The Art of Meaningful Living – 10: Managing Relationships

We all have relationships with other people. To manage them well, we have to remember certain things:

1. The first step to have meaningful relationships is to give yourself credit for meeting your basic needs of food, water, shelter and safety. Because these are the basic needs, unless these are fulfilled, it is not possible to have meaningful relationships most of the time.

2. The second step is to accept the need for relationships. The need for relationships exists because they help you meet the social need for connection to others.

3. The third step is to understand that relationships are immensely complicated because there are two people involved and you can only control yourself.

4. The fourth step is to apply the change, discernment and acceptance skills to your relationships. We have to remember that, at best, we can only influence other people’s behaviour. You cannot force someone to love you or value the things you do.

5. The fifth step is to understand that we all have different preferences. This does not mean that one of you is right and the other wrong. It just means that the two of you are different. You have to stop being right, and start understanding the other person.

6. The sixth step is to understand that all relationships may not work all the time. Depending on the situation, you will change a relationship, accept situations, influence certain relationships, and sometimes do nothing. Each thing has its place and time.

Doing these six steps will lead to better relationships and hopefully a more meaningful life.