We, humans, are social beings, hence we connect with others to build relationships. These relationships can either be positive/supportive or hostile/negative. While positive relationships help to build longevity, satisfaction, and happiness, negative relationships result in stress and burnout. Here, we will focus on 5 effective ways to build positive relationships.
Our need for belonging which is our tendency to make positive, lasting, and significant relationships are essential for our physical and psychological well-being. But toxic relationships can become a barrier to achieve these positive relationships. You can learn how to deal with toxic relationships here.
As for developing positive relationships, you can follow the following 5 effective ways to build positive relationships:
- Build better communication
Communication is the most basic and necessary component to build any relationship. And to develop effective communication, it’s crucial to understand that communication occurs when the people communicating with each other actually understand each other. To build effective communication, firstly, give enough time to the other person.
As positive relationships take time and trust to build, giving this time for communication is crucial. Try to think about how much you are giving time for your close relationships and set a realistic amount of how much you should give time to increase the communication between you two.
Furthermore, you can improve your communication by listening effectively to the other person. Listening skills not only help to understand the message of the speaker but also help to communicate that you are actually interested in the conversation rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. It also includes paraphrasing and using body language to communicate more efficiently. You can learn more about listening skills here.
- Express gratitude
Gratitude is a positive emotion that arises when we thank someone for helping us or just acknowledging their presence. This is a powerful way to build a positive relationship as it strengthens the connection by inspiring gratitude in others. Hence, try to build a habit of showing gratitude to others by telling them “Thank you” whenever possible. There are a few other creative ways to express gratitude that you can learn here.
Furthermore, unconditional gratitude helps to build relationships by thanking others for not only being similar to them but also being grateful for the differences between them. Understanding this is important as we all have differences and when we appreciate these differences, we automatically understand the other person a little more.
Another way to build gratitude and understanding is by building empathy within yourself. When you put yourself in the shoes of another person, you understand what they experience and what could be the possible reasons behind their certain behaviors. Try to do this with a person you feel a little disconnected by closing your eyes and thinking from their perspective of their life, situations, and how they are handling stuff.
- Loving Kindness Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) is an efficient meditation technique to build connectedness with another person, especially when there has been some conflict within your mind about that person or even yourself. This is extremely helpful because it doesn’t require you to be in contact with the other person and it helps to build self-compassion. Hence, you first work on yourself and try to build genuine love for yourself and the other person, then build your connection. To learn this, follow these steps:
- Take out some time for meditation and close your eyes after finding a quiet and comfortable space for this.
- Focus on your breath for a few moments, bring your attention to how you are exhaling and inhaling.
- Put your hand on your chest and say the following to yourself a couple of times, “May I be filled with love and kindness”, “May I be safe”, “May I be well”, “May I be happy and at ease”
- If your mind wanders, gently bring back your attention to your breath and repeat the statements.
- Then, think about someone you deeply care for and you want to build a better connection with them.
- Now think that they are with you and repeat the statements, “May you be filled with love and kindness”, “May you be safe”, “May you be well”, “May you be happy and at ease” Repeat the statements and gently bring back your attention to them if your mind wanders.
If you want, then you can break this activity into several parts or even build new positive affirmations for yourself.
- Positive feedback
Positive feedback is not only giving feedback on positive things your friends do, but positive feedback also includes giving constructive feedback that helps the other person to work on their weaknesses that they wouldn’t have seen themselves. This not only helps to build trust but also brings genuineness to the bond.
An effective technique is to use constructive feedback. The core component of constructive feedback is to focus on the future while highlighting the positive components. Hence, if your friend asks you about their project, then you start feedback by praising them for their efforts and highlighting things you liked then you give feedback on what they should work on to improve their project to improve its quality in the future.
You can learn about constructive feedback in detail here.
- Build connection ritual
Another effective way to build uniqueness and positivity in your relationships is to make some kind of connection ritual with the other person. A connection ritual is a specific time and activity that you do regularly with another person. This helps to keep you in constant contact with the other person.
To do this, start with sharing time in your calendar as you fix a time slot to meet or talk every week. Next is to finalize the activity you want to do with your ritual, for this purpose, as yourself, “What makes you both feel most connected” and “What interest you share with this person that you don’t share with any other person”. Finally, start building your ritual by being consistent with the plan. You can even change activities or time but make sure you give sufficient time to your close ones.
Positive relationships are necessary to build positive social well-being. While things can get tough with few close ones but working on yourself and being true to the other person can do the magic. Hence, keep supporting and appreciating your close ones.