Relationship is an art. The dream that two create is more difficult to master than one.
To keep the two of you happy, you must keep your half perfect.
- Don Miguel Ruliz,
The Mastery of Love
It’s very important that you’re fulfilled in your relationships, but each one is about give and take. If you’re trying to improve a relationship with a friend or other loved one, and you know it needs a bit of work to get things back on track, you would most likely set aside time to talk with them about what’s going on. Keeping the lines of communication open is a key to any successful relationship – and the same must be true of your relationship with yourself.
Here are a couple things to keep in mind when thinking about improved communication in your (very important!) relationship with yourself:
Accept & Forgive
No relationship is perfect. You’re bound to do things and say things that actively work against the goal of improving your relationship with yourself. It's tempting to dwell on our flaws and missteps, but doing so only harms this relationship. In order to improve it, you must accept yourself as you are, which means accepting that you are flawed and being willing to forgive yourself for your imperfections. Acknowledge your mistakes, take steps to learn from them, and then forgive yourself. Not one of us is perfect and that's ok.
Respect & Consider Yourself
It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone without respecting them. This also applies to your relationship with yourself. First and foremost, you must respect yourself. It's easy to say you respect yourself, but do you really? Think about it. How do you treat yourself? How do you talk about yourself? How do you think about yourself? These things matter.
Along with respect comes consideration. Consider yourself, your well-being, your feelings, and your desires when you’re making choices in your life. Consideration is important in any relationship, so don’t leave it out when it comes to yourself.
When these things become difficult, remind yourself of how important you are, how important it is to have a good relationship with yourself, and do not give up. The more you can improve this relationship, the more this will bleed into improved relationship with others. The various relationships in our lives are intricately woven together, and each of them is tied to one very important element: you. So put yourself first.
As an exercise, to get this relationship moving along, try ask these questions:
- What exactly is my definition of a relationship and where does that idea come from?
- What makes me feel happy? Or unhappy?
- What do I want from my life? Am I getting it?
- What actions do I take to make myself feel good — or feel bad?
- What bad habits or patterns get in the way of my happiness?
- What positive or negative words do I use to describe myself?
- What do I love most about myself? Why?