“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
– Audrey Hepburn
The art of life and of taking responsibility for one’s own relationships overwhelms me day by day. We have the FULL power to be in charge of our own movie, which is called life. Think about it for a second.
It’s incredible how much we can learn about ourselves through others and how much we can influence all of our relationships in daily life. Sometimes people suck, that’s normal. But mostly, it’s not them, but us being all of what we want to see in others.
To me, talking to new people, means always adapting to them to a certain degree. Normally, we want others to like us and mostly we are happy to like them back. And actually we can apply a few tricks to raise the chances to like somebody and to be liked back.
I believe, that there are practices to better relationships and when applied – “miracles” start to happen. I believe that living is an art as much as building relationships. It doesn’t matter if it’s your boss, your friend, your mom or your husband – we are human beings and function similar. Here’s what helped me to strengthen my existent relationships and to build amazing new ones.
If I go out of my house with an attitude of not believing that I can meet some amazing people, well, it actually never happens. Instead, if I have a great mood, feeling very good about myself, smile at strangers and am open to new, different people, I always meet somebody cool in the most unexpected places. I met amazing business women, wise kids to learn from, interesting, creative couples, artists, etc. Amazing people with a great story, they desire to tell, seem to be everywhere. When I’m looking at strangers, give them a smile or a spontaneous compliment – they want to talk to me and come over. And we can learn amazing things from each other. It’s as easy as it is. Just communicating with each other either verbally or physically by a smile, a kind word, a glance, even a random small talk. I consciously made a deal with myself to look for good qualities in people first, but also to accept if I don’t feel a connection with somebody.
The easiest and fastest way to connect with somebody is through compassion. We often judge people, but have no single idea, what they’re going through. It’s okay not to think about everyones problems, but we should keep in mind, that everybody struggles too (just like we do). Everybody had a broken heart, has some personal or professional problems, a fight with a parent or partner. Sometimes we just don’t feel well physically or mentally. Showing compassion and holding the space in the moments, when people are fragile (they may seem unfriendly or angry, but they are in a survival fight) is a big art of life and people melt away, if we jump over our ego and show empathy, when it’s needed the most.
The more open I talk to somebody, the more open they become. Especially by talking about our struggles, fears or failures, we give others the “permission” to be themselves, also as flawed as we are. The burden of impressing somebody falls from our shoulders and the chance to have an amazing talk from soul to soul increases drastically. I’m constantly telling people, what I’m going through and they encourage me by revealing their own stories, which touch me and just like that, we’re having this amazing humane connection based on compassion, support and love. Making ourselves vulnerable, if it comes from within of course, is a joker in life, work and all kinds of relationships.
If I see something what I like in a person – I say so. So if I like somebody I say: “I like you so much”. If I find somebody beautiful, charming, talented or funny, I say: “You’re so talented / …”. I’m not thinking about “Oh, no, what if he/she misunderstands me?”. We suppress so much throughout life – I dare to make flattering compliment if I “fall in love” with someone’s soul, be it a woman, a man or a bird.
I find that giving a compliment is easier than receiving. Especially, when someone I like wants to give me some nice words. I often struggled with accepting a compliment and immediately tried to joke it away. Now mostly, doesn’t matter how hard it is, I say “thank you” and that’s it. By not accepting an compliment we’re putting ourselves down and questioning the opinion of somebody else. A lose-lose situation. Sometimes, we just should accept our greatness and consider that people might look up to us and love what we do, who we are and how we appear.
I love to talk about my experiences, my philosophy and myself in general. So does everybody else. Everybody tries to track the talk back to him-/herself. We rarely listen without giving out advise, based on OUR experience (which doesn’t mean it’s good for anybody else in this world). We rarely give people the chance to talk and support them in their journey by asking the right questions. I struggle with this one very much, but still give my best to be a good listener.
Being present means giving the other person 100% of what we can give: an open ear, a hug, eye contact, advise if needed, support, a funny story or whatever. There is no space for judgment in the moment, because the moment is as it is. Judgment arises because we have a different view, we’re pissed of or because we can’t accept the other person. If we are present in the moment, we just take everything as it is. Judging is easy, but questioning why the person thinks this way, what this person had to go or goes through and being sensitive, how we make the person feel – that is art of life.
If other people feel that we are present, that we don’t rush and we listen – they naturally will want to be around us and become calmer. We rush life all the time and sometimes it’s just amazing to say, that we have all the time in the world (and we actually really do).
My high-aimed starting point in every new or existing relationship is the question: how do I want to feel? And this is exactly how I choose to treat people. There are people, who are just not our energy and it’s ok. But people who trigger something in us, either good or bad, those people are our teachers, our mirrors, our gifts. With those people we can “practice ourselves” (I look at most unpleasant encounters as a training for myself, my reactions, my behavior) and see how huge our power is. We like people, who make us feel good about ourselves. So that is the golden rule for building relationships. Creating the space for each other to be the best we can be.
We can improve our relationships in that moment, in which we decide to be our highest possible self. Being kind, giving, encouraging, loving, tender, supportive and judgment-free is definitely the new cool.
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