When we hear the word “relationship,” most of us automatically think of a romantic connection to someone else, but in reality, we have varying types of relationships in our lives.
Relationships can mean our connection to another person, whether that connection is through work, family, or even close friends.
Each of those relationships is different and complex, and for some, that can be difficult to navigate.
Building and maintaining relationships is an important skill and takes time and effort to learn effectively.
Here are four skills to help any type of relationship and help your tie to others be a strong and healthy one.
Give your time and energy
All forms of relationships take time to build and make stronger, so make sure you are willing to dedicate your time and effort into all your relationships.
We all have busy lives, and it can mean a lot to take time out of your day to dedicate to someone and be present with them. This can be lunch with a co-worker, or shopping with a friend, or watching your significant other’s favorite show.
Whatever it may be, make sure that the time you give is focused on that person and to not let distractions like your phone or other technology get in the way.
Listening is a skill that can be hard to master but can make a world of a difference when it comes to building strong relationships.
Most people have a desire to be heard, and simply listening to them and caring what they have to say can make a person feel appreciated and respected.
When someone is sharing something with you, really listen to what they are saying, and then make sure to keep their confidence. Acknowledge what they are saying and respond back in a way that reflects you were actively paying attention to what they were saying.
Agree to disagree
Some people think that the perfect relationship is one without difficulty or conflict, but that could not be further from the truth.
All relationships will have different points of views and opinions, and that’s ok. It’s good to not necessarily agree on everything and be able to hear and learn from each other’s point of view.
Make sure to be receptive of these differences and don’t let them get in the way of your different types of relationships. Learning to see from another person’s perspective is a great skill and will help you to build and maintain your connection with others.
Talk to a professional
Just like in school, in order to become good at something, it takes learning and practice, and often the help of someone who is professionally trained to do so.
It’s a great idea to take communication classes or workshops to help build these skills. There are many places and community centers that offer these or you can visit sites like dwinc.org to find them.
These classes can teach you essential skills that will only benefit your current relationships and all future ones.