Good functioning and productive relationships don't just happen. They require conscious thought, keeping in mind practical principles and techniques. While probably no one practices all of these pointers all of the time, they serve as a point of reference for how one is doing. There is no guarantee, in a difficult relationship, that change will occur in another person by making use of these 10 things, but YOU will change. Whether it is a difficult relationship or a positive one, these pointers will "fine tune" your ability to establish and maintain positive relationships.
1. You must concentrate on thinking positively about the other person. Assume the best about him or her, and believe they have good intentions because how one thinks about another is reflected in the communication.
2. Try not to cast blame. This never accomplishes anything and it focuses on the problem instead of the solution. It also leaves you from having to accept responsibility for something that may be, at least in part, your doing.
3. Become a good listener. Give conscious attention to improving your listening skills. Don't just hear the words but listen to the body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Also, do not always try to "fix" the problem, simply offer emocional support and afirmation. Don't carry on conversations while engaged in watching TV or playing video Games. Give your full and undivided attention.
4. Learn how to communicate. This goes way beyond simply responding back to another person. It involves specific words you use with the proper tone of voice. Try to avoid beginning sentences with the word, "you." This often casts blame. Instead say, "I feel..." Try not to use the words "never" or "always." Don't say "you always react in anger" because maybe the other person doesn't always react that way, maybe only part of the time. Be careful about starting sentences with the word "I." That may be alright in expressing your feelings or likes and dislikes, but it can also mean you have your own agenda or that you are making an important decision without talking to the other person. In addition, don't forget the simple words, "please" and "thank you."
5.Directly connected to proper communication is the tone of voice. It is easy for a man's tone of voice to come across as demanding because their voices are deeper.
6. Don't attack another person's character. Stick to the facts or issues. Do not cross the line by questioning another person's intentions, honesty, or integrity.
7. Own the problem. If something is your problem or fault, accept it right then and there. Don't make excuses or try to rationalize or justify your actions or attitude.
8. Don't get emotional. It is quite okay and even encouraged to state your feelings about something, but it is quite another to become angry over it. There many times is no such thing as one right person and one wrong person. People simply see things from different perspectives.
9. Don't try to change the other person. No matter what you are going through or are discussing, concentrate on what needs to be changed in yourself or what you can learn from it. Too many conversations escalate into heated arguments simply because one person tries to change the other.
10. Show unconditional love. This is not something you can muster up or train yourself to have, and it does not exist just because you "love" someone. It can only come from God. It is loving someone no matter what. It takes God's supernatural grace to do this.
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