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Most of us want to build a good relationship with our family, friends, or partner. Likewise, we want our efforts of building good relationships to be appreciated by the receiving person. Self-help author Tony Robbins said, “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” In other words, you may have a different understanding about the way things should be than that of the person you’re building a relationship with. You should take this in consideration as the relationship develops.

Good relationships with others offer understanding when you fail, compassion when you are hurting, confidence when you are in doubt, and celebration as you go through life. Remember when you are in a relationship always speak to someone as you would want them to speak to you. Do not speak as though you are a know-it-all scholar. Albert Einstein said, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

When it comes to building good relationships, you must be proactive and you must choose your words carefully to convey your intent otherwise the receiver may not interpret it in the way you intended. Communicate to your partner with mutual respect and express your views in a way that makes them feel. Communication that inspires and encourages is always more effective than demanding language. This calls for knowing who you are as a person, and what you want from the relationship.

While it seems counterintuitive to focus on who you are individually versus who the two of you are as a couple, the whole is only as strong as the parts. Great relationships are based on each party being truthful and up-front about their real needs, desires, feelings, and values. Lasting relationships must begin with truthfulness or they will end in regrettable catastrophic failure.

While as a couple you must make decisions together, decisions about who you are as a person and what you want your life to be are yours alone to make. Allowing someone else to make those decisions for you is a mistake. When you let someone else decide who you are and what you want, you give away the power that God gave you.

Remember this, when you have a decision to make, doing nothing is not a decision. Sitting back and pretending not to see a crucial communication issue is not a decision nor is procrastinating until something happens and then you forced to make a decision. Sometimes you have to accept unchangeable circumstances and that a loved one may disagree with you on a critical matter.  But you can always choose how you react, respond and above all else allow God to speak to your heart. Have faith in God and he will lead you to build good relationships and Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten