People are not born with natural abilities to develop and build great relationships with others. These are skills like any other that can be learned and mastered if one recognizes the need and takes the time and effort to develop them.
We can all become better relationship builders by clearing our minds and practicing a few basic necessary acts.
Knowing each other well is crucial for any long-term healthy relationship. It helps you know what to expect from your partner and avoid unexpected surprises. The more you ask questions, the more you’ll be clear about your partners thoughts and behaviour. Ask them questions like:
1) What is on your to-do list?
2) What about yourself are you most proud of?
3) What life experiences did you miss out on?
4) What type of music do you like?
5) Whom are you most close to?
6) What are your dislikes?
7) What kind of life do you want?
When you are in a serious relationship, simply knowing likes and dislikes isn’t enough. You should also know about your partner’s family and background. After all marriage means connecting yourself with your partners family. Memories of past experiences strongly influence our future. Hence, knowing more about your partner’s past can help you understand their current tendencies. Here are some of the questions you may ask:
1) What embarrasses you most about your parents?
2) What is the best and worst thing about your parents?
3) What is your best childhood memory?
4) How connected are you with your parents?
5) How traditionally ‘normal’ was your family?
6) What are your family rules?
7) What irrational fears did you have as a child?
After some lighter questions, move on to deeper conversation topics regarding the relationship itself. When asking or answering relationship questions, make sure you are not being judgmental. Be honest about all the things you did right or wrong. Remember, these questions are all about bringing you two together to build a transparent and healthy relationship. Here are a few sample questions:
1) What do you like most about me?
2) What habits of mine irritate you most?
3) What is our greatest strength as a couple?
4) How do you feel when we are together?
5) Do we give enough space to each other in our relationship?
6) What are your best memories of us together?
7) What do you think our life will look like in 10 years?
We all know people who tell us their whole life story in the first five minutes of meeting us, totally oblivious to the fact that we likely have absolutely no interest in hearing it. To build strong relationships we need to be able to pace ourselves and share when it’s appropriate and at a level that is consistent with the depth of the relationship.
Good relationship builders show they are sharing the feelings of the other by mirroring emotions of the person speaking. Sharing excitement, joy, sorrow, frustration, and disappointment helps connect us to others.