Three Keys To Improving ANY Relationship

Improving relationships with friends and significant others is a common goal amongst people. People want to connect more with others, on a deeper level.

That has led me to consciously consider my interactions and change them. It begins with having a good intention.

We meet great people and we’re so overwhelmed with excitement. We build this amazing relationship with that person and everything is great.

But then, the excitement dwindles and we get caught in a routine and we start to develop little pet peeves. That initial spark is forgotten. That zest of why the person was great eventually fades.

To create, improve or rejuvenate a once great relationship, your intention must be to be great. You have to make the other person feel great. You have to make the other person feel appreciated and loved. It’s difficult and we all fail, but I think these three methods can strengthen and improve any relationship.

Key #1 –  Be Present

I went out with this girl for coffee. Midway through, her phone rang and she was on it for 15 minutes, as I stared in dismay. After her social call, she couldn’t let go of her phone, constantly texting or fiddling.

She was sharing her eye contact between her phone and I. She couldn’t give me her undivided attention for longer than three minutes. I find that incredibly problematic.

Most issues in relationships are caused by a lack of attention. You cannot show respect to someone, pick up on peoples’ non-verbal cues or feelings and completely understand the other person unless you’re completely present in their lives.

But, you can stand out. You can be the anomaly. Make a meaningful connection with your eyes and body, be present and envelope them with your unhindered presence.

Leave your phone on silent when you’re with loved ones. Or just leave it at home, and go for a walk with the person. Give them your undivided attention and they will understand how much they mean to you.

The cellphone ding makes people feel important, but what’s more important than the person across from you sharing a coffee right now?

Key #2 – Appreciate Them

Most people get wrapped up in the idea that appreciation involves extravagant gifts or these large spectacles like writing ‘thank you” in the sky. I thought I needed those to show people how much I cared for them.

But people don’t want your gifts. They just want to be appreciated, appreciated for all the little things they do, and feel and, most importantly, appreciated for who they are.

Appreciate who they are as a human being and, above all, be there for them. Be there when they need you, and be there even when they don’t.

Through all their ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ and trials and tribulations, they want to know that you’re there and that you truly care.

The people in your life want to feel your real appreciation. Thank you loses its’ meaning the more you say it. Instead, say ‘I appreciate you for…’

Key #3 – Make Complimenting a Daily Habit

There is a lot of power in words and they often get taken for granted. We think nice things about our friends and significant others, but rarely express them.

It seems like criticism gets more of the spotlight than compliments. In reality, compliments should be dominating the life-stage.

We’ve become people that forgot how to say nice things. When was the last time you complimented your friend or significant other? Personally, it has been three days and that’s a long time to hold nice comments in.

Make it a daily habit, or instead, a challenge, to compliment someone you care about. Solidify it into your daily routine and don’t feel completely fulfilled until you’ve made someone’s day through your words.

Say something meaningful and unique to make each compliment really matter. Make the person in your life feel like there is no one else deserving of those words in that very moment. True compliments arise from love and adoration.

This is the hardest step of the three because it requires both of the above steps. You need to be present to recognize the little quirks and you need to be able to appreciate that person for who they are.

These methods will change and impact your relationships in a very significant way. They are simple and just require a little presence, appreciation, and daily kind words.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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72 thoughts on “Three Keys To Improving ANY Relationship

  1. Thanks for posting this; definitely great advice.

    On the topic of appreciation, I’ve found that a great source of the things I try to learn to appreciate about a partner is the things that are *different* about them. Most of the guys I’ve dated have had key differences to me, mainly in the way they viewed and dealt with the world. I used to see that as a problem. But now I see it as interesting, and a lesson I can perhaps learn from. Don’t they say that building furniture from two different types of wood makes it stronger? I’m sure that applies to relationships; significant others and business ones.

    Great advice, as ever, Leroy!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I completely agree with you! Appreciate the entire person, and appreciating them for being different is precisely important. The ‘opposites attract’ theory is a pretty functional theory. I think if people weren’t different in relationships, it might make for a boring one. Then again, there are lots of people that are similar and extremely compatible.

      I suppose, regardless of the situation, appreciate the person for just being a human is the most important takeaway!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely! I find it funny that in this hyper-connected world, where we can literally talk to anyone at any given time, we cannot spare the attention. What does that say about technology, or even more, people? I don’t know. What I do know is that, it’s time I spend less time dealing with my phone and more time dealing with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The mobile phone thing drives me nuts and it’s just plain rude, it would appear our attention spans only last whilst waiting for the phone to ring.

    Showing appreciation is important and is easy to reciprocate, I feel if you give love you get it back, and it’s a good habit to learn.

    Generally maintaining friendships /relationships takes a little work but the benefits are huge for both sides.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re completely right here. I think you have to give first to get second. If people can wrap their heads around that concept, maybe this world would be better? I’m just speculating, but I think if more people gave unhindered, it might get rid of the ‘take’ mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is very difficult to bring about the “give” mentality in people. I know so many people who wait for others to take the first step. That is completely wrong. I always believe giving and openly talking through things really help.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right! I firmly believe the same. In order to recieve, you must give first.

        If you want friends, be a friend to someone first. If you want love, love someone else first. I love your comment!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your writing has truly evolved for the better, Leroy! I loved the way you concluded this article. It brought everything together wonderfully.

    I appreciate the heck outta you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ugh, thank you Rayven. Whenever I see your comments, it truly puts a little ba-boom in my heart.

      I appreciate you for everything you are, stand for, and everything you feel, think and say. I appreciate you as a human being, as a friend, and most importantly as a fellow awesome human sharing this (and my) world.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another thing is remembering significant moments in that person’s individual life and recalling them the next time you speak. A classic example is something as simple as remembering their child had a ball game last weekend … “Hey how’d s/he do? Did the team win?” In a business aspect, I have found that remember these small details will really help grow your relationships and keep them lasting for a long time.

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    1. Completely true! All to often we forget these little past moments. But you’re right, with a little conscious attention, we bring up these seemingly ‘insignificant’ moments with others and they strengthen and improve the relationship. But these moments are very very significant to the person that experienced it!

      As you said, “The child and the ball game.” To you, it may mean nothing, but to the father of that child it means a lot. IF you bring that up, it shows your attention and that transfer to a closer bond. Suddenly, that person realizes that you were listening, you did find value in his word and his sons’ experiences!

      Like

    1. It’s very true. If people really paid attention to some of these things, I think any it would improve any relationship. Even if the relationship is amazing, even just a little of each (or one) of these will overfill the ‘cup of happiness’ in relationships.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s great advice. I have tried to do the same over the years but sometimes you get so caught up in work that you forget to give that appreciation to your significant other. As far as the phone goes it gets shut off or left behind when spending quality time with my fiance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s very true. I personally love habits and routines, but in relationships they seem to slowly eat away at it. But you can have a routine and a very very satisfying relationship. I think through these techniques, anyone can have a fulfilling relationship.

      I can completely appreciate that about you! It’s great that your quality time is actual QUALITY.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! You are nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!
    There are rules to follow to accept this award:
    Show the award on your blog.
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  7. That’s so true. As for me, I am rarely on the receiving end when it comes to appreciation or compliments but when i do get one, it’s usually a long and heartfelt message which makes me feel happy. And as for me, i’ll always, always make an effort to give compliments (in a form of an encouragement) to the people around me. Coming from a family that barely expresses love to one another makes me feel awkward to feel loved.

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    1. That’s really upsetting, and unfortunately, that is the reality that most people lead. I am very happy that you do not lead the same way. I’m incredibly glad to see that you’re different and you give frequent compliments. You’re being part of the change, instead of the problem. The world is somewhat cruel to most, but if more people like you were present, that gives me tremendous hope.

      One day, you will give someone a compliment so significant that you will change their way of thinking, and THEY will start giving out compliments. The effect snowballs. I implore you, don’t feel awkward, and express more love!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it takes learning. I think it just takes breaking habits. OR even, just simply putting away your phone. Aside from everything, clutching to a phone is the single most powerful distractor!

      Like

  8. Thanks for reminding me: you cannot “pick up on peoples’ non-verbal cues or feelings and completely understand the other person unless you’re completely present”. My husband deserves better! 😉
    And, about #3: Criticism is truly a relationship killer. I like to “try turning a complaint into a request”. What do you think?

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    1. No problem! I’m glad you found some value in this post!

      A request is much stronger than a compliant. Speaking personally, I try to refrain from requests. I don’t like asking people for anything. It isn’t in my nature. Instead, I approach the person with an open-heart and ask, “How can I improve?” Is there anything that I am failing in? For me, a request is too forward. Sometimes, in order to build a stronger relationship, the change must come from within yourself.

      Thoughts?

      Like

  9. Thank you for sharing such an important post. I am finding that in society, there is a general sense of it is all about “me” and “what’s in it for me”. Reaching out and building up and encouraging others, with no strings attached is something we all (myself 1st and foremost) need to improve on. Our world becomes such a better place when we do that.
    GREAT POST! 🙂
    ~Carl~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely right! You have to reach out and impact someone else first. The ‘me’ mentality is the dominant, but it can be changed. Don’t even worry about changing others, just worry about fixing yourself first (which. ironically, is the ‘me’ mentality reversed?)

      But yes, be there for someone first, and they will be there for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Little movements towards the end goal. You know, most people will tackle the entire problem head on, get very gung-ho and burn out shortly after. I suggest little steps to change your habits. Just aim to improve 1% each day. That’s doable right? 1% is barely anything. But at the end of that year, you’ll have improved 365%! Now that’s significant!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah im starting to realise the notion of ‘psce yourself’ to be really effective. Ill certainly take all this on board and organsie and manage my growth around a small percentage each day will turn into great result in the future
        Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Really good advice! I find it really difficult to open up and because of that I have very few friends. I feel very insecure. My guy best friend is usually busy on his phone or with his other friends most of the time. It makes me feel that I am a boring person when he is busy on phone or talking to friends he meets when we are together. From my side though…I pretend to listen to him. I am usually worrying about how to reply to what he is saying rather than listening to him. That is really wrong and one more mistake which I make (which you have just pointed out) I rarely compliment. That is something I am going to do more often from now on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a father of three girls, I realize how much what I model for my kids teaches them. More than what I say, for sure. If I can show them how to value relationships, they’ll at least know what it looks like.

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    1. You’re right! I don’t have children yet, but I can imagine the amount of work it must be to cultivate healthy, responsible relationships. All too often, young women are raised to believe their submissive positions in society. Their raised to believe that a man is dominant and is able to, in a small degree, be absent-minded in the relationship. Whereas in reality, this is terrible.

      I’m sure you’re doing a great job raising your three girls! I get that sense, just from your words in this comment. You have a conscious idea of what it takes to raise your children, so I don’t doubt your abilities for a second!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. “Midway through, her phone rang and she was on it for 15 minutes, as I stared in dismay. After her social call, she couldn’t let go of her phone, constantly texting or fiddling.” Oh no she didn’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SHE TOTALLY DID. But oh well. I didn’t allow it to bother me. It’s something that she has to deal with. If she continues to conduct that kind of behaviour in her other relationships, I wonder how understanding or empathetic others will be towards her.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! This is something that happens to everyone equally. It’s a problem that occurs across all ages, but it’s something so simple to change and improve. Especially when it comes to sensitive like children!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great article and a lot of excellent points. i have ruined plenty of relationships and excelled in others. The two most important things to know is when to move on and keep it simple. Whether it is Business or pleasure. The second things is that appreciation and pleasing are two differnt things. You can appreciate while being yourself however pleasing leads to you losing yourself and the respect of the other party.

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  14. Great suggestions and the first person to practice on is yourself. You cannot give what you don’t have. Love yourself this way and your heart will open and you will naturally want to truly be with others.

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      1. A great book I read on this topic is ‘How to be an adult in relationships’ by David Richo. He talks about the 5 A’s of a healthy relationship: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection and Allowing. Great read.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds great! I’m always looking for new books to read! Thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ll definitely check it out and if you have any more, I’m gladly open to them!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Just reading the post and comments an insight struck me. There is an aspect of our existence that recognises that we are all connected on a deep level; call it the inner-being, awareness, presence, Buddha within etc. It’s this that yearns to be given free acceptance; however, we all grow up being a unique expression, as different as the flowers in the field. It’s the acceptance of our differences that frees up the universal. It’s a paradox that eludes most humans because we are conditioned to only look on the surface, seldom beyond. All we see is difference, not the Devine within.

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    1. This comment is beautiful. I was captivated by your words and imagery. I completely agree with everything your saying here. I think very similar. We are all connected. We are all share commonalities and traits. Although, somewhere along the lines we were divided. But if more people had a similar thought pattern like yours, I know there is still hope for acceptance and love. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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