Having lived amongst and seen first-hand how dysfunctional relationships work, I have learned over the years how not to do things. These are my recommendations:
- Learn to value each other and each other’s opinion. Think about what each other brings to the relationship so that neither of you are taken for granted. Communication is key;
- Learn to encourage and support each other regardless of what you’re dealing with on a personal level;
- Always listen intently to what the other person says. It’s easy to listen but not listen intently;
- Be open-minded about all conversations, so you don’t stand in judgment;
- It’s easy to emotionally shut off. We need to emotionally switch back on so that our focus is on the relationship, not on other things;
- We make our choice to be in a relationship, therefore we must learn to understand how to get the best out of and make the most of that relationship;
- Learn to focus your attention on each other, without involving other family members. Family opinions can often be the cause of the conflict we have;
- Bring compassion, empathy and kindness in the relationship and keep those attributes as your daily focus;
- Take out assumptions altogether. We mustn’t assume anything;
- If something is bothering you, say what you feel. There is little room for misunderstandings in any relationship, because we choose not to say anything;
- Be grateful for what you have;
- Learn to take each other’s feelings into account and don’t make the other person feel uncomfortable.
I believe all relationships thrive through better understanding of what that relationship means. Unfortunately, without our understanding on how we can do things better, we will have very little to base that and other relationships on.
All relationships are unique and each relationship must be honed, whilst we continue to put the above considerations into practice. Regardless of where we are in our lives, I believe all of the above considerations must apply.