7 Ways to Improve Your Relationships in the New Year

Out here on the Funny Farm we’ve been planning for the new year for about a year. We’ve been setting, expanding, and working on goals every month. Our schedules run so far ahead that it’s not as though suddenly 2019 strikes us as a surprise. In our busy lives, we have to remember that relationships are important for all of our goals or resolutions.

In this age of technology, I’m happy to live a country way of life that my parents, aunts, uncles and godparents and friends taught me. I feel blessed that you’re following me and I can share a bit of it with you. Technology has brought people together in a roundabout way, yet in another, it has torn people apart. We spend time locked in on our devices, checking and rechecking, and scrolling and tapping on family’s, friend’s, and stranger’s posts. Let’s remember that country way of living by sharing our lives with others.

While technology may build some sort of report, what are we doing in the relationships that are right before us — in real life? How are things with your family, friends, and colleagues? How can you improve those relationships?

8 Things to Improve Your Relationships

  1. Listen – How many times have you attempted to engage in a conversation only to see that your counterpart’s eyes are glazed over? Have you ever spoken about an experience, challenge, or idea only to have the other person(s) cut you off to tell you their thoughts or stories? Conversations aren’t always about you. Learn to listen.
  2. Be Curious – Do you know it all? My bet is that you don’t. If you’re a good listener your curiosity should become aroused. Start asking questions and be interested in others. You’d be surprised what you could learn about them. Your interest in other people makes them feel better. Your listening and questioning will save you money since you’ll know the gifts that they actually want.
  3. Communicate – Listening and asking questions is a start to good communication. As you practice these skills, you need to learn when it’s appropriate to interject your ideas and opinions. Check your emotions and learn what works best; Communications strategies will vary with each individual. The challenge is being diverse in each conversation.
  4. Be Respectful – The number one relationship mistake I witness people making is neglecting qualities one, two and three (listed above), followed by digging in their heals and fighting to be right. Children are to respect adults and adults need to reciprocate. We are all entitled to our opinions and shouldn’t decide to cut others off if they don’t see things the way we do. Respect the views of others.
  5. Remember Your Manners – One of the best places to visit with family, friends, and colleagues is around the table. There are books you can buy if you didn’t have a mentor to teach you good etiquette (try THIS FOR LADIES or THIS FOR GENTLEMEN). Manners are imperative is at the table, and it’s a great place to enjoy good fellowship; Don’t ruin it. If you’re shoveling food into your mouth, talking with a mouth full of food, or other forgetting to clasp your hands and bow your head in prayer (whether you believe in God or not), others may likely wish you weren’t there and fear to engage in conversation because they don’t know what other atrocious actions you’ll display. NEVER stuff your napkin in someone’s face whether in jest or not. — NEVER!
  6. Be Present – This point refers back to number one, above. If you are present, you’ll know what is happening, what protocol the host is calling for, or what you’re guests may need. Put down your device, come back from day-dream land and work on the steps listed above.
  7. Value – Count your blessings and value the people you have in your life. If you forget to follow tips one thru six, you just may not have them around.
  8. Be a Gift – Be someone who is remembered with a smile, not just after life but here and now. This year, I challenge you to learn how you can be a blessing to others — Not in the ways you think are great, but in ways that they will love too.

Cheers, friends. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I wish you many blessings in each day and in the coming year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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