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How you can achieve good interpersonal relationships
There is no magic, no secret formula for sustaining good interpersonal relationships, but above all those intimate, close relationships, which are surely the ones that matter most to us.
There are elements that we can use in our relationships with our partners, friends and those with whom we live together to move forward; today I want to name some of those that I put into practice every day of my life and that have helped me a lot and have made my life happier and calmer.
Every relationship that flows, that adds value and makes us better is marked by trust. We definitely cannot build a healthy relationship with someone we are afraid of, with someone who has betrayed us or who speaks ill of us and is always trying to harm us. Therefore, the first thing we must do is to "Be trustworthy".
But today, in the midst of this turbulent world, who can be trustworthy? Well, in the end, it is the person who is sincere, consistent in what he says and does, and the person with whom you know where you stand.
Human beings are not perfect, we all have faults and make mistakes; I am not saying that we should have an angel of God as a friend, partner or companion, but what we can expect is to have a person we can trust, so we must be very clear about what we understand and what we want by friendship.
I've always thought that when someone gives you a lot of compliments, half of them are lies, there's no need to say my love, my life, my darling, how beautiful, how good, just to win my friendship, the only thing I'd really like is for them to be trustworthy and nothing more.
An experience of true love, of sincere affection is marked by the truth, it is something I understand and accept, but what if you have to criticize me, because I would like you to look me in the eyes and in an assertive way to tell me what you think of me. It is not right for you to speak ill of the people you say you love when they are not there and even less so if they have reached out to you on so many occasions without expecting anything in return.
The second characteristic to be a good friend is to have the ability to listen to another, it is important to give real and quality time to that person that you always say is important to you, it does not need to be a thousand hours, or be stuck at home or in their spaces all day, but if we have a coffee, a drink or a meal it is good to pay attention to that person and listen to them. How nice it is to share with someone just for the pleasure of being with and feeling that person dear to us.
So how can I say that someone is important to me if I am not sincere and cannot open my heart, if I never have time to listen, if I never let them express what they are feeling.
So if you are or want to be a good friend, make time, be a good listener, be attentive. Nowadays there are very bad relationships between couples, between parents and children because there is no capacity to listen, they are all immersed in laptops, smartphones, netflix; so if you don't have time to dedicate to the other person how are we going to build a healthy relationship.
Now I want to focus on another point that is very important to me and I have practiced it all my life, healthy relationships are based on solidarity, but unhealthy relationships are marked by competition and selfishness. A person will never have a good relationship with someone if he or she is envious. If we generate a friendship based on comparison and selfishness, it will never flow and it will never be healthy for either party.
So solidarity implies that you do well in life, because that makes me feel good and makes me happy. There is something I have always thought and I have taught it to my children, I cannot sit down to eat something delicious knowing that my neighbour has nothing to eat, I cannot go to sleep knowing that someone next door is sick, so for them I do whatever I can to give that person peace and tranquillity, even if only for a brief moment.
Be supportive, show that you are a person who is willing to lend a hand when they really need it, whoever it may be, as they say in my village "Do good, without looking at who".
Being supportive often involves sacrifices, being supportive is to celebrate when your friends have triumphs, but you are also supportive when you support in times of difficulty, pain, need.
Many times friendship does not only go this far, it goes beyond affection, that is to say, a friendship becomes stronger when we share a spiritual experience, no matter if we do not have the same religion. Here I want to mention my friend Petra (RIP), who was Mormon and I was Catholic, but we never disrespected or criticised each other for that. That was a good friendship, the best I have ever had in my life. Without being of the same religion we shared moments with God, moments of faith, moments of love.
Please, be supportive, be trustworthy, give quality time and share those spiritual experiences, those that are not about pleasure, money or material things, but that fill you with fullness and happiness.