10 Ways to Have Peaceful, Loving Relationships

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama

Though Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, this is not a post about romance. It’s about any relationship—with your brother, your mother, your coworker, or your friend.

And I admit I am not an expert.

I’ve made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I’ve expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat. I’ve been competitive. I’ve been suspicious. I’ve been dependent. I’d like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I’ve also been honest.

Being self aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than being perfect—mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither.

Relationships are not easy. They mirror everything we feel about ourselves. When you’ve had a bad day, the people around you seem difficult. When you’re not happy with yourself, your relationships seem to be lacking.

If you’ve ever gotten in a fight only to find yourself wondering what you were really upset about, this post may help you. If you’ve ever been disappointed because someone didn’t meet your expectations, this post may help you, too. Feel walked on and unheard? You guessed it—there’s likely something in here that will help you change that.

We don’t live in a vacuum. We have thoughts and feelings that can be confusing. Other people do too. And just like in the movie Crash, they don’t always collide smoothly.

When I apply these ideas, I feel confident, strong, compassionate, and peaceful in my interactions. I hope they can do the same for you.

1. Do what you need to do for you.

Everyone has personal needs, whether it’s going to the gym after work or taking some alone time on Saturday morning. If someone asks you to do something and your instinct is to honor you own need, do that. I’m not saying you can’t make sacrifices sometimes, but it’s important to make a habit of taking care of yourself. 

Someone once told me people are like glasses of water. If we don’t do what we have to do to keep our glass full, we’ll need to take it from someone else—which leaves them half full. Fill your own glass so you can feel whole and complete in your relationships.

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