For better relationships, change yourself

B.K. Surya

If we wish to have harmonious relations with others, we need to resolve in our minds to change ourselves – our perspective, attitude, and behaviour – in order to adapt to any situation. When we change, our world will change.

The formal education we receive, unfortunately, does not make us humble, but instead fosters our ego. This has become a major cause of broken relationships. When there is a difference of opinion or conflict between two people, both blame the other and neither is willing to back down or compromise in any way. This widens the rift and the two drift apart.

Maturity in relationships calls for understanding others and behaving appropriately in the best interest of all involved. This may require me to keep quiet, not respond to provocation, and have the wisdom and patience to give others time and space to make considered choices that will strengthen the relationship.

The conviction of being right often makes us rigid and inconsiderate, stopping us from accepting another’s point of view or giving them any leeway. This can cause a lot of sorrow and distance us from many people. Even if we are right, a little flexibility and kindness on our part will create confidence in others and make our interactions easier and less stressful.

Are we aware of the kind of atmosphere we have created at home with our attitude and behaviour? If there is stress or irritation in the air, can anyone there feel happy? Creating a happy environment where I live is simply a matter of remaining light and cheerful.

One more reason for conflict in relationships is expectations. We want others to live according to our wishes. We seek respect, cooperation, and support, without actually saying so. When these expectations are not met, the result is dejection, bitterness and anger.

Most people today are empty within and in no position to give anything. They themselves yearn for what we hope to get from them. The better way is to give rather than try to get anything from others. It is a spiritual law that what you share will come back to you multiplied several times over. Start giving love and respect, and you will never again crave for them.

Finally, another truth worth remembering is that we will be treated the way we treat others. So it is best to live by the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.