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Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Helping others navigate this journey of Life!

A weekly blog from the Family & Consumer Sciences Department

6 Tips to Enhance Relationships

by Ashley Henderson - March 23, 2017

6 Tips to Enhance Relationships

1. Be present and participate—When engaged in conversation or otherwise hanging out with the people you love, be there with them. Focus on the moment rather than distractions such as mentally planning dinner or thinking about something that upset you earlier in the day.

2. Engage in active listening—Rather than listening in order to respond, listen to understand.

3. Offer thoughtful and tempered responses—When you respond, be thoughtful in your tone, use “I” statements to take ownership of your words, and, if criticism or guidance is warranted, offer it with compassion and loving intention.

4. Ask questions—People are not mind readers. If you need something from your partner, friend, parent, child, coworker, or whomever else you engage with on a daily basis, be sure to ask them. They won’t know what you need unless you ask.

5. Express appreciation and love—Everyone loves to be appreciated. No matter how much you appreciate those you love, they won’t know unless you tell them and show them frequently. Acknowledge their contributions. Offer a hug or other appropriate token of affection.

6. Maintain your own interests—It is easy to get so comfortable in a relationship that you forget to cultivate your own interests. Taking time for your own hobbies and friends often helps you recharge and appreciate your relationships even more. They also help you maintain your own identity outside of your relationships.