While attending a recent wedding, three couples caught my attention, because of the qualities in their relationships. The first was the bride and groom, who were aglow with love and excitement. Their happiness was apparent and infectious.
The second couple was nice enough to one another. They spent the majority of the evening separate and engaged with others. They spent little time together. They were neither attentive nor unkind toward one another.
The third couple stood out for another reason. They interacted with people and engaged in the activities, but there was something different about the way they related to one another. The quality of their interactions grabbed my attention.
As I observed them throughout the night, I recognized four behaviors that set them apart from the crowd. These behaviors involved some thoughtfulness and a little effort; however, these actions made that relationship shine. The actions were simple but not always easy, and they will work to improve and grow any relationship.
FOUR BEHAVIORS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
1. Being Generous: At one point in the evening, the wife took her husband a drink. It was a small thing that he could have done for himself but did not have to because she anticipated he would want one. Being generous is to give ourselves to others, to help others by doing our part of the work that needs to be done. It is being considerate in small and large ways. By taking up the slack, you give others the opportunity to take an emotional or physical break.
2. Being Positive: When his wife brought the drink, the husband took the time to acknowledge her and thank her. He even paused his conversation to give her a kiss. When you make an effort to look for the positive in life, it will lead you to see the positive aspects in the people who are important to you. Giving compliments and showing appreciation creates confidence. Being affectionate on a regular basis builds intimacy.
3. Being Connected: Over the course of the evening, each one found the other for a quick word or touch. In a more serious situation, it means being available when your loved ones are vulnerable and need to depend on you. It is reassuring them of their worth in general, and to you specifically by providing a secure emotional base daily.
4. Being Supportive: They were free to be themselves and enjoy everyone. This couple moved among the other guest without anxiety that they may be displeasing the other. When you encourage someone to explore new ideas and activities, you help those you love to become their true selves. You engage in the adventure of growth and exploration with them while sharing your passion for life.
It is necessary to pay attention to your relationships, to nurture those connections and put in the work to strengthen those ties. It is easy to forget that all relationships – friends, co-workers, spouses, lovers, partners, parents and children – need effort on a regular basis. The good news is this: actions that strengthen one type of relationship will work in strengthening all types of relationships.
You will find as you practice these qualities with others that you will grow. As with any skill in life, the more often you apply it, the more capable you become. These behaviors will build your sense of self-worth and your self-esteem.
When we act with kindness towards others, we will be kinder people.
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