1. Know what’s your business and stay out of what’s not your business
So often we take responsibility for another person’s well-being (or what our idea of that is) and we try to get them to do what we think is best. The problem with this is that most of the time, nobody asked for our help. This can put you in a position of feeling unappreciated, and the person you’re trying to give advice to in a place of resistance, or worse, resentment. Next time you feel like putting in your two cents, check and see where that’s coming from. It may be coming from someplace that could surprise you, such as wanting approval or connection. If you take the time to become aware of what’s driving your behavior, you can simply let it go and focus your energy in a more positive direction.

2. Keep your agreements
I believe this is the single most important thing you can do to establish trust in a relationship. If you know that you’re not going to do something, say so. If you fully intend to and something changes, say so. Most people are open to re-negotiating agreements if you keep them apprised of what’s happening.

3. Have fun together!
In Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard Markman, he points to play as the single best indicator of the long-term success of relationships. The fun we have with others keeps us connected and gives us the juice to get through the challenging times.

4. Feel your feelings
Sometimes this is not as easy as it sounds; sometimes instead of feeling our own feelings, we look to find fault with others. It may feel easier to blame someone else for what’s going on inside you, but unfortunately, it’s not very effective. Until you resolve the real source of your feelings, they will continue to cause disturbance. If you are angry or upset, check and see what’s getting triggered or if there is something inside of you that you are avoiding or judging.

5. Express gratitude
Gratitude, like any other emotion, needs to be expressed. Let your loved ones know you love them. Let your employees know you appreciate them, and let your kids know how great they are.

6. Know that in the giving you receive
Course in Miracles says “It can be but my gratitude I earn”. If we give our gifts looking for and expecting to be acknowledged, we deprive ourselves of the true gift of giving. Allow yourself to feel grateful that you are able to give in the ways that you do.

Author's Bio: 

Melanie Smithson, MA, ADTR, LPC holds a Master's degree from Naropa University in Somatic Psychology and taught in the department for many years. Her orientation is towards incorporating the wisdom of the body into therapy sessions, as well as releasing emotions that may have gotten caught in the body. Physical ailments are often connected to buried emotions and will shift as the emotions shift. She is a certified EMDR clinician and works with the Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy. She has also completed coach training with Sedona Associates and incorporates Sedona Method Releasing in her work. Melanie specializes in relationship, grief and loss, trauma, childhood abuse issues, anxiety and depression. She is passionate about play for young and old, believing the creative process to be key to healing and spiritual growth.