Attract Great Relationships – Complete Book Free
Think back to when you were a child, and were totally dependent on members of your family for everything.
The Universe interacts with all people, and everyone is part of creation, sharing the same life energy.
We were born as social beings, designed to live in family groups and in communities. The human race was designed to give and receive mutual help, security, companionship and friendship.
Actually, if you think back you will see that your greatest moments were experienced through special relationships, with your parents, siblings, children, spouses and friends.
Your ability to get along with people in general can determine to a great extent your level of success and therefore, your degree of happiness.
This book offers you strategies and advice that will help you to improve present relationships, and attract satisfying new relationships in all parts of your life – home, work and leisure time.
ATTRACT GREAT RELATIONSHIPS
by Christine Sherborne
You were created to be a social being, living in family groups and communities designed for mutual help, security, support, companionship and friendship. And I think you will agree that you receive your greatest joy and happiness in life through the special relationships you have with your parents, siblings, children, spouses and friends.
Your ability to get along with people in general can determine to a great extent your success and therefore your happiness in life. If you haven’t developed the ability to form and build worthwhile relationships, you will find that friendships are short lived; your marriage difficult, often leading to acrimony and strife, and your career may be jeopardized. Therefore, it is crucial that you develop the skills to build meaningful relationships in all parts of your life.
The key to changing and building relationships lies in the power of your own mind. If you think about it the only relationship you can have with someone else, is the one in your mind. It is how you perceive other people and the picture of them that you build up in your mind that is the basis of any relationship.
Your relationship with people is determined by the thoughts about them which you hold in your mind. Every one of those thoughts is made of energy, and that energy is detectable by others. Even if you try to act in friendship towards someone, if your true feelings about them are negative, they will pick up on that negative energy and see right through you.
Therefore to build long lasting positive relationships you have to have your mind and feelings aligned, otherwise it just won’t work.
The Basics of Being Likable
One of the basic needs of every person is to have the acceptance and approval of other people. But as we will discuss later you can’t force approval. Luckily, it is quite easy to develop the traits that make others warm to you. Everyone likes a warm agreeable person, someone who is fun to be with, who is helpful and attentive to their needs. By looking for the good in others, and overlooking small annoying habits, you will find that you can get along with most people.
There will be times that people upset you, and then you have to weigh up whether you will confront that behavior or not. Clearly, important issues need to be resolved, but generally it is easier to overlook and accept each others minor faults, as no-one is perfect, including yourself. When you learn to let small annoyances wash over you, your day will run smoother, and you will avoid building up unnecessary stress.
It is essential to develop good listening and communication skills. As you probably already know a large part of communication is in body language, eye contact and active confirmation of understanding, besides just hearing.
This is illustrated by a disability called Autism. This condition is where the sufferer is unable to socially interact in a normal way. They do not understand body language and the socially accepted norms, due to abnormalities in the brain. Although they hear what is being said, they cannot put it into context, and therefore do not fully comprehend. They have to learn acceptable behavior and ‘act’ it out.
Although they are parroting what they have learned from others, it is usually easy to see that it is not ‘natural’. Even though the majority of people don’t suffer from autism they may still have problems in bonding with others. This could be genetic or learnt from their parents as a child.
Unless you suffer from Autism or some similar condition, you can improve your relationships by becoming a good listener, focusing on what the other person is saying, and convey this to them by your body language and actions. There is nothing more annoying and demeaning to the speaker than someone fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, looking at their computer, reading or continuing some other action while they are ‘listening’. Show that you are attentive and interested in what the speaker is saying, and it will really be appreciated.
One of the biggest barriers to developing good relationships is low self-esteem. If you don’t think well of yourself, how do you expect others to respect you? Those with high self-esteem are more out-going and confident, which draws people to them, and others want to be in their presence. People with low self-esteem tend to be critical, angry and self centered.
Why you shouldn’t chase Approval
You have probably heard the old saying “you can’t please all the people all the time” and it is so true. With some people, you cannot gain their approval no matter how hard you try. These people are more interested in themselves than in others, so many of the behaviors you may adjust to accommodate them will largely go unnoticed. So why waste your energy on the effort?
It is a basic human need to have the approval of other people, but paradoxically, you won’t get it if you seek it too hard. If you act in this way your neediness is quickly picked up by the other person, and you then receive less approval and even worse they could use your neediness to manipulate you. Clearly, the last thing you want is to be controlled by the whims of your friends and family.
Conversely, when you go your own way and stay true to your moral boundaries, this is recognized by others as strength of character, and you then receive the approval automatically.
Just decide not to care whether people approve of you or not, it really isn’t any of your concern what others think of you. Be true to yourself and follow your own path, and then they can choose whether it is right to go along with your plans or to go your own way. Let go of neediness in any form, and you will find that your newfound resolve will end up attracting others to you.
Forgiveness in Relationships
No one is perfect, and all of us at some time will upset others, either accidentally or sometimes on purpose if we happen to be in an irritable mood that day. If you become upset at every little perceived snub or offense by others, or create an argument unreasonably for the sake of it, you will soon end up with very few friends.
Learn to forgive people, for your own peace of mind, as well as theirs. When you take offense at something, it is a deliberate act on your part, as you always have the choice to let it go. Very often people can offend without even knowing it, and would be surprised and upset to discover that they had hurt you.
Often people are oblivious to the fact that they may have upset you, and meanwhile you can be fuming and damaging your health by getting angry, whereas you could instead choose to overlook the offense and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Everyone knows these days that feeling bitter and holding grudges causes great stress in your life, which in turn causes ill health, high blood pressure and other related problems. In the meantime the person we believe has caused the offense, is very likely unaware of your feelings, so is unaffected.
The act of forgiveness is a kindness not to them but to your-self. Holding resentment and bitterness inside is like injecting yourself with poison every day, as the negative emotions release harmful chemicals into your system from the ‘fight or flight’ instinct.
If you find it difficult to forgive, realize that it is not a case of forgetting, but a deliberate action of choosing to let it go and not holding it in your mind, for your own sake. Remember, the law of attraction says that you attract to yourself those things which you hold in your mind with strong emotion. Therefore you will be drawing negative and hostile energy to yourself from the vibrations you give out.
Very often the other person has no idea they have upset you, and cannot understand your resentment. In fact, you are the only one suffering from that real or perceived offense, and that doesn’t make sense does it? Make up your mind that you will always practice forgiveness, no matter what the circumstance or offense. This decision will give you one of the greatest health benefits and allow you to be at peace.
Catherine Ponder said: “The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good.
No good thing can be withheld from the forgiving state of mind.”
The Law of Acceptance
When you accept people as they are without trying to change them, it brings peace and harmony into your relationship. It is amazing how many people marry the person of their dreams, and then immediately set about trying to change some aspect of their personality or actions.
How quickly it is forgotten that a particular quirk, which now irritates, probably attracted you to them in the first place. Every person comes as a complete package, and changing or attempting to change one aspect of them can change their attitude to you, or may also change some of the good points you like. Then if you do manage to change some part of their behavior, you may lose respect for that person if they try to act as you want them too.
Acceptance makes sense because you cannot change other people in the long term; you can only change your attitude to them. Changing your attitude to them may or may not cause some transformation in them, but very often your new attitude attracts better behavior. Practicing acceptance in love towards your spouse, children and others, will move you forward and deepen those relationships.
This is especially true in relationships with your children. The greatest gift you can give to your child is to accept them exactly as they are and love them unconditionally.
The law of acceptance should also be practiced in other situations that you may find yourself in. For instance, your partner may develop an illness which obviously is out of your control. It is pointless to rail against this or let it develop a chasm between you, and acceptance with love will enable you both to find answers and strategies for coping. Non-acceptance puts you in the victim role and prevents you from thinking clearly, thus causing you to make poor decisions.
This law applies in many areas. For instance it may be that you find it hard to accept your financial situation, or your in-laws, maybe your partner’s past, or changes in your partner or children. In every situation I urge you not to hit your head against a brick wall by trying to change circumstances without first accepting the reality. Start by acceptance and the remedy will follow.
Reinhold Niebuhr said: God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Accept and be Content
When you accept circumstances as they are rather than as you would like them to be, it releases you to work on improving the situation, enabling you to be happy in the now, rather than longing for that which is not.
In all your relationships, aim for a state of serenity, regardless of external circumstances. Make a commitment to support each other and endeavor to be content in all situations. You will find true happiness with your life partner, if you appreciate each other, can rely on each other and feel secure in each other’s commitment. Then even in the worst situations it is possible to be content and feel confident that you can overcome any adversity together.
Remember that when you develop acceptance, you are at the same time changing your inner energy which will in turn attract a change for the better in the energy of your partner.
Even though I am talking about acceptance and contentment, that doesn’t mean complacency. It doesn’t mean that you are content to stay in that place for ever, but to be happy in the moment whilst working towards an improved future.
Benjamin Franklin said: “Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor”
And Cicero said: “To be content with what we possess is the greatest and most secure of all riches”
Communication – A Two-Way Street
No relationship, whether at home or at work, can survive without good communication, for that is the bedrock upon which bonds are forged. Good communication has to be worked at, as it doesn’t just happen. It is part of the commitment that you make with another person when you are building a relationship. Make it a habit to set aside certain times to be with your partner, friend, or work colleague, a time that you can use to ‘catch up’ with things as they happen in your lives.
If necessary, make a date with your partner or friend regularly so that you have uninterrupted time to talk. If you have children, take the time to spend with each of your children individually, planning outings that will honor and please that child. I am sure you will agree how much it means to children to have the individual attention of their parents, away from their siblings. Making time for this will enable you to connect more closely with each child, giving them an opportunity to ‘open up’ to you in a relaxed one-on-one atmosphere.
It is just as important to spend time by yourself to re-charge your batteries and allow your own feelings to surface, without distractions. It is remarkable how many people don’t know what they think and feel, because they have never stopped to listen to their own inner feelings. Not taking this time for yourself can result in repressed feelings or needs, which in turn is harmful to your well-being.
I am sure that you know many people who keep their schedule so crowded so that they don’t spend any time alone, to the extent that their personality becomes identified with the happenings in their life, rather than who they really are. You may be one of them.
Often these people would rather watch TV or play on a computer if they have a few minutes to themselves, as they have lost the ability to ‘be’ themselves. They feel the need to try to drown out the silence rather than spend quiet time in introspection.
Everyone needs some quiet time alone to really think things through. If you find it difficult to sit quietly, go for a walk in nature instead. Often just the practice of time spent alone will bring insights and answers that could surprise you. Try it.
Thomas Mann said: “No-one remains quite what he was, once he recognizes himself.”
Learning how to listen
Now, let me ask you this, “What do you appreciate most in your friendships?” I am sure you will agree with me that being listened to and valued is high on the list.
One of the greatest skills that you can learn is the ability to listen to others. Some of the most popular people have developed this ability, and have honed it so finely that it is second nature to them. Without a doubt this ability makes them popular, as everybody likes to feel that they are important enough to be listened to without interruptions. Just think about it, if you cultivate the ability to listen well, you will soon find yourself to be a very popular person.
One other advantage to being a good listener is that you learn and understand much more about the people around you, and understand more what is really going on.
How many times have you found yourself waiting to jump into a conversation with your own self-absorbed story, not really listening to the current speaker? By doing this you are missing out big time, for really listening to others’ opinions opens you up to different view points, and knowledge that could be useful in the future.
Not only that, but you stop yourself looking like a fool because when you are thinking about what you are going to say next you could loose track of the conversation, and find that the topic you were going to talk about is no longer relevant.
Another reason you might find yourself interrupting a conversation is because you can’t resist giving unsought for advice. Are you are one of those listeners who can’t wait to correct others, or criticize what they are saying? If so this is definitely not the way to make friends and influence people.
So, what makes a good listener?
- Firstly, try to relax when in conversation and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy what the other person is saying.
- Give the speaker your full attention – make sure they know you are listening, by nodding and making encouraging expressions, and by paraphrasing back to them to show you understand.
- Clear your mind of whatever you find yourself ready to jump in with, by putting your own thoughts on the back burner for a while.
- Try not to have any preconceived ideas of what the person is saying, they may come out with something totally off the wall and not what you are thinking at all.
- Pay attention to the emotion behind the words. Notice the expressions on their face and if their body language is tense or relaxed.
- Try to listen to the message behind the words, what is not being said, try to read between the lines to detect what they are really saying.
- When the other person pauses to take a breath, train your-self to wait and give them chance to carry on with their train of thought.
- Encourage them to continue with their story by giving encouraging signs or short words such as, …..and….. then…..so….. etc They will love you for it.
- Validate what they are saying by allowing them to own their own experience and emotions without you trying to change that.
- Never try and top their story with an even better one of your own, this leaves them feeling very deflated.
- Try not to give advice unless asked for but encourage them to talk it out until they come to their own conclusions.
- Always assume that what someone has shared with you is confidential and don’t allow yourself to gossip about the conversation with others.
- If you don’t have time to listen, then say straight away that it isn’t a good time for you, and reschedule another opportunity for them.
Once you have mastered active listening, try to develop other skills such as empathy, patience and understanding. When having a conversation, always make your conversation relevant to the company, making it interesting, and be attentive to your audience’s reaction, to ensure that you don’t go on too long, and that you keep their attention.
Law of cause and effect
There’s an old folk saying which goes like this:
It’s a funny thing but true,
The folks you don’t like, don’t like you.
I don’t know why this should be so
But just the same I always know,
That when I’m sour, friends are few,
When I’m friendly, folks are too.
I sometimes get up in the morn,
Awishin’ I was never born,
And then I make cross remarks, a few,
And then my family wishes, too,
That I had gone some other place,
But then I change my little tune,
And sing and smile,
And then the folks around me sing and smile.
I guess ‘twas catching all the while.
It’s a funny thing but true,
The folks you like, they sure like you!
It is a fact that people tend to reflect back to you what they see in you, whether it is friendliness or irritation and anger. To control what you receive back, usually you only need to control your own disposition. As I have said before, you cannot control the other person’s actions or reactions, only your own, but in most cases your manner is reflected back to you.
Take this example. If you become angry with a teenager and rant and rave, the teenager will immediately react with his or her own anger, and the situation can escalate into a serious argument until both of you can say things you don’t mean and later regret.
Instead, if you keep calm, listen attentively to what they have to say, and speak in a low, measured voice, usually this will take the heat out of any situation. Cleary by controlling your own negative emotions and practicing positive behavior you will achieve relationships.
Teach people how to treat you
Think back over the past few years and ask your-self “how am I treated by my family and friends”?
Do they treat you like a doormat, expecting you not only to jump, but to say how high? Do they even hear you when you speak, or do you have to shout to get heard?
Or are your views respected and your advice sought?
It is essential to develop a level of assertiveness by letting people know how you will and won’t be treated. In order to do this you first have to have a belief within you that you deserve to be treated well and with respect. You can see can’t you that if you always give in and go along with what the other person wants, they will always expect you to?
This isn’t a matter of being unkind, but of being positive and firm in protecting your own interests and boundaries. If you allow people to ignore your standards and not respect your limits, you will find your life stressful and tiring. Perhaps you have accepted the role of being a people pleaser. If this is the case it could take a little effort to change their expectations, but is necessary for you to regain your own self respect.
To help you to start the process, when quiet, take time to imagine how you would handle a confrontation in which you find yourself being disrespected. See yourself being pleasant, calm, kind but firm, letting them know where your boundaries are, and that from now on you are standing strong and will no longer be at their beck and call.
You can never please all the people all the time, and I am sure you will agree that your mental and physical health is just as important as theirs. Decide today that you will expect good treatment from others, and will take the steps to ensure you get it. You may lose a few friends but don’t worry, a worthwhile friend cares about you, not just themselves. Realize that you deserve good friends, and without a doubt new friends will come into your life as you create a vacuum, by letting the energy vampires leave.
Considering Other People
What does it mean to consider other people? Firstly, it means caring about them, considering their situation, caring about what happens to them, and how they are feeling. The only way you can do that is to know what is happening in their lives, by giving them your time and attention.
You can have a huge impact on other people, by your actions and words. You can make someone’s day, or you can ruin it. They have the same power to affect you too.
You will know from past experience that if someone is moody or out of sorts, it doesn’t take long for you to feel much the same way. Conversely, when you meet a friend who is excited and optimistic you enjoy their company, and those feelings rub off on you too.
You may ask why you should care how you affect other people and why you should consider them at all. This is easy to answer. How would you like people to ignore you, be unpleasant and rude and generally walk all over you? Not at all, I am sure. It is a fact of life, and the law of attraction says that you receive exactly what you give, and in order to be treated with consideration you have to offer the same courtesy to others.
Body language is a big factor in the way you appear to other people. Do you have an aggressive stance? How do you come across when talking to people? Are you aware if your words are kind and helpful, or are they designed to hurt in some way?
Unless you care about being considerate, your own self worth and self respect will suffer. By being a caring, loving person, you are actually helping to love yourself. When you care about other people you feel less lonely, more secure and part of the human race. Studies have shown that loving yourself and loving others brings you happiness, peace and joy.
S. Lewis said: “The rule for us all is perfectly simple. Don’t waste time bothering whether you “Love” your neighbor, act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
Don’t Judge Others or Yourself
If you are in the habit of judging other people, then you are actually making a statement about yourself. All the topics that you judge other people on, their looks, their jobs, their religion, their possessions, and many other aspects of life, these are the same topics that you judge in yourself.
Can you see that when you judge others you are trying to get a ‘fix’ for yourself? Making detrimental comments about other people, trying to bring them down a little, makes you feel better about yourself.
Clearly, judging other people shows a lack of self-esteem and a lack of self worth within your-self. By allowing the people that you interact with to have their own opinions, their own way of being and doing, and not judging them for it, you are giving them, and your-self, one of the greatest gifts.
As you look for the good in others, it frees you to see the good within yourself. Don’t be a criticizer, looking for ways to denigrate the other person, but instead look for ways that you can build them up, being generous with praise and encouragement. You can see, can’t you, that spending time and energy being judgmental is such a waste of your life energy, energy that could be better spent enjoying your life.
It is obvious that people resent being judged, and if you become known as a nit-picker who always criticizes and denigrates, you will quickly find yourself without any friends. Even if you don’t judge them to their face they will still know how you feel by the negative energy that you are continuously transmitting to them.
Surely, life is too short to spend it on such an unimportant activity? Every single person has talents and good points, you just have to take the time to look for them.
Law of Service
The law of service uses reciprocity, in that any service you offer to others is returned in kind. It may not be in the same way, in the same time frame, nor even from the same person, but it is an immutable law that service is always returned in some fashion. Usually the service you receive back is in an area where you are in need at that particular moment, and sometimes you may not even recognize that it is a return from some kindness that you have done in the past.
For this law to work, as with most of the other laws, serving others needs to be carried out with the right motivation, and is rewarded by satisfaction in having been able to do a good turn, besides any tangible future return.
Give mercy and receive mercy. Be a peacemaker and receive peace.
Law of Commitment
Commitment is a discipline, a choice we make, which has rewards far beyond the obvious immediate advantages. Whatever we commit ourselves to grows, and returns to us in kind.
Make a commitment to your marriage and to your spouse, and with the law of cause and effect, your change in disposition towards your spouse will be reflected back to you, bringing trust and peace to the relationship.
You can see the advantage of you and your partner knowing without a doubt that whatever happens you are both committed to making the relationship work and last. When you both constantly reiterate that commitment, comforting and reassuring each other of that promise, you are giving each other the gift of peace and security.
Conversely, when one partner starts threatening to leave, or suggests something which could threaten the strength of the bond between the couple, whether they mean it or not, they create a deep insecurity in the other.
There is no excuse for this, even in play, so think before you speak. Make a commitment with each other that if your relationship starts to have problems, you will both do your utmost to correct them and work towards recreating the strength of the bond between you.
This agreement in attitude will grow, as you become more in tune in every area through sharing, and the old adage ‘the sum of two is greater than the two parts’, begins to work, with growth in every area of your relationship.
Make a commitment to your children, to love them unconditionally and always be there for them. If you do this, even if they go off the rails at times, they will always return to you and remember their core values that you have taught them.
Commit to being a good friend. Many friendships eventually fail because the effort that was first put into the relationship wanes. Continue to do the things that promote and build your friendships, and help them to grow into lasting and meaningful ones.
Aneurin Bevan said about commitment: We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
Qualities to look for in Relationships
Whether you are searching for a new partner or friend, here are some tips on the best characteristics to look for.
Firstly, do they show a positive attitude? You want the people you mix with to lift up your spirits, not drag you down.
Are they Playful? Life is a one time experience, and you want to have fun along the way.
Have they got a good sense of humor? Being able to share a joke is one of life’s pleasures.
Are they able to communicate well? Unless you have good communication you are prone to misunderstandings that can produce a lot of unhappiness.
Have they got common sense? If your friend or partner have big dreams, that is excellent, but they also need to be somewhat grounded and realistic, in order to avoid costly mistakes.
Are they good with their money? Living with a spendthrift who has no thought for tomorrow can be very stressful.
Do they work hard, or are they unemployed? It is a fact of life that we all need an income to live. Make sure that they are able and willing to do their fair share.
Have they got a generous personality? There is nothing worse than living with a mean-spirited person who counts every penny and expects every act of kindness to be reciprocated.
Do they practice forgiveness? People who hold grudges tend to hold them for ever, and the people around them really suffer for it.
Are they respectful? One of our basic needs is to be respected and validated by the people we love.
How honest are they? We all deserve honesty in a relationship in order for that relationship to work. Not just honesty in money and goods but honesty in telling the truth and being open to each other.
Do they have the same spiritual values that you do? It is difficult to interact with people who hold different values from yourself.
Are they faithful? Do they do what they say they are going to do? Trust is an important part of any relationship.
Do they show compassion? We need friends who are not just compassionate to us when we need it but have compassion for all the needy around the world.
I think you will agree that these attributes are important, especially in a life partner. If they or you fall short, don’t worry. As long as the effort is made to correct or develop the missing character qualities, you will soon be the kind of person that makes a good friend and a supportive partner and parent.
Mind Power in Relationships
Thoughts are physical energy emitted by the brain. They create a measurable, if small electrical charge. Therefore, it is easier to accept that we can affect others with our thoughts, if we think of that charge being like a radio wave sent out by the brain, which could be picked up by another brain tuned to the same frequency.
Very often people who have lived with each other for a long time begin to anticipate the others thoughts before they voice them. Close friends also can experience this, and maybe you have experienced examples, for instance thinking about a particular friend you haven’t seen for some time, only to have them telephone you shortly afterwards.
Test it for yourself – to influence others in a positive way of your choice, concentrate on thinking about them, and send out to them mentally the idea or thought which you wish them to receive. Do this several times a day, record it in your journal, be consistent, and you will be amazed at the results.
Others may be doing the same to you, so be aware of this, as this technique can be used negatively also. If you have been experiencing unaccountable fears, have been feeling particularly down, or feel a heaviness, this could be caused by someone you know sending you negative or harmful thoughts.
If someone is sending a negative message to you, then you need be aware of the fact, and take steps to stop it. You can do this by praying for a hedge or barrier around your mind to block any negative or evil thoughts that others may be sending. If you try to affect other people in a negative way, it sometimes can back fire on you, with you receiving what you are wishing for others. Only use this power for good, and life will flow smoothly for you.
Using Intuition in Relationships
Intuition can be very powerful, but in the modern world we tend to ignore it or have lost the ability to use it. Intuition makes itself felt with subtle or sometimes palpable feelings, which can be of fear or apprehension, or peace about a situation. Usually we dismiss these and tell ourselves we are imagining them. If you learn to listen to and develop your intuition, it can be a very valuable tool.
When you are in the presence of others, be aware of what is going on beneath the surface. Use your intuition to understand words that are not being said but are intimated. Study body language, develop all your communication skills, use your intuition or inner sense, and you will find that you will make fewer mistakes. This way you will suffer less misunderstanding, and gain the advantage of a greater insight into people’s motives in all situations.
Negotiation in a Relationship
Over time it is inevitable that you and your partner or friends will have disagreements. The trick is to learn to resolve conflict by negotiation and choose not to fight or argue. Remember, in a disagreement it is not important who is right or wrong, but how you settle the argument, ensuring that both parties retain their dignity. Always try to negotiate a decision which both can accept.
When you have a disagreement, don’t air your feelings in front of other people, especially not in front of your children. They should not suffer by listening to their parents vent their feelings, so find a private place where you will not be over heard, in case things do get heated.
Everyone wants their needs to be understood, but keep your discussion to the issue in question. Don’t use the occasion as an excuse to bring up all the old hurts and wrongs, making it impossible to reach an amicable outcome. Try to be honest by saying exactly what is upsetting you and how the other person can help you. This makes it clear what the issue is to both of you. Remember that when you have finished stating your case the other person needs to be heard too. Don’t interrupt when they give their side of the issue.
Always keep to the topic in hand, keeping the discussion impartial and not personal. Recognize that you may not get all your own way and be prepared to negotiate a position that you can both agree on and be happy about.
It may be that the other person is just tired and out of sorts and that the issue presented is just a symptom of something else. Treat each other with respect throughout the discussion, and finally, try to come to a mutual agreement as soon as possible so that the disagreement only lasts for a short time.
Prayer in Relationships
Prayer is talking it over with a higher power, whatever your understanding of that higher power may be. You may know it as God, Allah, The Universe, or just your own inner self. Use the term you are most comfortable with, and the prayer will be heard.
Prayer is one of our most important tools, useful in every situation, but particularly in relationships. Very often we drift into friendships, partnerships, or even marriage without seeking guidance in prayer. If you pray before committing yourself to anything, and listen to and follow the guidance you receive, you will find that you will be much more fulfilled in your relationships of every kind, and you will possibly save yourself a lot of heart-ache down the track.
Guidance can be received in many ways. It could be in the form of words coming into your mind – this is generally called ‘the still small voice within’. It may be in the way that circumstances work out – meeting the right person at the right time, or in a way that you were praying about. It could just be a feeling of peace or unease about the person. Again, be aware of your feelings and your intuition. Do you feel peaceful or uncomfortable about taking a particular course?
It is important to be honest with yourself and pray with an open mind, with a willingness to act upon the guidance you receive. Sometimes, when logic wants to go in one direction, but our heart says the opposite, it may be prudent to wait, if possible, before committing yourself. It could be that there is more information to come, which your intuition is aware of, but which is not yet available for your logic to work on. Make sure that you train your intuition, being aware of it and the small ways in which it makes itself known to you.
Pray often for your relationships and to bless the people in them. Be specific when praying for change, but also pray for a general blessing to be given.
Charles Trumbul said: Prayer is releasing the energies of God. For prayer is asking God to do what we cannot do.
Attitude Makes All The Difference
Winston Churchill said: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
W Clement Stone said: “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
Your attitude to people and life in general can be the most important factor influencing your success or otherwise in relationships. Everyone is drawn towards the cheerful, happy person who enjoys life and enjoys the company of others, and shows it in their attitude. No-one likes to be in the company of a perpetual complainer who displays a miserable countenance and has a negative attitude towards everything.
Be aware, the person who is always complaining about the Government, their boss, their job or the state of the word in general, will probably complain about you to someone else, so avoid them.
For your part be the enthusiastic one, the one who lifts others up and encourages them. Train yourself to overlook offenses and to look for the good in others.
Each morning, before you start your day, give yourself an attitude check. If you are not feeling optimistic and joyful, take a few moments to appreciate what you have, and think about happy times from the past.
Then make the decision that you will act happy until you feel happy. The Law of Attraction rules that whatever you think about with feeling, will be attracted to you, so you will find that as you decide to be happy anyway, you will attract to you positive and fortunate circumstances.
Loving Your Enemies
Martin Luther King jr. said:
When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must not do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you work to defeat that system.
Holding on to resentment and ill will only harms you, and draws more negative circumstances and people to you. When you let past offenses go, and forgive, you rise above the damaging negativity, and change your own future.
When Relationships Go Wrong
At some time in your life, you may have been or will be badly hurt by a friend or family member. Before you write off this relationship, examine your own thoughts and ownership in the situation, and see if you have given them the benefit of the doubt.
Sometimes you may believe that someone has hurt you or betrayed your trust, but you could be wrong because you don’t know all the facts. You must make sure that you have made the effort to gather all the facts, and that they are correct. Then, you must be convinced that their actions were meant to be hurtful, and done purposely.
If you then find that they did mean to be hurtful, you need to understand the circumstances they were in. Sometimes people hurt others because they are fearful and hurting themselves. This does not excuse their behavior, but at least it gives you some understanding of why they have acted in a particular way.
For your own peace of mind wish them the best and forgive them as soon as you feel able to do so. Then, if this relationship can’t be salvaged, gently move this person out of your life. Imagine in your mind that they are in God’s hands and you are no longer responsible for them.
Fritz Perls said: “I do my thing, and you do your thing, I am not in this world to live up to your expectations and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.”
The Power of Synergy
The synergy of a good relationship is characterized by the fact that the two are greater and more powerful than the sum of the two parts. When two combine their talents, energy and creativity, it should form a powerhouse from which they can both improve their lives.
Pulling together and not against each other is the recipe for success, ensuring that the full potential of the relationship is discovered. Working in tandem will present a strong front to the world, and maximize the capabilities of both, to the benefit of the partnership.
Be the Person you would like to find
If you want to have a loving and caring relationship, then be the person you would like to be friends with, a person who brings love and attention to your relationships, contributing to them rather than draining them. You know what other people enjoy, so work at bringing that enjoyment to them. If you want people in your life to treat you with respect and courtesy, then treat them in that way, and the law of reciprocity will return that respect and courtesy to you.
How often do you brush off your partners’ efforts to please you? Are you difficult to please, so that they give up trying? Recognize when someone is trying to be nice to you and trying to make you happy, and respond with gratitude and thanks and they will try even harder to please you. Respond in an off hand manner, as if it is your due anyway, and they will give up and stop trying.
Find as many ways as you can, however small, to make life pleasurable for the ones you love. Let the small things go – some things are not worth fighting about, so don’t make a big deal out of everything that upsets you.
None of us knows what the future may bring, and today may be the last day you spend with that special person, so make each day special for them and for you.
Martha Washington said: “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.”
A Soft Place to Fall
One of the best parts of marriage, as Doctor Phil often says, is having a soft place to fall. Your home should be a haven for you, and when things aren’t going well in your outside world, you need to know that you can go home and be nurtured by your spouse. Be there for each other. Sometimes it will be one of you that need the support and cosseting and sometimes it will be the other. Be that soft place for each other.
Joseph Addison said: “A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of a friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and indeed, all the sweets of life.”
Fulfilling each others’ needs
D L Moody said: “Success in marriage consists not only in finding the right mate, but also in being the right mate”
A large part of success in any relationship relies on being able to fulfill each other’s needs. Not in the sense of replacing something which is missing in your partner – but both should strive to be as complete in themselves as possible.
Then the qualities brought by each person to the relationship complement and increase the completeness of the pair, rather than draining one to improve the other. The idea is to not suck the life out of the other person, but for both of you to give a hundred per cent to each other, making the partnership two hundred percent.
To enable each to provide the qualities needed to maximize the fullness of the relationship, you must both make sure that you communicate your emotional and physical needs to each other in an honest way. No one is a mind reader, but because you are thinking of your needs, sometimes you seem to think that others can read your thoughts.
Studies have been carried out which have documented the top five basic needs for men and for women, and the results illustrate beautifully the difference between the sexes. These needs obviously differ in importance and necessity in individual couples, but knowing what they are likely to be in your spouse will give you an insight and allow you to work at fulfilling them.
- Active Sex Life
- A wife who is a friend to play with
- An attractive wife
- Family & Home Support
- Admiration & Respect
- Integrity and Truthfulness
- Monetary Support
- Commitment to the family
Simone Signoret, a French actress, said: “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last – more than passion or even sex.”
Don’t Let the Sun go down on a quarrel
When you have a disagreement, try to resolve it calmly – determine that you will sit down and discuss any differences in an adult manner, listening to each other until you can arrive at an agreement that you are both happy with.
If this is impossible, it is much better to reach an understanding of agreeing to disagree, rather than continuing the quarrel to the bitter end. Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? Determine never to go to bed without settling your problems if at all possible, as they will fester and can escalate into all out war if not resolved.
Don’t argue in front of your children, because even if it doesn’t seem to affect them at the time, it has been proven that constant conflict in the home can have a huge detrimental affect on their emotional development, and will change who they are.
They come to accept this behavior as the norm, with the result that it shapes their personality so that as adults they perpetuate the conflict and violence.
Keeping Yourself Positive
It is difficult for others to enjoy being with you if you don’t make an effort to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind. Being positive doesn’t just happen, it has to be worked at. Find ways to raise your mood, and activities that you enjoy. Let the little things go, resolve differences, and find the place of peace.
Allow other people to be different from you, and enjoy that difference. If we were all the same, it would be a boring old world! Develop your sense of humor and use it often. Pay close attention to what you are thinking, and actively change the focus of your thoughts if you notice that negativity is creeping in.
Play at being Pollyanna, finding the best in every situation, being optimistic in every circumstance. This will help lift your mood and the vibrational energy of those around you.
You can learn to be happy and positive, just as any other skill can be learned. It is an attitude of the heart. Develop your positive attitudes today, by focusing on your blessings and be grateful for them.
Plan Your Future
Alan Lakein said: “Failing to plan is planning to fail!”
It is true that if you don’t plan you will never know if you have arrived, as you don’t know where you are supposed to be! A ship that leaves port without a detailed plan of its course will very likely hit rocks and sink, and that is a rule of life as well.
If you don’t take the time to sit down with your partner and write down your goals for your life together, your family and your future, you won’t know what your partner’s goals and dreams are, and you will always feel lost. A good relationship is one where each is a partner to all aspects of it, and everything is shared.
Planning the future together has many advantages beyond the obvious one of having a common goal to work towards. Planning together ensures that the future vision is a planned one, which both have shared input into, and both then put equal effort into achieving.
Make sure your goals are exciting as well as practical, and when you both get energized to work towards them, you will achieve them sooner, and it will add happiness to your lives drawing you closer together.
Mark Twain said: “Plan for the future because that’s where you are going to spend the rest of your life.
Finances as a Partnership
Marriage or a long term relationship is a partnership in all things, including finances. In a good relationship there should be no ‘mine’ or ‘yours’, with everything ‘ours’. It is possible to have individual accounts, but all aspects of them should be open to your partner’s knowledge, as secrets in any aspect of a partnership create division and mistrust, leading to a breakdown.
Work together to plan out your finances, and ensure that each knows the full financial situation, so that each is responsible. Be open with details of what savings you have, and discuss between you when to buy big-ticket items.
Working together to sort out your spending can save a lot of stress, and can actually bring you closer together. The number one cause of divorce or breakdown in relationships is money problems, which can be strain on finances generally, or one partner being irresponsible with the family money.
Jean de la Bruyere said: “The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their interests to promote yours.”
The Importance of a Sense of Humor
A sense of humor and enjoying a good laugh, has been demonstrated to improve your physical and mental health. It also improves the health of a relationship when humor and laughter are a part of it.
Laughing about everyday events and finding the funny side of problems releases tension and helps you both to relax and see challenges in a different light. Not only that, but playing together, having fun, telling jokes and having family quirks that you can laugh about makes life interesting, enjoyable and satisfying.
Make sure that you are both fun to live with, to improve your enjoyment of each others’ company and strengthen your relationship. The effect of one partner being negative and pessimistic quickly spoils any advances you may have made. It also ensures that people in general, but especially your partner, avoid you and leave you to be lonely.
Mark Twain tells us: Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.
Keeping Romance Alive
When you first meet, each of you makes an effort to bring romance into the relationship, arranging special dates, bringing flowers, giving surprise gifts etc. Unfortunately, in time, the romance can disappear, replaced by apathy and laziness, and taking the other person for granted.
This will lead to problems in the relationship. For instance, when one partner does not feel appreciated or listened to at home, they look for attention elsewhere. They may then meet someone at work or the gym, who takes an interest in them and listens to them, appreciating their company. It is normal for them to seek that attention, which can eventually lead to infidelity.
Don’t let romance slide when the demands of work and family threaten to overwhelm you. Make your partner feel special, for instance by listening to their account of their day, making a point of hugging and kissing each other when leaving or returning, or doing nice things for each other. Ensure that you remember anniversaries and special occasions, take flowers home for no reason, slip a note in your partner’s lunch box or briefcase.
It is an excellent idea to have a weekly date with each other, especially if you have children. Make the date really special if possible, by dressing up and going somewhere nice. Ensure that you maintain a pride in your appearance, keeping healthy and fit.
For a woman, have a good haircut and have your nails done, wear make-up, make sure you are always looking your best. For a man, shower and shave regularly, wear a good after-shave and nice cologne. Make sure your clothes are stylish and always smart. In other words, all the things you did naturally when you were courting! It’s all the pleasant little things that create a great bond between the two of you.
Keep the romance alive and you keep your relationship alive.
How to have a Successful Partnership
One of the basics to having a successful partnership is to be friends with your spouse or partner. Do all the things you would do with a friend, or that you did when you first met. Play, laugh and have fun. Plan fun things to do together, go out on dates regularly, have dinner together, go to the movies, or a walk in the park. Spend time together and chat about all sorts of things, just as you would do with a friend.
Get to know what each one needs in a relationship. Tell each other what your needs are, your partner isn’t a mind reader. When you know what your partners’ needs are, do all you can to meet them.
Make plans for your future together. What would you like your life together look like in five years time? Set goals, and work out how to achieve them, with each one playing their part to reach them.
Try to make life harmonious as much as you can. Let the small annoyances pass you by. By pulling together and both taking responsibility you can quickly enhance your relationship.
If you have any problems, discuss them, negotiate solutions and make a plan to correct them. Every day, ask yourself “how can I make my partners life easier, happier or run more smoothly today?” Genuinely ‘care’ for your partner.
- Scott Peck said: Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.
Relationship with your children
In the Bible we read: “Train a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not turn from it”
Most of a child’s character and therefore future is decided by their experiences in the formative years, usually reckoned to be up to seven years old. During those years, they learn most of their values, they learn how the world works and they learn their own self-image from the way that they are treated. This is why a child brought up in an abusive home, generally grows up to be an abusive person – they think that this is how the world is supposed to be, and how it was for them.
It is important to spend as much time as possible with your children in these early years, and if necessary sacrifice time from other priorities to spend time with your children and tell them how special they are, how unique they are, and how much you love them. Share as many different activities with them as you can, making them as much fun as possible, helping them to become multitalented through their hobbies so that in later life they will have a wide range of interests.
The most important needs that children have are to feel secure, to be loved and to be accepted unconditionally. Make sure that you show them how much you love them, listen to what they have to say without being critical, let them know that you will always be there for them, and then when they have something important that you should know, they will tell you. Look out for ways to give them praise, as a child that is constantly praised tries harder, and has high self-esteem.
Set them a good example. Remember that children learn more by seeing how you conduct your life than by what you say.
Nurturing your Children
As parents we have a tremendous responsibility. As we have said before, the child’s formative years are up to age seven, and in those years the child’s initial values are formed. They learn so much, and are like a sponge, soaking up all the information which is fed to them and which is around them. Therefore, it is important to monitor the type of information and surroundings they are exposed to, so that their personality is formed in a balanced and appropriate manner.
Encourage your children to be curious about the world around them, help them to dream big dreams and imagine the possibilities this wonderful world provides. Give them the opportunities to explore and grow through challenges, and stimulate their imagination, so they develop their own creativity.
Help your child to develop their sense of optimism. Teach them that whatever the circumstances at this point, they can choose their reaction to them, and the situation can change, sometimes miraculously, for the better. When they make a mistake, tell them not to worry, everyone makes mistakes and mistakes are to be learned from. Be realistic in your expectations, but ensure that they do learn from their mistakes.
Teach them early on about the Law of Attraction, that whatever they think about strongly, with emotion, is drawn to them. Help them to focus their dreams, so that they are training their mind to work in a high vibrational state, giving out positive, optimistic vibrations, not negative or fearful ones.
In their early years, when they are growing at a terrific rate, children need good nutrition and exercise. Feed them a healthy diet and ensure that they get to play outdoors often, to be nurtured by the fresh air and the natural vitamin D from the sun’s warmth.
Monitor the type of television they watch and the type of web browsing they are doing, as so much today is complete rubbish and inappropriate. Encourage them to improve their concentration and focusing skills, improve their perseverance by ensuring that they finish projects rather than giving up half way through.
Ensure that they understand personal responsibility and accountability, so that they grow up as caring, sharing, dependable adults. You can help develop this by giving them small chores to do around the home, which are solely their responsibility. However, ensure that the tasks you are expecting them to perform are appropriate for their age and competence. If you push them too hard and give them chores beyond their years, you are setting them up to fail.
Nowadays we see that parents have a tendency to over commit their children with too many activities, which are the parent’s dreams not the child’s. Try not to fill their every moment with dancing, piano, clubs, gym classes etc., but give them time to relax at home, dream and time to just play. Their adult life will have enough stress, so let your children have the time to be what they are, children, while they can.
Bruce Barton tells us: “If you can only give your son or daughter one gift, let it be Enthusiasm”
In our modern times, it is often difficult to spend quality time together as a family. Life is busy. Parents work, children have school and sports, and very often evening activities. Some families also have the added responsibility of aged parents needing care. This can make for a chaotic and stressed family life.
In order to create more quality family time and harmony in the household you may have to cut down some of the activities that each person enjoys. Your children are only young for a short time, and you don’t want to miss out on the joy they bring to your life, or the opportunity to mold their character and behavior. Take some time to see if you can cut out or reschedule each person’s activities to carve out some family time together.
Maybe each person in the family can help with the chores so that you all have more spare time to enjoy each other. Even the youngest member of the family can do something to contribute. Mothers need to learn to delegate, and fathers to help when possible. A family who pulls together, stays together.
One of the most important family times is the main meal of the day, usually in the evening. This is an opportunity for you all to sit down together to discuss the day’s activities and catch up on each other’s news. It is a time to give praise, offer advice, and most of all enjoy each others’ company.
Take time to play together, either in the backyard or maybe playing board games, but not watching television. Make each child feel special by doing something individually with them, something that especially interests them. Take a child fishing, boating, running or some other activity they particularly enjoy. You will find that when you are playing or working together that they feel safe to open up and talk to you about their problems and dreams.
Cooking with children can be rewarding. They are learning at the same time as enjoying themselves and enjoying time with their parents. Have a family day out regularly and give each family member the chance to choose where to go.
Have family meetings where differences can be resolved, problems aired and where each member feels heard. Make the meetings fun, talk about serious issues, but also decide what fun things you can do together. Discuss special events that are coming up such as birthdays and holidays.
The most important relationship in a child’s life is with their parents. Show a happy and united front to your children, and let them learn from the way you live your life. Children learn more by what they see than by what they are told. Show them what a happy couple and happy family look like so that they can choose that for themselves when they grow up.
Charles Montague said: “Among the mind’s powers is one that comes of itself to many children and artists. It need not be lost, to the end of his days, by anyone who has ever had it.
This is the power of taking delight in a thing, or rather in anything, not as a means to some other end, but just because it is what it is.
Ultimately, the relationships we have determine our quality of life. We were made to be social beings, living in a community, with community responsibilities, and good relationships bring happiness and contentment into our lives.
No man is an island; no one likes to be lonely. Make the effort to be a good friend, a loyal employee, an excellent parent and a spouse who is also a friend. It is an effort that will pay huge dividends in your life.
Mother Teresa said: “Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.”
Thank you for reading and may all your dreams come true.