Common sense tips on strengthening relationships (in marriage and in friendship)
Relationships need to be nurtured. Often, we take for granted that relationship is like a beautiful flower. If left unattended, it will wither and die. We often admire its beauty but fail to realise that the beauty needs to be be maintained if it has to remain to be admired.
There are simple things that we take for granted, simple words that we say or fail to say that can either nurture or starve relationships. When you care about someone, you need to pay attention to what you to that person and how it is said. The deeper someone cares about you the more significant is the impact of the spoken words.
Some simple (two and three letter) words and how much they can mean when said with sincerity.
Commitment: "I love you"
These three words are very powerful. When you love someone, do not hesitate to tell them that you love them. In fact, do not be afraid to tell the world! There are no words so uplifting as these words when spoken to someone who really cares about you. It is a reaffirmation of commitment to that person. It can only lead to stronger bonds and deeper commitment in a relationship. Say them as often as you can.
Caring: "I am sorry"
There are times when you may hurt someone who loves you without you comprehending why they should feel hurt. It is very important to observe how that person reacts to the incident, bearing in mind that it is not what happened that is important, but the way the person reacted to it; the way the person feels about it. If you realise that the person is hurt, even though you may feel that it is unjustified, it is important to acknowledge the hurt and say the magic words - "I am sorry". Letting someone know that you genuinely care about how they feel about something is a very positive thing in strengthening relationships. Do not be shy or reluctant to say that you're truly sorry. The benefits far outweigh the negative consequences. Say them whenever necessary.
Appreciation: "Thank you"
These two words are very powerful in expressing your appreciation of someone who cares about you. Whenever someone gives, no matter how small, remember that that person is making a sacrifice. When people make sacrifices they expect to be rewarded. The best reward is to appreciate their effort. So, never forget to say thank you no matter how small the effort may seem in your eyes.
Editor's note: These tips are coming from a non-expert in the field of psychology, human sociology or the behavioural sciences. They are purely based on observations and experiences.