“The single most important ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people” – Theodore Roosevelt
Why is it so important to create and maintain positive relationships?
One of the most important experiences that we can have in our lives is our connection with other human beings. There is compelling evidence that strong relationships contribute to a long, happy, and healthy life. As naturally social creatures, we crave friendships and positive interactions, just as much as we crave food and water.
Although we should try to build and maintain good relationships with everyone we encounter, there are certain relationships that deserve a little more attention. Thus, we should start by identifying our relationship needs among those that we interact with the most, those we can help, and those who can help us.
Four profound effects positive relationships have in our lives include: the encouragement of personal growth, support during tough times, encouragement of collaboration and partnership and the overall addition to meaning in our life.
Positive relationships encourage personal growth.
Our loved ones find joy in our own successes. Family and friends often double as our support system, encouragers and personal cheerleaders. It’s not rocket science that family, friends, coworkers and colleagues enjoy seeing us achieve our goals. Most of the time, in fact, those same loved ones are willing to help in anyway they can and will go out of their way to help us achieve our goals and make our dreams come true.
Positive relationships support you during tough times.
We all have times of struggle in our lives, whether it’s financially, relationally, or health-related. It is in those times that we so desperately need the support of our loved ones. Thankfully, having a strong support circle will help us through those tough times.
Positive relationships encourage collaborations and partnership.
We can’t be good at everything, so it’s important that we have good working relationships. Accompanied with our good working relationships, we can learn from each other, utilize others strengths and ultimately do what we do best. Strong relationships in our professional circle – customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders – are all essential to our success. When our relationships are good, life is more enjoyable, people are more likely to support us and we’re able to be more innovative and creative.
Positive relationships add more meaning to our life.
Building and maintaining positive relationships in our life increases our sense of purpose and meaning. When we are able to make a positive impact for someone, we feel like we are making a difference in the world – and we are.
How do we build long-term relationships?
It starts with us; we have to be kind, friendly and approachable. There should be a like interest. Either way, we need to accept others for who they are and celebrate the fact that we are all different. It is crucial we ask relevant questions and have a sincere interest in people and what they say, and always listen more than we talk.
We may even want to make a note of the small things that are important to others, so that we can later come back and surprise them by creating a magic moment. Trust is the foundation of every good relationship, so we must always be open and honest. This will ultimately help to build the bond. A few other characteristics that will help: be positive, respectful, mindful, and grateful.
What do you do when a relationship goes bad?
End any negative relationship, and do so as soon as possible! There is nothing worse than engaging in a bad relationship, or one that drains your energy. Notice a distinct difference between the positive and beneficial relationships in your life and the harmful and toxic relationships in your life. If you find that you don’t have many positive relationships in your life, you may want to look at improving your communication skills. Don’t harbor hate or bitterness in relationships; rather, harbor love and acceptance. It will have a significant impact on your life and well being.
What are the benefits to strong, long lasting relationships?
The sky’s the limit! People don’t quit strong relationships. You will reap the benefits of unconditional love and support from those in your life and they will do just about anything for you, without even asking. You will be surprised – people will want to please you. We get more from giving than receiving, and the funny thing is that it comes back full circle in ways you could never imagine. A team of like-minded individuals can accomplish just about anything when collaborating and working together.
Writer: Tracy Stepp, Director of Human Possibilities