to be kind or to be honest.
Let’s love more, live better and forgive more often. Once we realize how frail this life is, I am sure we can learn to appreciate and practice these traits.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Ciaran McGuiggan