It is a good idea to take a quick look at the definition of interpersonal relationships. In short, an interpersonal relationship is a strong or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that can last from a brief time period to an ongoing one. This can extend from family to friends, to colleagues, to neighbours, or even strangers that you have just met.
It can be a relationship in any context or situation. Here are a few tips on how to build and ensure that your interpersonal relationships remain strong and everlasting!
1 Be open and a good listener
In any strong relationship, both parties need to possess the willingness to be open. This means the ability and desire to share what you are thinking and your feelings about different subjects. This will also show the other person that you care about the relationship and that you want to create a close connection by being truthful and receptive to his/her thoughts and feelings.
Think about some of the conversations you have had over the years. When speaking to someone who always seems to hold things close to the vest and shares very little information, it has surely appeared to be difficult to know what they are truly thinking or feeling. This creates a sense of distance from that person.
On the other hand, when you interact with someone who is open with how they feel and willing to share thoughts, ideas, and their feelings without you having to constantly probe, it feels like they care enough. This undeniably creates a much stronger bond.
After all, listening is half of all communications, a fact that people tend to forget! Showing that you are actively listening will help boost the other person’s self esteem because it shows that you truly care about what they are saying; that makes them feel important. It shows that you seek to understand and that it is important to you to know how he/she is feeling about something.
It’s like the silent form of flattery to the person you are interacting with. It makes them feel supported and probably most importantly, valued.
You can learn how to be a better listener in this guide: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)
2 Show empathy and be appreciative
One of the deepest human desires is to feel understood. When you show empathy towards someone else, you are showing that you care enough to understand how they feel. And that goes a really long way in maintaining strong relationships.
Remember to show empathy whenever the opportunity presents itself in your relationships. This helps all of us feel more supported, understood, and most importantly, connected.
Showing you are appreciative of another person in a relationship only makes the relationship stronger. We all like to feel appreciated and understood. When someone thanks you for something you did or said, it makes you feel good. You feel good because it is nice to know that your efforts not only make someone feel better or supported but also that they noticed it. And this will certainly help to maintain your strong interpersonal relationships.
3 Be respectful
It goes without saying that in order to help build and maintain strong relationships, you will need to be respectful — respectful of the other person’s time, opinion, feelings, and so on. This is vitally important in one on one relationships such as a marriage or close friendship.
It holds true in close relationships as well, that involve a group-type dynamic. If you are on a team at work, things will go so much better and the friendships will develop stronger if you are respectful to the others in the group. One of the biggest reasons, besides being the right thing to do, is you want others to be respectful to your time and opinions as well. It helps develop the sense of bonding and trust.
At the same time, this does not mean that you have to always agree with the other party. It is crucial to know that it is okay to disagree. We are all different and have different feelings and opinions. Strong relationships actually thrive on some disagreement and conflict.
The alternative is not speaking up when you disagree with something and stuffing it inside, which may result in resentment. And smoldering resentment will eventually explode in a way that’s not good for anyone.
Thus, having the ability to disagree with the other person fosters a much more open relationship where everyone feels comfortable sharing how they think and feel.
4 Be available
Giving your time is like giving a gift. Time is the one thing we all have, the same 24 hours a day. How you choose to spend that time says a lot and being available to someone shows that you value them enough to spend your time with them.
Giving of your time shows the other person that you care enough about them and the relationship to share your most valuable commodity. Being available to someone will do wonders for maintaining strong personal relationships.
Conclusion: How to build and maintain strong interpersonal relationships
Never forget how important having strong and close relationships are to leading a happy and fulfilling life. It’s far too easy to get caught up in our day to day actions of life and put relationships on the back burner. We hope this article can help you with building and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships! You can read more of our articles over here!