10 Hard Truths About Our Relationships No One Wants to Admit
1. Our relationships are filled with unnecessary judgments. – When we judge, we learn nothing. Realize this. Open your mind and heart. Don’t judge people just because they sin differently than you. The world is changed by your example, not by your judgments. Be kind. Ask about people’s stories. Listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be a good neighbor.
2. We look down on people when we disagree with them. – When someone upsets you, this is often because they aren’t behaving according to your fantasy of how they “should” behave. Take a deep breath. It’s OK to disagree with the opinions of others, but that doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse them of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t agree with them. Learn to appreciate different perspectives, lifestyles, and opinions, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what’s initially comfortable.
3. We have a tendency to dwell on people’s weaknesses. – Be present. Be kind. Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. This is how to make a real and lasting difference in your relationships.
4. There’s a whole lot we don’t know about the people in our lives. – It’s impossible to know exactly how another person is feeling or what kind of emotional battles they’re presently fighting. Every smile or sign of strength hides an inner struggle every bit as complex and extraordinary as your own.
5. We carelessly gossip about our relationships. – Don’t give in to the unnecessary negativity, drama and gossip around you. Be positive. Give people a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. And listen carefully to how a person speaks about other people to you – this is precisely how they will speak about you to other people.
6. Our “busy” lives often get in the way of our most important relationships. – The people you take for granted today may be the only ones you need tomorrow. Never be too busy to make time for the folks who matter most. Truly, the best gift you can give someone today is the purity of your undivided attention. Just be present with them, and pay attention to the little things.
7. We try to hide our flaws, even from those closest to us. – As imperfect as you might be, as small as you sometimes feel, and as out of place as you imagine you are, you don’t have to hide the flawed pieces of yourself. Remember, you attract other people to you by the qualities you show them, but you keep them around based on the qualities you truly possess. Personal flaws are a part of everyone’s life. If you try to hide them, you don’t give the people who care about you a chance to truly know and love the real you.
8. Our relationships aren’t as easy as we want them to be. – Good relationships require work. Good relationships require sacrifice and compromise. They are amazing, but rarely easy. Resisting the hard times and seeing them as immediate evidence that something is wrong or that you’re in the wrong relationship only aggravates the difficulties. By contrast, finding the willingness to view the challenges as opportunities to learn will give you the mindset you need to nurture your relationship to new heights.
9. We try to “fix” the people we care about. – The act of sincerely caring for another person is rooted in love and respect. This means listening to them wholeheartedly and letting them know by your complete presence that they are seen, heard, and valued. It’s not a space where you try to fix them – it’s about being a witness to the totality of who they truly are.
10. We resist change within our relationships. – Healthy, authentic relationships move in the direction of personal growth: for the relationship and for each person in it. Growth and change are a part of life and you must embrace it. Even when you are concerned that a relationship may dissolve if things change, you must embrace the fact that your paths may diverge for all the right reasons.