I once used to live by the motto “in the end, all you have is yourself”. Then I met someone who told me, “No, that’s all wrong. In the end, all you have are the special bonds that you have created”. In that instant, I knew what he meant. Suddenly, my perspective on life up until now seemed so sad and lonely. Even if it is the actual truth, why go through life with the mentality that you are out in this world pretty much alone? With that mentality, other people just become tools and resources to you rather than potentially amazing connections.
Now, how do you go through life with the motto that “all you have in the end are the connections you’ve made? Here are 20 tips on helping you find and foster meaningful relationships.
Avoid negative people
Spend your time with intelligent, nice, like-minded people. Relationships should help you improve, not drown you in negativity. Surround yourself with those that mirror the person you strive to be. Your friends should be people you are proud to know, people you respect, and people who bring sunshine to your life. Life is simply too short to spend with those that suck the energy from you. Be rid of those, and you are free to be you.
Let go of those that have gone
The sad fact of life is that there are people out there who are only in your life to suck your energy. They are only with you for as long as you are providing them some sort of need that they want. When you no longer can provide that need, these people will disappear from your life. The good thing is, as your life progresses, you will weed out those in your life that were just using you leaving with you those that you can truly count on. So when people walk away from you, let them. Your destiny is never in line with someone who leaves you, and if it was, they will be back.
Give those you don’t know a fair chance
Everyone is different, and everybody has a story. Everybody has had experiences that have helped shape them much like you’ve had. Every face you see on the street represents a background every bit as compelling and complex as yours. Nobody is ordinary. If you give people a chance, they will have something to offer. So look forward to the possibility of wonderful new relationships to develop and let go of the ones that are no longer there. Trust yourself. Embrace new relationships, and be excited at the thrill of venturing into unknown territory. Be ready to learn, adapt, and grow when meeting someone new as they could very well change your life forever.
Be kind and respectful to everyone
Treat those you meet with respect and kindness, even if they probably don’t deserve it. Don’t just treat people nicely because they are nice to you, but do it because you are a nice person. Every class, race, gender, group deserves to be respected. Treat them all with the same level of respect you would give your grandmother and the same level of patience and understanding you would have for your baby brother. Your good karma will contribute to a good life.
Accept people for the way that they are
In most cases, people do not change, and if they are going to change, you will not be the one to make them change. Only they can do that. So why bother trying to change them? The only thing you can and should do is give them support and lead by example.
Encourage those around you and cheer them on
Appreciate the amazing people that are around you and what they are doing with their lives. Be happy for those who are making progress, and cheer for their accomplishments and victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly and sincerely. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later, your people will be cheering for your progress as well.
Be yourself. Imperfect and beautiful
In this crazy world that is trying to make you just the same as everyone else, find the strength to keep being your kickass self. And when they laugh at you for straying from the norm. Laugh right back at them for being common. Spend your time with those that make you smile, and less time with those that make you feel you need to impress them. Be yourself. Imperfect and beautiful. Beauty is not found in perfection. Perfection is boring.
Forgive people and move on
Don’t live your life with hate in your soul. You will ultimately hurt yourself more than those you hate. Perhaps it is easier to do if you redefine what “forgiveness” means to you. Instead of forgiveness meaning “what you did to me is fine” , let it mean, “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness”. Let forgiveness be a remedy for resentment and pain. It doesn’t mean erasing the past or forgetting what has transpired, that is impossible to actively do. It means you’re letting go of the pain and resentment, and instead choosing to learn from what has happened and move on with your life. The less time you spend hating those that hurt you, the more time you have to love those that’ll love you in return.
Do small things for others every day
These tiny gestures may not mean much to you, but they can mean a lot to those closest to you. Remember, you can’t offer everything to everybody, but you can offer everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.
Pay attention to who your real friends are
As we get older, our circle of friends may grow smaller, but the friends who remain in the circle are tighter. Life is like a party, you invite a lot of people, and some leave early, some stay until the end, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up very late. But in the end and after the fun, there are only a few that remain that help you clean up the mess. These people are your real friends in life. They are the ones who actually matter.
Always be loyal
True love and real friendships aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about people being true to each other even when separated. When it comes to relationships, being faithful is never an option, but a must. Loyalty is everything.
Stay in better touch with your close ones
When you’re talking about relationships with people, distance is not measured in miles, but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, and yet miles apart. Therefore, don’t ignore someone you care for because lack of concern is more hurtful than angry words. Stay in touch with those who truly matter to you because they are worth the effort. Remember, you don’t need a certain amount of friends, just friends you know you can be certain of. Pay attention to your certain friends.
Keep your promises and be honest
If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to be somewhere, be there. If you say you feel something, mean it! Just don’t lie. It’s always better to tell people the truth right off the bat. Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and think it’s okay, as it’s just another lie. Innocent white lies are just more lies. Love and positive relationships won’t hurt people. Lying, cheating and messing with people’s minds and hearts will hurt people. Never mess with other’s feelings because you are unsure of your own. Know yourself, how you feel and be open and honest.
Put out what you want to get back
Never expect back what you are not willing to give yourself. Practice the golden rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be a friendly person. If you want money, provide value to others. It works and it really is that simple.
Say what you mean and mean what you say
Give those in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to be able to read your mind. Information is the oil that keeps the engine of communication flowing. Communicate clearly. Don’t try to read other’s minds, or expect them to read yours. Most problems in this world, big or small, start with poor communication. So, be clear.
Allow others to make their own decisions
Don’t judge others based on your own past experiences. They are living a different life than yours. What might be good for one person may not be good for another so it is wise to never presume you have the answers. Allow people to make their own decisions and their own mistakes.
Talk a bit less, listen a bit more
Less advice is usually the best advice. People generally don’t need a lot of advice; they need someone to listen to them and someone to supply positive reinforcement. What they need to know is often already somewhere inside of them. They just need time to think, be and breathe. They just need to be able to continue and explore their unguided journey of life that will eventually find them their direction.
Leave petty arguments alone
Someone else does not have to be admitted wrong in order for you to be right. There are many paths that lead to “right”. And at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong.
Ignore hurtful and unconstructive comments
No one has the right to judge you. No one. They may have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you felt when you went through them. No matter what you do, there will always be those who’d think differently. So focus on doing what you know is right in your heart. What people think and say about you is never important. The only thing that is important is what you feel about yourself.
Pay close attention to your relationship with yourself
One of the worst things in life is losing you in the process of loving others too much. You must never forget that you are also special. When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are? When was the last time someone congratulated you on a job well done? When was the last time someone took you some places simply because they know how you feel when you’re there? When was the last time that “someone” was YOU?