How To Improve and Define Your Relationships

Dr. Purushothaman
January 22, 2014

Everyone has relationships with anyone they interact with, even briefly. It might be the clerk at the grocery store or the gas station attendant, or it might be your significant other. Have you ever given any significant thought to the type of relationships that you have with these people, or how to improve that relationship if it is not up to the level that you desire?
First of all, you need to determine how you appear to those people. Try to put yourself in their position and look at yourself in the environment where they would typically see you and interact with you. What type of person would they describe you to be? Would they think you are sour on life and always negative? Would they think you are full of life and energy and always upbeat? The image that you portray to them will speak volumes about the type of relationship you have with them.
More importantly, how is your relationship with the people in your life who are most important to you? If you have a spouse or significant other, the same rules and logic apply - how do you appear to them? Do they see you as typically grumpy, tired, and sour on life in general, or do they see you as the full of life, positive, and energetic person that attracted them to you in the first place? Has that relationship changed over the years? If so (and it almost certainly has over time), what steps are you taking to regain that positive outlook and mentality that got your love relationship off to a good start in the first place? If your answer to that question is "nothing", you unfortunately are not alone according to current studies, but at the same time, be aware that the particular relationship that we are talking about is not going to get better. In fact, chances are excellent that the relationship will, in all likelihood, continue to deteriorate.
On the other hand, you may be in relationships where you do not want to be. Are you in an abusive relationship? Again, studies indicate that an abusive relationship is much more common than most people think, where some estimates indicate that an abusive relationship exists in an astounding 1 in 8 marital or spousal relationships. Note that the word "abusive" does not necessarily mean physical abuse. If physical abuse is part of your relationship, you are encouraged to report it to your local police since that is not tolerated. But it is up to YOU to report it.
But the vast majority of abusive relationships do not include physical abuse. Rather, it is the emotional and mental abuse, which can be every bit as bad. Maybe that person takes every opportunity to cut you down or belittle you, whether in your home or out in public. Maybe that person has developed some habits that they have taken up for the primary reason that they know for a fact that it bothers you. Or maybe things have gotten to the point where the two of you cannot even calmly discuss something like the weather without the discussion digressing into a shouting match about some totally unrelated topic.
In a marital relationship, both parties share the responsibility equally for the welfare and continued health of that relationship. It cannot be done by only one partner, regardless of how badly that one partner may want a healthy relationship - it is a two way street. The pitfall that many couples fall into is that the responsibility for the health of the relationship is left primarily to one partner, and although that may work in the very short term, such an arrangement is doomed to inevitable failure.
Be aware that ANY relationship you have is a two way street. You and the other person share the responsibility of the health of that relationship, as well as any compromises that either of both of you need to make for the longevity of your relationship. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how important that relationship is to BOTH of you, not either one of you individually.
About the Author
Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about Relationships Advice at his web site at Relationship Types.

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