There’s no doubt, relationships can be tricky. Everyone wishes that they could have a great relationship with their spouse, friends, kids or coworkers; however, as individuals, personal differences and ideas can sometimes get in the way. It’s easy to be misunderstood or for others to see you as poking your nose into areas where you have no business interfering. This can be true even if it is not your intention.
Whether you’re a mother, daughter, son or father, there are certain expectations that others put on you, regardless of whether you think it’s right or wrong. Of course, in your daily life, there will also be plenty of people that you need to interact with, such as those in local businesses, religious affiliations, or as part of your work duties. How you get along with these people and the relationships you form with them will depend a great deal on your own personality and how open you are to others and their way of life. It’s important to keep in mind that there’s more than one way to go through life, and you don’t necessarily have the corner on it.
One of the best ways to form quality relationships is to be accepting of other people’s views and lifestyle. You don’t always have to agree, but it can be very helpful if you are at least accepting. This can become a little more challenging when it comes to relationships with close friends or family members. One of your most significant relationships will be with your spouse, learning how to communicate effectively can be extremely helpful in understanding the other person’s point of view.
Many marital problems develop simply because one party feels slighted or someone feels like their feelings or time are not being respected. Rather than waiting for the situation to become volatile and for a huge fight to break out, spending quality time together on a regular basis and feeling open and safe enough to express your feelings can be important to the long-term development and stability of your relationship.
Of course, one of the most contentious relationships can be that between a teenager and his or her parents. Sometimes it’s just the nature of the beast. Teenagers want to be independent; they’re also at a point in their lives when they want to start exploring new ideas and not necessarily following the same beliefs and ideas of their parents. On the other hand, this can be troubling for parents because they realize that teenagers are not emotionally mature enough to always make the right choices. They might be hanging out with the wrong kind of friends, not being diligent in their studies, or perhaps, even engaging in risky behavior, such as experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
Sometimes a parent has to step in and set ground rules with defined parameters. Teenagers are still children, so they do still need guidance. However, not giving kids a bit of freedom can also damage the relationship between parent and child. When you both have some free time and aren’t in a hurry, it’s a good idea to sit down and discuss your expectations. Of course, this means that you also have to be willing to hear what your teenager has to say. Good relationships are formed on mutual respect as well as some give and take. Your teenager might ask for things that you don’t feel are appropriate, which is fine, that’s why you’re the parent. You can and should say no at times. However, you should also work with your teen to find areas where you can give them a bit more responsibility and freedom. It might be uncomfortable for a parent, but teens need to make mistakes in order for them to learn and become responsible adults.
Whatever the relationship is, communication and a willingness to listen to the other person’s point of view is crucial. You’ll develop more meaningful relationships with everyone from your neighbor to your children or in-laws when you work hard at listening and not automatically jumping to conclusions or being judgmental. And when you’re faced with those who simply want to be argumentative, it’s best to try and deflect the conversation to safer topics. This works especially well during family gatherings. You’re not going to win everyone over, so try to maintain a peaceful relationship as much as possible.