Top 50 things to improve relationships

Jon Strande posted a list of Top 50 things to improve relationships. I know I need to work on all of these.

1. Communication is the foundation of a solid relationship – that requires dialogue
2. Listen more
3. Listen more closely
4. Go out of your way to do something nice for the other person on a regular basis
5. Recognize that everyone has hardships that they’re dealing with
6. Get to know yourself – you can’t make others happy if you’re not happy
7. Find out what makes you really happy – and make sure that it really does
8. Take an interest in their interests
9. Smile more
10. Laugh more
11. Don’t wait for a special occasion to do something nice for somone
12. Don’t always use the same means to surprise someone – break up the routine! If you always send someone a card, send them flowers, then candy, then a book…
13. Ask them how their day is/was – and really listen to what they say
14. Be willing to try something new
15. Be willing to do something you don’t want to do
16. Live in the moment – be aware of what is going on
17. When you come across something cool, stop and think about who else might appreciate it
18. Ask them what their greatest accomplishment in life is
19. Ask them if there is anything that they would like to try or do, but haven’t done yet
20. Ask them what the biggest source of pain or discomfort in life is
21. The hardest thing in life is to walk a mile in someone elses shoes – but it is also the most worthwhile. Try it.
22. Don’t talk about yourself all the time – NO ONE wants to hear it
23. Don’t complain – NO ONE wants to hear it
24. Do what you say you are going to do
25. Be on time, every time
26. CORROLARY: don’t be late, it says: “I didn’t care enough to plan to be on time”
27. Be willing to do anything – even the crappy stuff
28. Lend a hand – it helps more than a voice
29. Don’t define your relationship by other things (kids, possessions, objects)
30. Live below your means – money is a crappy thing to argue about. You can awlays replace money, but replacing love/loyalty/trust is a much harder thing
31. Find out what is important to them and celebrate it
32. Recognize that people change: what is important to someone today, might not be important tomorrow, so always be on the lookout for what really matters to them
33. Go out of your way to do something nice
34. Never, ever lie
35. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how important they are to you
36. If you’re mad at someone, figure out if it is something they did, or if it is something inside you that is causing your anger
37. Find out what they expect from you
38. Tell them what you expect from them – and don’t get upset if they aren’t meeting your expectations if you haven’t clearly communicated them
39. Make sure that your expectations are realistic. Truly realistic.
40. Be willing to do for them everything you ask of them
41. Consider how your actions effect them
42. Choose your words carefully when you’re upset – you can never take them back
43. Debate is healthy – but recognize that as sure as you feel about something being right, they’re just as convinced of the opposite
44. It really is a combination of the little things AND the big things
45. Find out what is TRULY important to them, and focus on that
46. Remember that relationships are like bank accounts, you’re either making deposits or withdrawls
47. Recognize that sacrifice is not for the other, but rather sacrifice is for the unity of the relationship
48. There is no finish line, per-se. Relationships are journies that unfold in magnificent ways, if you allow them to
49. Listen twice as much as you talk (that is why we have two ears and one mouth, to remind us of that!)
50. Recognize the balance in the relationship – The chinese image of the TAO; yang & yin, light and dark – two halves make one whole: the more you take of the space, the less it leaves for the other.

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