Relationship Rules

The state of our relationships can often be used as an effective barometer for the state of our lives as a whole. Unsatisfactory relationships can lead to stress, unhappiness and tension, by the same token satisfactory relationships can positively impact our lives tremendously. 

The following simple rules can have a positive impact on all our relationships, be they familial, professional, romantic or platonic.

1. We teach others how to treat us.

For example, if we feel we are being treated in a way we don't like, yet say or do nothing to raise this issue, we are teaching those around us to continue treating us in the same way. Imagine you need a friend to water your plants whilst you are on holiday, you may well know which of your friends would help and which will refuse, and you will ask for the favour accordingly. These friends have taught you how to treat them.

It could be useful to think about how you may have taught people to treat you.

2. You cannot change them, but you can change how you relate to them.

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make other people change simply by wishing for it, or by using tactics such as blaming, blackmailing or making threats. These approaches tend to lead to people feeling manipulated and uncared for and may damage rather than improve relations.
People only really change in a meaningful way if they WANT to. The only person you have control over is yourself. If you want to see a change in your relationship, you have to start with your input into the relationship. This is not because you are in any way to blame for any difficulties you may be experiencing  but simply because you are the only person you can change!

What do you think you could do differently in your relationships that would have a positive impact?

I do hope that bearing these simple rules in mind can improve the relationships that are important to you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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