This is a guest post from fellow blogger Eduard Ezeanu
Almost anybody with half a brain and some experience will tell you that relationships between people, be it a friendship or a marriage, require work and attention in order to be as good as they can be. And I agree with this, to a large extent.
At the same time, I believe that if you’re putting in too much effort to make a relationship work, it’s probably not worth it. On a large scale, the thing I believe matters even more is creating for yourself a personal style of socially interacting with others which naturally makes good relationships happen. So if you develop this style, you build a solid foundation which generates good relationships mostly by itself.
Here are the 3 most important elements which I believe compose this style, the elements that make good relationships happen:
1. Be selective. Some people just try to make any relationship, with any person work. I think this is a bad strategy as a whole; because with some of the persons you will meet there will be a natural lack of compatibility which will make the effort you need to put in very big, while at the same time there will be a lot of compatibility with other people which will greatly diminish the required effort.
You don’t need to get along great with everybody. In the long run, meeting more people and selecting the people you interact with is much more efficient than meeting a few people and trying to make every relationship work. It is better if you have a terrible boss to look for another job until you find a good boss, if you’re in a relationship with a bad person to end it and find someone which is much more of a fit for you.
2. Be a person who can provide value. At the end of the day, relationships are transactions. A person wants to interact with you and be a part of your social circle because in some way, you bring value into her life. This value can have many forms: the interesting things you say, your entertaining nature, the good advice you can give, the fact people can rely on you etc.
This is why one of the best things you can do is work yourself as a person and develop yourself. Learn interesting things, travel, have lots of hobbies, experience all sort of things, become an expert in your field, improve your conversational skills or your social confidence. All of these, besides helping you in your life directly, they will also develop your ability to bring value into the lives of others. And when others discover this about you, they naturally get attracted to you.
3. Be honest. You can build a relationship by creating a fake image about yourself, or by telling someone what he wants to hear even if it’s not true. In the short run, these strategies can work. However, studying the effects in the long run, I realized with a lot f clarity that they actually do more harm then good. This is why I always recommend interacting with people and growing relationships based on a philosophy of honesty. It is simpler, cleaner; it builds trust and healthy relationships.
Good relationships with people happen when your character and your social style are those which combine respect for other people, with respect for yourself. From this place, you learn to balance needs, to base relationships on a good foundation and your entire social life takes off.
Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach with an attitude-based approach. He helps others to improve people skills they find relevant and get top notch results. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded.
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