Master the art of relationships. In this article I'll write about relationships from the perspective of lessons I've learned from my psychotherapy practice and my Near Death Experience. Secrets from beyond the grave, if you like. When I recovered, I saw my relationships in a completely different light, and went about my relationships differently.
I'll talk about some of the relationship secrets I've learned. Bolts of insight, if you will. Secrets you can apply to all types of relationships.
The art of relationships is elusive in our culture, but you can easily learn it by focusing on a few basic relationship tenants. Nothing could be more fun or exciting, for once you begin to systematically improve your relationships, wonderful things happen. Life begins to take on new meaning and we start having more fun.
That's a hint. What's the first relationship secret I learned from an extraordinarily powerful experience that reorganized my heart and brain?
It pays to have fun. If you aren't having fun in a relationship, if
the joy is gone, then something is wrong. Many types of relationships
can be repaired by simply taking time to have more fun. I've improved
relationships with children, pets, friends, colleagues and my spouse by
simply taking time to have more fun. Being more lighthearted and injecting a bit of levity into a serious situation can work wonders.
So, mastering the art of relationsihps begins with having fun. Everybody loves to have a good time. Working at your relationship too much? Then take a break and go and dive into some fun.
Catch snowflakes, count stars, make a daisy chain, fly a kite, go bowling, toss a flying disk, play a board game, play tag, throw a tennis ball to your dog, make paper airplanes, go on a picnic, play miniature golf, have a spitting contest, whatever. Just do something to break up the monotony. If you're dealing with monotony, your relationship is in a bit of a rut.
Great relationships aren't the only secret of a happy life, but it's an important one. No one is an island. We all need an enjoyable and satisfying social life, so mastering the art of relationships is essential to living a meaningful and satisfying life.
Secret #2. Most people who've had a NDE and have been through a Life Review, make relationships their #1 priority, along with acquiring knowledge. They've learned there are only two things you can take with you when you die: love and knowledge/wisdom. And because of their life review they want to do right by everyone and seek to learn the elusive art of relationships.
But, few of us were given a relationship manual in life, besides a few hints at how we should go about things here and there . . . and watching others succeed or fail at relationships isn't exactly effective relationship training. And nothing makes life harder than struggling at relationships.
Learning the art of relationships can be a game changer that gives you an advantage at home, the workplace or the social arena. Let's take a look at some of the most powerful ways you can introduce positive and desirable change into your life. Tweaking your relationships and finding new ways to connect with people can provide a substantial boost to your mental and physical health.
Why do we make so many relationship mistakes? We're only human, but shouldn't we be able to make people and ourselves happy through our relationships? One of the major points of every world religion concerns mastering relationships, treating people kindly and making peace in the world, yet somehow it's easy to veer off the straight and narrow path.
The dream of poets, painters and storytellers of every kind is to show us the way to love, happiness and lasting peace of mind through the mastery of our relationships. This dream has led to an industry of romance novels, movies and religious literature that seeks to inspire us to fulfill our social needs and dreams. Yet, somehow the prize seems so elusive, the disappearing art of relationships.
So, let's take a look at another mysterious key to relationship success, based on modern scientific research in the relationship arena, and the field of relationship therapy. We can't cover every important aspect of happy, successful relationships, but we can take a peek at an essential -- an essential you can put into practice right now.
Secret #3: Strive to view every situation through your partner's eyes, and seek to understand how they see things, how they process information, and how they see you! Only then, can you come to realize how your thoughts and behaviors impact others. Learning to see the world (and yourself) from your partner's point of view is the key to making a marriage work -- the key to overcoming marital problems.
And once you understand how they view you and are affected by you (the truth, the reality that they deal with), only then can you work on becoming a better person. You may see yourself as the most amazing person who ever lived, but if they feel nervous in your presence, and think of you as a big critic who is impossible to please, then you have some work to do -- and some changes to make.
Secret #4: The key to excelling at the art of relationships is to become a great partner, by working to overcome your dark side and by changing your bad habits so that your loved ones can truly enjoy being around you and will look forward to being with you.
Okay, I've given you four of my top relationship secrets -- secrets I've learned the hard way, believe me. Now, let's take a look at a few more relationship essentials -- a handful of relationship gems. Gems of wisdom.
Put your relationships on the front burner of the stove, not a back burner. Make loving and kind relationships a priority. Strive to make all your relationships a success. Like Jesus went after the lost sheep, go after your broken bonds, connections and relationships, and fix them.
We always pay if we don't stop to realize the dire importance of our relationships, or if we fail to put in the ongoing hard work to make our relationships sparkle and shine. There is always a cost. In reality, the time and effort we devote to making our relationships healthy and strong is a work of love and joy. Yes, nothing could be more fun, more enjoyable or satisfying! Especially if we go about it with a light-hearted sense of purpose and a willingness to both make and fix our mistakes.
Judging others is a big mistake, which only brings a cloud of pain and false accusation, a cloud upon oneself and the other. What did Jesus say about casting the first stone? If you're perfect, flawless and without error, go ahead take your best shot. Which means no one will throw anything at anyone.
Thus, no one should throw stones at others. It's like firing at one of God's children. Or your yourself. If you can't find something good to say about someone, then don't say anything. If you practice the fine art of relationships, you will refrain from criticizing.
I remember running a group therapy session a few years ago when the group criticized a young woman for her loose behavior. But, when she spoke of her problems, courageously revealing facts about her life the others didn't know, the group realized there were reasons for her promiscuity, which is often fueled by a desperate longing for connection, approval or emotional intimacy.
There are underlying causes of promiscuity, such as attachment issues, abuse and other psychological factors. And, once we truly understand the other person's reality, it is no longer easy to judge them harshly. It dawns on us that a more loving and understanding response is called for -- a loving response that will assist in bringing about healing.
The group ended on a high note when the leader of the "verbal attack" apologized, went across the room to hug the young woman, and everyone had a good cry amidst a flurry of heart-felt apologies. It was a lesson learned. The young client ended up feeling better about herself, and closer to her peers, so a bridge had been built, rather than demolished.
The art of relationships begins with being honest about who you are and being comfortable in your own skin. When you present yourself as someone you are not, it always comes back to haunt you in the end. But, you must be yourself and never put on airs. You can't enjoy your relationships to the fullest if you enter into them making false promises or pretending to be someone you are not.
To master the art of relationships you must be yourself.
So, be yourself, and be willing to listen and compromise, and to do whatever it takes to make sure your new relationship works for both parties. Avoid dominating or controlling the relationship, or making the relationship all about yourself. Otherwise, you'll never get to know your new relationship partner, and you'll drive him/her off. Read about the most critical and damaging relationship mistakes and learn how to avoid them.
You may have significant needs, but the key to getting those met is not demanding attention or requiring your partner to put and keep you on a pedestal, but to meet their needs, starting with taking the time to understand them as a unique person and learning how to be there for them. If you make a mistake, try not to panic, but do apologize and make amends. Say it loud and clear. Own up to your mistake. Your friend will admire you for it.
Someone who is willing to learn from their mistakes makes a very desirable partner. Be humble and thank your partner for their patience and ongoing tolerance, encouragement and support. It's a great way to grow as a person and to increase your relationship IQ, and your emotional intelligence. Look into Relationship Gold, our most popular eBook, which reveals the techniques of the most successful relationship partners, a handy guide you can use for all your relationships.
Always go into every relationship as an equal, not a superior, partner. Good relationships are two-way streets, not one-way streets or blind alleys. A successful relationship works for both partners, not just one. It's a beautiful journey you take together.
In a happy relationship both parties succeed. It's a win-win! Power is equally distributed and the rules are fair. Be not master, nor slave, but equal partners. The art of relationships depends on creating value for the other person, ensuring they always have much to gain.
Unhealthy relationships cause suffering and pain. Someone is always being taken advantage of or being used. In the final analysis, such a relationship (an abusive or exploitive relationship) fails to work for either person.
When I look back on my life, I am appalled by the relationship mistakes I've made, the people I've hurt (not intentionally) and the stupid things I've done, and I try to redeem myself, to some extent, by having the best possible relationships I can have today. I think I inherited a propensity for making relationship gaffs and mistakes, but the blame sits squarely on my own shoulders.
My guideline is to follow the Golden Rule in all that I do, and I try to
remember every relationship is important in some way, a gift that may
never come along again. It's very difficult, but putting others first is
what relationships are all about.
By making each and every relationship the best it can be, under the circumstances, we can make the world a better place. Good relationships lead to healing, self-discovery and inner growth, while stimulating positive change. It doesn't get better than that. Healthy relationships bring us wisdom, contentment and joy, moving us closer to the best of ourselves, and allowing us to reach a spiritual ideal, an ethic of leadership that brings people together, rather than pushing them apart.
Let's change the world together by applying the art of relationships and loving one another. We can delight in making peace, despite our differences. And we can fix our relationship problems, if we refuse to give up on them. We can find the common good in everyone. After all, we all want the same things in life.
All of us want to decrease suffering and pain, and to find happiness and joy. A good relationship helps us to do that very thing. Yes, a really good relationship is just the tonic we may need.
Great relationships make the world go around and contribute to our well being and fundamental happiness. Master the art of relationships and you'll be happier and live longer, and the legacy you someday leave will stand the test of time.