Better Relationships = Better Life (and a much happier Christmas)

Christmas relationship

By Carl Massy: Here are the 10 Tips to vastly improve your relationships over Christmas Festive Season. Apply some or all of these Tips and you will not only totally enjoy the Christmas period but you will be setting up 2021 to be even more successful than your best year ever! So here goes…

  1. Don’t make assumptions unless you like being stressed out. First of all I am not going to assume that you don’t like being totally stressed out. But just in case you (like me) prefer a little less stress in your life, than I strongly encourage you to avoid making any assumptions this festive season. The opposite of assumptionopolis (the home of assumptions) is a little place most commonly called ‘Reality’. As Byron Katie says: “When I argue with reality, I lose. But only 100% of the time.” So if you get a really bad present off a person you assume does not like you, consider this. Maybe they are just crap at selecting the presents you like. A great question to ask in most situations is: “What else could this mean?”
  2. Don’t take things too personally. This sort of leads on from, and is closely connected to, the assumption thing. I have had enough experiences over the last few decades to realise that most often when someone has an issue with me, it is more about that persons own issues than mine (well in 93% of the cases anyway). If someone is anal about the way presents should be unwrapped, and makes a snide remark to you about you being disrespectful. It might be less about your blatant disregard for present unwrapping etiquette and more about their personal fears or insecurities; which makes them want to control everything that happens. Maybe they just need a big hug.
  3. Speak the truth and not just when you are out of arms reach. I am a big fan of saying the truth, which has earned me my fair share of dagger stares, cheap shots and some contorted faces on the people I have said my piece too. But here is the thing. When we don’t speak our truth, we waste more energy trying to maintain the act, hold our story together, and mask our true feelings. When we come from a place of truth, even if it is harder at the time, the world (and your relationships) are better for it. Obviously doing 100% of the time is easier said than done. If you partner asks whether they “look ‘frumpy’ in their new dress”, or whether “you think their biceps are bigger than last month”, a slight case of tone deafness or subject change might be in order.
  4. Ratio of using the heart to the head needs to be at least 5:1 (or better). Now I do not remember the reference, but I recall reading something last year that suggested the heart had a bigger Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) than the brain. To me that suggested if something ‘comes from the heart’, it has a lot more power than if it comes from the head. I like to think that ‘communicating’ comes from the head, but ‘connecting’ is the stuff that comes out of the mouth via the heart. A great exercise is to connect with you heart (either just notice it or put your hand on your heart) before you say what you want to say. This will definitely deepen your relationships.
  5. Practice Aikido if you want to have less bruises. For those that know nothing about Aikido compared to say karate, let me explain. Karate is where someone hits you and you hit them back. The toughest person wins. However in Aikido it is more about moving out of the way and letting the other person wear themselves out, so you can lead them where you want. How does this relate to relationships? Instead of whacking back a poorly made comment at the sender, just let it slip you past. Maybe with a little “It is shame that you feel that way about X”. You don’t have to duke it out in the ring, to get a result, which most often is going to be both of you battered and bruised.
  6. We only know what we know and so does that other person. I only know what I know through my experience, my teachers and my study. Which probably account for a small percentage of the available knowledge. I have also had poor teachers at times that have taught me the wrong formulas, and lead to some major mistakes. So I only know what I know. So to assume that someone is purposely trying to be a pain in the butt, might not be true. Maybe they sat in Life Class 101 and had the relief teacher from hell, who was taught by the relief teacher from hell, who was taught by…I am sure you get the message. The day you realize that people are the way they are to a large extent by what they were taught many, many years ago, the more you tend to give people a break. They only know what they know.
  7. If you are too tired, request a ‘time out’. That Einstein guy said there was a relationship between energy and mass (or matter). So that means that pretty much everything is made up of energy. My point: energy is important stuff. In fact you could call it the main currency of life. So when we have low energy (this really important stuff), we are not likely to be operating at our best. Therefore if you have eaten 4 serves of Christmas Pudding and are feeling a wee bit flat, that may not the time to be the best time to deal with your more challenging relationships or conversations. Take a ‘time out’ and recharge the batteries (maybe a nana nap or a 15 min walk around the block). When you have the most amount of energy you will deliver your finest works and a Christmas Dinner speech to be remembered – for all the right reasons!
  8. Breathe at least once before you speak. Breathing is pretty important too. In fact if you stop doing it for a few minutes your life takes a whole new direction. So breath is very closely related to life and living. Again, important stuff. Therefore if it is so important, perhaps having more of it is better for us. Especially when we are having a challenging time with someone. The strategy here is really simple. Before you say what you think you need to say, take at least one deep long breath, slowly expired, before you very consciously respond. Animals react; we on the other hand have the ability to respond – if we pause long enough to separate ourselves from the mammal within us. Breathe in-two-three, out-two-three, respond-two-three. And your results just got a whole lot better.
  9. “No” is a 1 second word that can save 1000’s of seconds of pain. “No” is a very hard thing for a lot of people to say. Because they feel they might be judged, disliked, excluded in future, thought of poorly, yelled at, slapped, kicked in the shins, etc. But when an unsaid “no” leads to resentment on your behalf, the only one that will be most hurt will be yourself. And it will not be like the superficial wound the other person would have got if you said “no” to them. The resentment you feel for not saying “no” will actually affect you at a deeper level, plus it will probably end up giving the other person a wound at a much deeper level. So an honest “No” is worth approximately 43 dishonest “Yes”.
  10. Focus on being present as opposed to just keeping your eye on the presents. Opening presents is a lot of fun. Something to do with the thrill of the unknown. Actually let me make a quick sidetrack comment on relationships. If you know everything about your partner (and what they will do every moment of the day) it might seem reassuring for awhile, but eventually it will get very boring. Passion lives in the realm of the unknown. Now back to presents. One of the greatest things you can do to improve every relationship in your life is to be 100% fully present with the person you are with. They will feel respected, cared for, heard, loved and like they matter. In fact, I read an article recently in SUCCESS Magazine that suggested that a feeling of being ‘disrespected’ was the major cause for every issue in a relationship. In the end; more presence = more presents.

There you go. 10 really important, easy to apply (mostly) Tips, for how to improve and even deepen your relationships this festive period. I like the Tony Robbins saying where he says “The quality of your life is directly related to the quality of your relationships.” The most important thing about Christmas, the festive season and the start of a New Year; really is about improving the quality and depth of the relationships that you have in your life.

At the end of our days we are hardly going to be lovingly supported by our mansion or sports car, or worry about them at all for that matter. What will be most important to us will be the quality of relationships we have had through our life and the quality of the relationships that surround us.

So here’s to connecting this year and making 2021 an even better life experience for us and those people nearest and dearest to us.

Have an awesome day too!