It takes a long time to nurture a relationship, but little time to lose it. These days people are busy increasing their friends and followers on social media but actually doing very little to strengthen or protect real-world relationships.
Good personal and professional relationships have been seen scientifically to improve mental-emotional and physical health, as well as productivity, quality of life, and overall wellness.
People have diverse backgrounds, beliefs, perceptions, and values, and go through different circumstances and experiences. Sustaining any productive and happy relation whether professional or personal requires a lot of emotional investment, time, and give-and-take.
Here are 5 points to keep in mind to develop and sustain any wonderful relationship:
- DO NOT LET A THIRD PERSON IMPACT THE RELATIONSHIP
Do not believe and act upon anything you hear about someone from a third person. If you have not yourself seen the person behave that way, or heard the person say what was reported, then no matter how much you trust this third person, do not let this form your judgment or play a ‘wrong number’ in your head. Never let someone else’s beliefs or interpretation of someone, ruin your valuable relationship with that person.
Even if more than one or many people say something negative about a particular person, but you have not personally witnessed the same, do not act upon or judge, just because ‘other people think that way’. Remember there are always far more people willing to speak negatively than those who will voluntarily go around spreading good or positive things about someone!
- HEAR THE OTHER SIDE
It is amazing how the entire perception changes when one hears the other side with an open mind before branding, dismissing or forming opinions. So many great professional and personal relations go sour and are lost just because of premature judgments and biases getting re-enforced due to blocking or cutting off, not giving time, or delaying to hear the other side.
Time can always be made for anything one considers worthy in the world, and it is important to respond positively to requests for being heard or having a one-on-one discussion. Always hear what the person has to say if you make an accusation, express a misgiving, or state concern. Remember, never stop talking to someone and lose any relationship without telling them why, and hearing their side.
- FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES, NOT FAULTS
Every human being has some positive attributes and some negative. When one sees or hears something which offends or appears against one’s thought process, the first reaction is to label the person as being unsuitable, incapable, wrong, bad, etc. At that time, if instead of harping on the negative quality, one can instead take a pause and note down at least 2 good qualities or positive attributes of that person, then the good would have tipped the bad! There is no need to give negative labels to any person overall, but just appreciate and celebrate the positive attributes, and work on the negative aspects through discussion, empathy, adaptation, and guidance.
It is unfortunate that the multiple good attributes and great work of people create lesser memory than some mistakes they make or shortcomings they have. We have to keep reminding ourselves of the good and positives in a person, as the bad or negatives are quick and automatic to grab a place in our minds!!! So even when you have to discuss something negative about a person, start first with something positive about that person.
- EVERYONE IS HUMAN – YOU MAY ACTUALLY BE WHAT YOU THINK THE OTHER PERSON IS!
As much as we would like to think otherwise while putting down another person, nobody is devoid of mistakes and flaws. Always keep that in mind while deciding to walk away, pushing the other away, or painting absolute pictures in your head. You may be in a more powerful position in that relationship (financially, health-wise, professional designation-level wise, by age or family hierarchy, etc.) but use the power to lift, build bridges, understand, and bring out the best in the other, rather than to suppress, crush, win or prove supremacy.
If you want others to change or act according to your perception of what is good or right, then you would also have to be open to feedback, introspection, and change. Be ready to forgive when someone is sorry, and to apologize when you may possibly be wrong.
- LET THE PAST NOT COME IN THE WAY OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE
Never let a person’s past relationship with someone, make a decision of your relationship with that person today. People’s perceptions, maturity, knowledge, and emotions change with circumstances and time, and you can have a wonderful relation with a person who could not sustain or make a relationship work with someone else.
You can also have a great relationship with a person with whom you yourself had a seemingly unworkable relation in the past! Never write off anyone, never give up on anyone permanently and above all, always be ready to suggest or accept to try one more time.
As famously said:
‘A GREAT RELATION IS ABOUT APPRECIATING THE SIMILARITIES AND RESPECTING THE DIFFERENCES’