Saturday, January 19, 2013

10 Habits of Highly Successful Relationships

image Because we have a covey of Covey’s in our ward, (and we anticipate a new Covey some time in March) I thought it would be cool to borrow (okay, plagiarize) one of Stephen R. Covey’s most famous titles. But not wanting to assume myself equal to Br. Covey, I one-upped him – actually three-upped him.

image While Br. Covey presents seven habits for highly effective people, I am proposing 10 habits for highly successful relationships.

Please note that a highly successful relationship does not imply, nor does it exclude one that leads to marriage. Rather, a successful relationship is one where both parties are are edified – let’s call it friendship.

1 Practice personal, impromptu visits. Most people like a short, unplanned visits at their apartment. Such visits help the one being visited know that he or she matter.
2 Provide sincere handwritten notes. No one hates a Cheer Note. But we do not have to restrict sincere, positive notes to once a week. If you something positive to say to someone, write it down and share it with them. A handwritten note means much more than a text, e-mail, or Face Book post.
3 Promote quality not always quantity time. We are all busy. Nothing is more annoying then someone dominating your time when you have an assignment due or a test to study for. But everyone can spare 3-5 minutes a day to chat about any topic. Be sensitive to each other’s time. But be a part of each other’s lives.
4 Prevent hidden agendas. Refrain from assuming that every relationship must lead to marriage or it is not worth exploring. Focus on every relationship leading to friendship. Don’t let this oppressive culture of marriage spoil your need to be a friend.
5 Get to know everyone’s names. Calling someone by their name shows you cared enough to learn it. It is all right to ask someone their name several times until you learn it.
6 Sit by someone different each week at church. This is a simple and highly effective to fostering friendships. The awkwardness of sitting next to someone you don’t know fades quickly.
7 Provide instant, positive feedback. Whenever someone does anything nice for you, no matter how small, reciprocate by providing instant, positive feedback. The chance of that person doing something nice for you again increases dramatically.
8 De-emphasize the importance of physical attraction. I am serious about this one, but understand I am fighting strong cultural eddies. A sustainable relationship is built only upon commitment and consistent kindness, not physical appearance. In my opinion, seeking a relationship based on physical appearance represents an unrighteous judgment which offends God.
9 Listen more, talk less. The art of communication is best learned by listening. Carefully craft your conversations so listening leads to greater understanding. Then both are edified.

Niceness is neither wasted nor forgotten.

Kindness is never wasted. It may not bring instant rewards but it is never wasted. Seek for small and simple ways to show kindness everyday.

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