Starting off any relationship can be tough, whether it’s with a new coworker, romantic partner, or friend. However, it’s important to approach each relationship with an open mind and focus on keeping it real. What do I mean by real? Let’s dive into the concept of building relationships and the principles behind it.
First, let’s take a look at this image:
You might be wondering how keeping it real ties into building relationships. Well, authenticity is key in any relationship. If you’re not being genuine, the other person will likely pick up on that. With that said, being real isn’t just about being true to yourself; it’s also about being honest with the other person.
When you meet someone new, it’s easy to put up a facade. You might pretend to be interested in something just because the other person is, or you may exaggerate your accomplishments to impress them. While this might seem harmless at first, it can erode the trust in the relationship later on.
Instead, try to be open and honest from the get-go. Don’t be afraid to share your interests or your true feelings about something. This will lead to a more genuine connection between the two of you.
Another important aspect of building relationships is empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective. This will help you better understand them and their actions. It’s easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and feelings, but taking the time to empathize with someone else can go a long way.
Keeping it R.E.A.L.
So, what exactly does R.E.A.L. stand for? Let’s break it down:
Respect: Treat the other person with respect. This means listening to them when they speak and not interrupting. It also means being mindful of their feelings and not saying or doing anything that might cause harm.
Empathy: As mentioned earlier, empathy is key in any relationship. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective.
Authenticity: Be genuine in your interactions with others. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, and don’t try to impress them with exaggerated stories or accomplishments.
Listening: Communication is a two-way street. Make sure you’re actively listening to the other person and not just waiting for your turn to speak.
Breaking Down R.E.A.L.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these principles:
Respect: Showing respect is crucial in any relationship. It’s important to listen to the other person without interrupting them. Interrupting someone can make them feel like their thoughts or feelings are invalid, and this can damage the relationship. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of their feelings. Avoid saying or doing anything that might cause harm or offense.
Empathy: Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you better understand their perspective. It can be difficult to empathize with someone if you’ve never been in their shoes, but trying to see things from their perspective can go a long way. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say or do, but it does mean you should try to understand where they’re coming from.
Authenticity: Being genuine is key in any relationship. If you’re not being true to yourself, the other person will likely pick up on that. Additionally, exaggerating your accomplishments or pretending to be interested in something just to impress someone can erode the trust in the relationship later on.
Listening: Communication is a two-way street. It’s important to actively listen to the other person. This means not just waiting for your turn to speak, but really listening to what they have to say. It can be helpful to rephrase what they said in your own words to ensure you understand their message.
Building a relationship is one thing, but maintaining it is another. Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy relationships:
Communication: Communication is key in any relationship. Make sure you’re keeping in touch with the other person and checking in on how they’re doing. It’s also important to communicate your own needs and feelings.
Compromise: Relationships require compromise. It’s important to come to a solution that works for both parties, even if it’s not exactly what each person had in mind. This can be a challenge, but compromising can strengthen the relationship in the long run.
Forgiveness: Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. When conflicts arise, it’s important to forgive and move on. Holding grudges will only damage the relationship further.
Respect: Respect is just as important in maintaining a relationship as it is in building one. Continue to treat the other person with respect and listen to their needs and feelings.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if I don’t feel like being authentic in a certain situation?
It can be tempting to put up a facade in certain situations, but it’s important to remember that authenticity is key in any relationship. If you’re not feeling authentic, try to take a step back and figure out why. Are you afraid of being judged? Are you uncomfortable with the other person? Understanding your own feelings can help you be more authentic in the future.
2. What if someone doesn’t respect me?
Respect is a two-way street. If someone is not respecting you, it’s important to address the issue head-on. Talk to the person about how you’re feeling and why their actions are concerning you. If the behavior continues, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.
3. How do I know if I’m being empathetic enough?
It can be difficult to determine if you’re being empathetic enough, but a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you’re truly understanding the other person’s perspective. Are you actively listening to them? Are you acknowledging their feelings, even if you don’t agree with them? If you’re unsure, it might be helpful to ask the other person if they feel heard and understood.
4. What if I’ve made a mistake in the relationship?
Mistakes are inevitable in any relationship. When you make a mistake, it’s important to acknowledge it and apologize. Take responsibility for your actions and try to make amends. If the other person is not willing to forgive, give them time and space. It may take time to rebuild the trust in the relationship.