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Navigating Relationships

A great relationship is about two things – first, appreciating the difference and second, about respecting the differences!

- Invajy

Navigating relationships can be one of the most challenging aspects of life. Whether a romantic relationship, a friendship, or family relations, business connections, all relationships require work, communication, and understanding.

Friendships are an important part of life. They provide support, companionship, and a sense of belonging. Navigating friendships can be challenging at times, but with a little effort and understanding, you can build strong, healthy relationships that last a lifetime. Likewise, a parent-child relationship is one of the most important and influential relationships in a person's life. It is the foundation of a child's emotional and social development and shapes their future relationships. Navigating this relationship can be challenging, but with patience, understanding, and effective communication, it is possible to build a strong, healthy bond with your child. In business, relationships are everything. Whether you are working with colleagues, customers, suppliers, or partners, building strong, healthy relationships is essential for success. With effective communication, mutual respect, and a focus on mutual benefit, it is possible to build relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved. Lastly, relationships born out of love are the ones that dictate majority of our happiness and sorrows for the remainder of our lives and thereby need to be dealt with most tenderly, almost as if they are fragile – they need all the nourishment, support and encouragement to flourish, strengthen and grow deeper!

Complications arise when we let internalities and externalities tamper our systems. Internally, whether in the form of ego, arrogance and attitude issues coming into the fray, with no mood to compromise or understand other perspectives, which lead to a lot of heartburn, friction and open doors to upsets, unhappiness and turmoil. Externally, these complications are born out of rumours, vicious cycles of jealousy, insecurity, comparisons, or just behavioural mismatches which don’t sit too well and new relationship arrangements or conventional set-ups in our society whether in the form of post-marriage compulsive relationships, Mentor-Mentee arrangements or simply sharing an apartment with strangers. Born of intrinsic or extrinsic sources, these issues make the going extremely painstaking!

Without really segregating them into the relationship types that they could help improve, just putting out these ways/tips/tricks/suggestions/hacks/principles, call it as you may, from experience, observations, conversations, reading and just some deep thinking. Hope at least some of them hit the mark and help fix whichever gap there may be in any of your interpersonal relationships:

Communication is key: Communication is the foundation of any strong relationship. It's important to be open and honest with the people in your life, to express your needs, feelings, and concerns. Active listening is crucial - make sure you are giving the other person your full attention when they are speaking to you and asking questions to clarify your understanding of their perspective. Active listening is an essential part of effective communication. It means giving your child your full attention when they are speaking to you and making an effort to understand their perspective. This helps to build trust and strengthen your relationship. The last element to this is feedback. Feedback is essential for growth and improvement. Be open to constructive feedback and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. This helps to build trust and respect.

Practice empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. By putting yourself in the other person's shoes, you can gain a deeper understanding of their perspective and build stronger connections. When you show empathy, you demonstrate that you care about the other person's feelings and experiences. This means being there for your friends when they need you and offering a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. Having said that, taking care of yourself is essential for building strong relationships. This means making time for activities that you enjoy, setting aside time for rest and relaxation, and focusing on your physical and mental health. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to show up as your best self in your relationships with others.

Set boundaries: Boundaries are essential for healthy relationships. They help to establish expectations and prevent misunderstandings. Make sure you communicate your boundaries clearly and respect the boundaries of others. Boundaries can be physical, emotional, or time-related. Mutual respect is the foundation of any strong relationship. Treat others with respect and professionalism and show appreciation for their contributions. This creates a positive and productive work environment.

Accept imperfections: No one is perfect, and it's important to accept and embrace the imperfections of others. This means being patient, forgiving, and understanding when mistakes are made or when things don't go as planned. Remember that relationships are not about finding someone who is perfect, but about finding someone who is willing to grow and learn with you. As a natural progression to this, forgiveness is an essential part of any healthy relationship. No one is perfect, and mistakes will be made. It's important to be willing to forgive when others make mistakes, and to be willing to apologize when you make mistakes.

Practice reciprocity: In Relationships, it is important to give as well as receive. Make an effort to be there for others when they need you and offer your support and encouragement. It's important to focus on mutual benefit, to make sure you are clear about what you can offer and what you need and look for opportunities to create win-win situations. This helps to build trust and strengthens the relationship.

In a world of freebies all-around, here are a few other ways to build, improve and sustain relationships of any kind:

Be authentic: Authenticity is key to building strong, healthy friendships. Be true to yourself and let your friends see the real you. This means being honest about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Additionally, reliability and dependability are important in any relationship. Make sure you follow through on your commitments and meet your obligations. This creates a sense of trust and reliability that is essential for success.

Share common interests: Shared interests can help to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. Look for common interests and activities that you and your friends enjoy and make time to do them together.

Maintain a positive attitude: A positive attitude can go a long way in building and maintaining business relationships. Be optimistic, supportive, and enthusiastic, and look for opportunities to build others up. This helps to create a positive and productive work environment.

Remember that relationships are a two-way street, and it's important to put in the work and effort to build strong connections that last a lifetime. Majority of relationships end when people stop putting in the same amount and type of effort the used to put in when they tried to win you over. This also drives home another point, that consistency and uniformity, while they come across as not very exciting and maybe even borderline boring virtues, are actually the cornerstones or pillars on whom any relationship stands, alongside trust, empathy and acceptance.

As with my previous blogs’ signoffs, even more apt in this one – Be Kind. Period. You have absolutely no idea about the battles the person opposite you is fighting with their friends, with their own family, with the society, at the playground, at their workplace or the worst one – the one in their own minds. Empathy, love, consideration, support, care, forgiveness and another dozen such principles are born out of one underlying quality and that is kindness! Be well, be kind and navigate relationships in a manner that the choppy tides you face, over time become calm, serene waters!

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