“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued- when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~ Brene Brown
Peace and harmony in our interpersonal relationships with others should always be the goal. It doesn’t matter if we consider ourselves an introvert or an extrovert or a little of both, relationships with others are a necessity in our existence.
Whether we are talking about family, co-workers, friends, or people we regularly see in our day-to-day activities, healthy relationships with others make life happier, easier and more peaceful.
Often we come to a point in relationships where we must make the discernment between being our most authentic self while at the same time not hurting the feelings of others.
While many people get stuck in the role of enabler, people-pleaser or victim (meaning they hand over their power to another person in order to please that person instead of themselves first), one must know that they cannot be everything to everyone.
And while it may be a natural by-product of always standing in our own truth that we frustrate, disappoint, or even anger others in our lives, when we are at our healthiest we know that at the end of the day being someone we are not just to please another person isn’t going to benefit either person.
However, as much as we would always like to be right and live by the motto, “it’s my way or the highway,” there is always going to come a point where our behavior does hurt someone else’s feelings and we will be required to listen to another person’s perspective and address our own behavior accordingly.
As long as both parties feel seen, heard and valued, there is a good chance that any disagreement will be walked away from with both parties feeling satisfied. When both parties feel respected and their feelings are being honored, this is the recipe for a healthy connection.
Below are 5 tips to help any relationship stay on the side of health and functionality:
“You are not here to assess and diagnose the imperfections of others. You are here to pinpoint your own.” ~ Amy Larson
1) Never say “You did”, always say, “I feel”
Often when we are in an argument with another we blame them under the assumption that we know WHY they did what they did.
However, we are never in anyone else’s mind but our own, therefore we can never really know for sure the motivation behind someone else’s actions. What we do have ownership of is our own feelings towards someone else’s behavior.
At this point we take ownership of the truth of the situation which is that we had a feeling pertaining to the way a person acted, but we can never blame them.
When we tell people in our lives how their actions made us feel instead of telling them why they did what they did, we give them the space to explain themselves, or to apologize without having to defend themselves.
When people aren’t constantly defending themselves against us, it’s surprising how much more they are willing to listen to our feelings and change their behavior in order to respect our emotions.
2) Always follow your highest wisdom
Our highest wisdom is always rooted in love, therefore when we follow its guidance we will notice that we are more inclined to take the high road in our relationships.
The more we make decisions with love as our guide (and that means self-love first and foremost) we notice that forgiveness, compassion and empathy comes easy. And if the situation calls for us to walk away from a relationship that has become unhealthy or abusive even, that becomes an easy choice as well.
3) Recognize where you may be attached
Relationships that are rooted in understanding and freedom will never be held together by fear (either fear of losing another, fear of being hurt, fear of disappointing another etc…).
When both parties feel free to be who they want to be without worry of losing the other or upsetting the other, it provides a even playing ground of two individuals who are not trying to possess or manipulate the other. This is always the healthiest environment for a relationship to flourish.
4) Be willing to be honest and vulnerable
Vulnerability is the ultimate strength. The more confident someone is in themselves the more they trust their own feelings and intuition in a situation, and the more willing they are to communicate these feelings to another person without fear of being judged, criticized or rejected.
In any relationship, both parties have the right to have their feelings valued and considered. Healthy relationships are characterized by two people who feel safe to be vulnerable with the other while at the same time feel that their emotions are respected by the other (even if the other person doesn’t necessarily agree with them).
5) Recognize that all relationships are here to help you, but not all are here to stay
There is no relationship in our lives that is not going to teach us something about ourselves. All relationships are brought forth to bring us back to unconditional love for ourselves and for others.
The more we train our minds to see the lessons to learn in all of our relationships the quicker we evolve into better versions of our former selves.
However, once a relationship has expired, it’s important to be willing to let go of people. The more we hold on to unhealthy relationships the more of our precious time is wasted in dysfunction, which is never good for anyone.