Relationships are everything in life. Can you imagine a lonely, meaningless life without any human being to talk to or cosy up to?
Here, in this present context, I mean any human relationship and not just the romantic kind. But how do you show your appreciation, the value you attach to any such relationship, be it friend, lover, siblings or other relatives?
After studying this aspect deeply and putting some thought into it, I have concluded the following to be the most important ways to show your people that you care about them. The study may not be adequate or may not find full acceptance among you. I would be delighted to receive your views on this extremely important topic in human relationships.
Of all the ways to show your concern for the person you care about, I think this should occupy pride of place. Often, we half heartedly listen to people when they talk to us when we are watching TV, or doing something on smart phone, computer and so on.
Total listening implies switching off that gadget and giving undivided attention. It also implies rephrasing some sentences by way of emphasizing.
Total listening also means not interrupting (except to clarify some point) and not judging.
CALL THEM IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THEY DO OR NOT.
This is often difficult to follow, I admit, especially when we have been always the ones to call. My natural tendency would be to wonder why I should take the initiative always. However, I would hasten to add that if that person matters to you, then just call.
REMEMBER DATES DEAR TO THEM.
No need to elaborate on this, of course. Dates can include birthdays, anniversaries and any other dates dear to them. You can take the help of your smart phone for remembering.
BE TRUSTWORTHY AS A ROCK ON SHARED SECRETS.
A friend or close relative might quite often divulge secrets and then sometimes regret having done so, because it has sensitive or juicy gossip about a common friend. Having spilled it, they may now beseech you to take it no further.
This is where you have to assure such persons of your rock hard dependability and that the matter would travel no further.
Once your loved ones are convinced of your staunch reliability, they will consider you as a real confidante-a shoulder to cry on.
NEVER MAKE CRITICAL PERSONAL REMARKS ABOUT THEIR LOOKS.
Granted, your motives are noble, but still desist!
Most of the time, there will be nothing new in what you are planning to say- about being fat or thin, or whatever.
They will be more comfortable with you if you do not offer unsolicited remarks/advice.
SQUEAL NOT ON THEM.
This is similar to point 4 above. In this case, I am talking about any juicy secrets pertaining to the person himself/herself in question which you may be in a vantage position to know. Loyalty demands that you maintain dignified silence even if some curious cats try to prod the unsavory details out of you, in the guise of friendship.
If you establish such a reputation, then even a mischief monger will be unable to convince your friend that you were the source of the leak.
Again, I would gently remind the readers that by relationship, I mean any kind, not only the romantic variety.
CRITICIZE NOT PERSONS DEAR TO THEM.
You may worship your maternal aunt, but detest her husband- your uncle. There might be a dozen reasons for this, but the rule to be kept in mind here is to maintain a stoic silence about it. Quite possibly, you may not be able to enjoy your aunt’s company exclusively without the detested guy barging in. But it is just one of the facts of life faced by almost everyone in relationships.
If you try to cozy up to one avoiding the other, it is going to become obvious to the concerned people quite soon. This is going to strain your valued relationship with the aunty. It can get much worse much faster if you express your dislike of this uncle.
GIFT THEM SOMETHING THEY LOVE.
No doubt, your first thought is ‘What’s so great about this point?’
It is not always as easy as it appears. If you read again carefully, I said ‘Gift them something they love.’
Now if you pause awhile to analyze the type of gifts you have been receiving on various occasions, you will realize the importance of this point.
Most gifts are given by way of just a social gesture and not with application of any serious forethought. I said most because there are exceptions where the gift giver applies her mind awhile to see what would be most useful and liked by the recipient. Others just see whether the gift is appropriate to the occasion.
So, if you value this relation, wouldn’t you agree that you should do a little thinking and gift them something they would love to have.
LIKE THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Now this one is so obviously easy and doesn’t really need elaboration. If your people are on any social media, they would really appreciate a simple recognition on their timeline.
NEVER GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE.
Our human nature is such that we try to give quick fix solutions to the problems posed to us by people close to us. Sadly, we don’t realize that more often than not, the person is just looking for a shoulder to cry on. What we offer as solutions are, except in rare cases, very common sense solutions, like ‘Take her to a specialist… get a second opinion…’and so on.
The downside of such uncalled for advice- if pursued too vigorously-is that friction is likely to develop, especially when the advice is unheeded or ignored. The other party also might start nursing resentment over this unwarranted intrusion.
Hence, it is always prudent to ask first whether any kind of help is required.
THINK TWICE BEFORE CONFIDING A SECRET.
I would rate this as a very important rule to maintain the health of any valued relationship. We tend to take our near and dear into confidence when we are on very cordial terms.
Nothing wrong in this.
But if there is an unsavory or juicy aspect to the secret, just think again before making this person your confidant. If, unfortunately, some misunderstanding creeps in , you might then regret telling the secret to them. Also, by expecting them to hold on to this secret, you are unnecessarily putting a strain on the relationship.
NEVER OVERSTAY WHILE VISITING; MAKE IT SHORT AND SWEET.
‘The magic of the minimum dose’ as they say in Homeopathy is to be applied while visiting people. In my personal experience, I have seen the relevance of this simple rule.
When you visit and overstay your welcome, the stock value of the relationship dips. Social niceties prevent most people from expressing their concern aloud, but it is always good to watch for signs of impatience or unease. Better still, always make your social visits short and sweet.
WATCH ALWAYS FOR REACTIONS WHILE DISCUSSING ANY SUBJECT.
As they say, the face is the index of the mind. More often than not, a person’s feelings get registered on his or her face, until they realize this and quickly put on a mask.
This certainly makes it easy, doesn’t it, to gauge the effect our words have on the other party? It only needs a little awareness and what you could call emotional intelligence, or EI.
FLAUNT NOT YOUR POSSESSIONS, RANT NOT ABOUT YOUR GREATNESS.
The average person (And we are populated by them, including me) is interested more in self, whether he/she admits it or not. Also, there is a feeling called envy to contend with. Unless this very human trait is respected, we are in for big trouble in almost all our relationships.
So, no harm in making them a little ‘acquainted’ with your accomplishments or special possessions, but then please follow rule 13 above while doing so!
A wonderful idea would be to listen to them instead, at least for a bit.
AVOID CONTROVERSIAL ARGUMENTS UNLESS THEY HAVE A PURPOSE.
We don’t see eye to eye on all issues even with our parents, children or other very close people. So little wonder if you have differences with others.
It is very easy for a casual discussion to turn hostile when such a topic surfaces. While it is perfectly within your rights to express your point of view, there is no purpose generally served by an acrimonious debate on that, knowing well that each will stand his ground.
REACH OUT TO HELP WHEN THEY BE IN DISTRESS.
Of course we do this, I know. But this is so important that it can be a make or break issue in any relationship.
You need to be there for offering requisite assistance if called for.
Makes all the difference.
WISH YOU HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS.
By: V. R. Shankar
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