Building relationships is absolutely essential for a happy and fulfilling life. It is also essential if you ever hope to have a fulfilling marriage, good family relationships, and a lasting friendship – not to mention, winning someone to the Lord. Relationships are key to just about everything we are about and everything that we do.
You cannot live a fulfilling life without trusting relationships – relationships where you know you can be the real you and share anything and still find love and acceptance. Relationships with others who listen intently and understand; but more than that, care deeply and will walk with you through whatever – never judging but always accepting. Never threatening or demanding. You cannot live without people who truly know you and you know deep inside that they love you and are seriously and forever committed to you.
That is why you should always self-monitor, assess, and work to develop and refine the ways in which you engage with those around you. We are told that our ability to build bonds of truth and acceptance leading to mutually supportive relationships depends on a few primary people skills. I am amazed at how many people – especially Christians are having trouble with these skills. Why especially Christians? Because they are the ones with a personal love relationship with the Lord and so they should have these skills sharpened and working to maximum performance in their lives already.
These abilities include (test yourself to see if…):
1> Read other people’s emotions and mood and don’t focus solely on your’s
2> Listen attentively to what others say and how they say it without thinking about what you want to say in response or in reaction to what you are hearing. Just listen! Listen to understand and not just to respond.
3> Assess, comprehend, and react to nonverbal signals for others – they are always there if you care enough to look and notice
4> Navigate any social setting or gathering with a focus on everyone else and not needing to be (consciously or sub-consciously) the center of attention
5> Bond quickly with others by loving and accepting them as they are
6> Just be yourself – assuming “self” is examined on a regular basis and basically presentable
7> Practice tact and self-control and realize that the sun does not rise and set on your life and your issues.
8> Demonstrate that you really do care for others by being there for them without having to talk about you, your situation, a situation you went through similar to the one they are now working with, or trying to fix the issue when you were not asked to. Just listen and be there…
To build healthy relationships and master these people skills, you must place your own self-interests, concerns, and agendas on hold and dial in to those around you. It’s not about being the center of attention or the funniest person in the room; it’s about engaging with other people on their terms and making them comfortable enough to invite you into their lives.
Try it – you just might like it and even be amazed at the depth of healthy relationships you can achieve in a short period of time.