Personal Development Part 1 of 5: Building Better Relationships

Hi Guys, Happy Monday! This will be the first of a four-part series on what steps I am taking on my journey to find complete balance in my life. In my intro video, I discussed the steps I am taking to balance my life and grow personally, professionally, spiritually and physically.

I’m going to touch quickly on the first aspect, which is Personal development. I am a real believer that to grow personally your need to make sure that all your personal relationships are fulfilling. I have been majorly guilty of being selfish in my personal relationships. I have fought, argued, degraded, disrespected, showed no compassion and had truly only thought about my emotions within my relationships. No, I’m not just talking about romantic relationships, but I am also talking about relationships with friends, with parents, with siblings, with the stranger on the street, with your local barista, with the mailman or anyone else that you encounter in your life.

I have discovered on my journey so far that four things make relationships truly fulfilling. Happiness, Compassion, Understanding and Respect.

Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.
-Dale Carnegie

First and foremost I sincerely believe happiness to be a driving force in relationships. You should focus on your as well as the happiness of others around you. Now, please do not mistake this for me telling you to be a people pleaser, people pleasing leads to a temporary form of happiness for others and very little satisfaction for yourself. The happiness I’m talking about is mutual happiness with the person or persons who are involved in your relationship. Focusing on the significant aspects of yourself and the other person is an excellent place to start. Continually focusing on your negatives as well as other peoples only leads to issues. I know it is a tough thing to let go of the negative and focus on the positive, but if you can do this, I guarantee you will gradually see a change.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
-Matthew 9:36

Compassion and understanding is something I have genuinely struggled with for quite a while and is still something I still struggle with. They are such fierce emotions to harness, especially when we all have our struggles. Our problems can make us blind towards the struggles of others, even a minute problem in our own life can drive us to entirely ignore someone who is genuinely suffering. This is a work in progress for myself, but I’m slowly learning to put my small problems aside if someone I know and care about is in need. I return I have noticed that for the most, the people around me are also more compassionate and understanding to my struggles.

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
― Albert Einstein

Respect, ah the granddaddy of relationship rules. What is a relationship without respect? Pretty much non-existent. This is the final and most vital step in my personal relationship development. I genuinely believe that respect can be both lost and regained. This has happened in my love life and personal life. Jokes, turn into arguments, arguments turn into battles, battles turn into name calling, name calling turns into not talking for days, afterward the cycle repeats. I am a real believer that the health of our relationships are accurate reflections of ourselves, which in turns say if all your relationships are hostile or unpleasant you’re probably at least half the root cause. Learning respect surprisingly has proven to be the most comfortable step for me on my journey and is adding to the steps mentioned above. There is nothing better when respect is shared mutually. It allows both people to grow. Everyone wants to feel as though they matter, and respect is the perfect way of showing this.

About Scott Gottstein

Business Owner, Reader, Lover of Life, New Father, Former Angry American. I am now focusing on what is important in my life. My family, my career, my health and doing what I love. I want you to join me on my journey and hopefully I can help you along the way!

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