Many people ask "Tell me what I can do to build a more loving relationship
with others, be it a friend, colleague or spouse?" The answer is by
Here are the Twelve principles
to help you to build that loving and lasting relationship.
If you are single, the following principles will enhance your personal
communication with others in your circle of friends. If you are dating,
you will certainly want to apply them immediately.
For those of you who are married, these principles can dramatically
improve your communication with your spouse and children. Most marriages
do not ever develop intimacy beyond the level of communication between
the spouses-and that, of course, depends on how much you desire openness
and verbal interaction. Should you be a parent, effective implementation
of these principles will reduce the complaint, "You aren't listening
to me"(probably the biggest complaint teens have against their parents).
Ready for some action? Here are the twelve principles:
1. Work at it:
Doing what comes naturally may be the motto for many in our culture,
but becoming a good communicator does not just happen. All of us have
been twisted by the self-centeredness of our lives, so we need to
make a lot of effort based on solid commitment to better communication.
If you want to build a loving relationship, among other things you
must develop the skill of being a good listener and that takes work.
Read James 1:19-The Bible.
2. Learn to Compromise:
A healthy marriage relationship is a give-and-take situation, especially
where differing styles of communicating are involved. Each person
needs the freedom to be himself or herself while still adapting to
the other's needs. One style is not necessarily better than another.
It's just that people are different when it comes to needs in communication
and a skillful communicator knows when to adjust.
3. Seek to understand:
Have you ever agreed to meet someone at a specific building downtown,
only to wait in vain while your friend looked for you half a block
away? You thought you were very clear in your communication, but she
did not understand it clearly.
One of the keys to communication and to developing intimacy is to
realize that the other person is not only trying to understand, but
he or she truly cares. This empathy will cause both individuals to
be more open in the relationship. Our commitment must be to really
hear the other person, regardless of differing convictions or disagreements.
4. Affirm the other person's Worth,
Dignity, and Value: Every person has a deep need to be
heard, to be listened to. The very act of listening communicates a
sense of value, esteem, love, and dignity. It makes the person feel
very important. And a relationship usually will not progress beyond
the level of mutual communication and respect shown by each person,
one for the other.
5. Be Positive and Encouraging:
Being positive is a real plus factor in communications. It promotes
openness with your mate, whereas criticism tends to hinder healthy
communications. Two very critical people may communicate, but it will
not be healthy communication. By nature we each tend to accentuate
and remember the negative.
Are you a positive communicator with people? It will be far easier
for them to reach out to you and share if your orientation is positive.
6. Practice Confidentiality:
What a plus factor it is when the other person knows that you are
able to keep things to yourself. There's automatically a greater willingness
to be open with you. If you are a gossip-one who habitually talks
about other people-you raise an immediate barrier to others sharing
intimately with you for fear that you will make their innermost feelings
Do you keep things to yourself? Publicly airing private matters destroys
the trust in a marriage.
(contd next week- Part 2)
********************Letter # 3 (19. 1. 2003)********************