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How to build better relationships

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There are times when our friends need us, more than usual. I took this photograph outside a medical centre. I’d taken a friend to see a doctor. That is one occasion when we need to be more attentive to the needs of our friends. We have to listen, observe and show we care.

The key to building better relationships is communication. We have to listen and observe to understand our friends needs. People need support in many different situations. They need to know that they can rely on other people.

Good manners is about following a social etiquette, so people know what to expect of one another. If you have good manners, you tend to be polite and helpful. That helps to build better relationships;  you earn respect by behaving in an acceptable and predictable way.

We all want to be liked and we all want to be respected and have our wishes respected as people. If we don’t respect others and show it will words, gestures and deeds, we can’t expect the same from them. Being simply unselfish can build better relationships, but also being consistent helps too. You can be very individual, even eccentric and this might confuse people at first, but if you are consistent and well meaning then you will form better relationships.

There are different rules for different types of relationship. Business relationships can be a lot more formal, but you will still be much more successful if you put the needs of the other person first. You should be polite and follow etiquette. That might mean shaking hands or using greetings. The same applies when we say goodbye, we should observe convention. Staff training in many stores now includes phrases that staff can use to be polite and talk to customers. If staff are polite and say hello and ask how customers are, this gives the store a friendlier atmosphere. Staff should also be observant and ask if the customer needs assistance when they look hesitate for example.

The space between people is important. The phrase, “give me some space” is appropriate sometimes, because no one likes to be crowded. It is often impolite to stand too close to people or maintain eye contact for too long. Eye contact can be useful if you are being assertive, but it is often viewed as aggressive.

We’re not all alike and so you have to learn the differences when you first meet people. This is especially important, if the other person is from a different culture or even if they are a much different age. If you find their behaviour difficult to understand or accept, then you have to observe and listen to try to understand why they behave differently.

The closer the relationship, the more you must listen and observe. You then learn what is acceptable about your behaviour and what isn’t. When a close relationship is developing the boundaries change constantly. If you get too close or too familiar, too soon; that can be unacceptable.

I hope I have given you some food for thought today. There are more blogs to read on the home page.

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