This is the second article covering quotes that can help you improve any relationship. We hope they give you a few "aha!" moments and put a smile on your face, too!
1. "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." – Thomas Merton
We all have ideas about how we wish others to be and often try to fit them into the picture of what we want from a relationship. Instead, to truly love someone, you have to take the time to get to know them and come to appreciate them for who they are.
2. "We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics." – Joyce Meyer
Often in our wish to help others, we criticise their flaws, instead of encouraging their good sides. Unfortunately, this only leads to them disliking us, even though we had good intentions. Or, if they feel we are right, they may come to loathe themselves, as opposed to dealing with whatever we wished they'd deal with.
Encourage people to do the right thing instead of discouraging them from doing the wrong thing. It causes happy feelings and inspiration, as opposed to self-loathing and, possibly, hatred towards you.
Of course, if someone is doing something to you that you feel is wrong, you need to let them know. But you can let them know in a way where you tell them what you'd love for them to do, as opposed to blaming them for what they're doing wrong.
3. "Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." – William James
Conflict is inevitable. The question is: how will you resolve it? With tender loving care, or by withdrawing yourself? Screaming? Demeaning? Criticising? It's your choice.
4. "You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity." – Epicurus
Don't run from challenges within a relationship--see them as an opportunity for creating a better relationship.
And, as a result, a better you. If you are unsure how to deal with it, consult books. There are a lot of books on relationships. Have a Google!
5. "Since you cannot physically experience another person, you can only experience them in your mind. Conclusion: All of the other people in your life are simply thoughts in your mind. Not physical beings to you, but thoughts. Your relationships are all in how you think about the other people of your life. Your experience of all those people is only in your mind. Your feelings about your lovers come from your thoughts. For example, they may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behaviour, it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behaviour. Their actions are theirs, you cannot own them, you cannot be them, you can only process them in your mind." – Wayne Dyer
Remember, people are who you think they are. Not who they truly are. And how you react to them is determined by what you think about them. Choose your thoughts wisely.
6. "Assumptions are the termites of relationships." – Henry Winkler
In "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, one agreement is that you should not make assumptions. Why? Because we make assumptions based on our past, our fears, our hopes, and our dreams. And when we act on them, they often prove wrong.
For example, your friend shows up late, and you make the assumption they don't care about you. Yet, said friend is never on time with anyone—not even for meetings where s/he can get a promotion. It's a habit, not a sign to say they don't value you.
That said, you're welcome to tell them you'll wait for ten minutes tops. That's your choice. But don't make assumptions about the thoughts and feelings behind the other person's actions without asking them first.
7. "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." And: "The royal road to a man's heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most." – Dale Carnegie
The more we listen, the more people open up to us. Don't just grumble a yes, thinking you've heard it all before. Leave judgement by the roadside and listen. Then speak. And not about yourself, but about what was just said.
8. "Some think love can be measured by the amount of butterflies in their tummy. Others think love can be measured in bunches of flowers, or by using the words' forever.' But love can only truly be measured by actions. It can be a small thing, such as peeling an orange for a person you love because you know they don't like doing it." – Marian Keyes
Love is a verb. We won't get far with any relationship unless we realise that.
9. "Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take." – Anthony Robbins
Friends and family are there to support one another but rarely do we ask how we can best be there for those around us. Ask, and they shall answer.
10. "What love we've given, we'll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity." – Leo Buscaglia
Remember to love as much as you can, while you can.
11. "The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer." – Henry David Thoreau
Asking someone's opinion is a sure way of showing we care about it. And that we value their faculties enough to do so! It's a compliment in and of itself.
12. "The way to love anything is to realise that it may be lost." – Gilbert K. Chesterton
If you wake up every morning knowing that nothing lasts forever, you'll cherish everything and everyone so much more. You're also likely to forget squabbling about silly differences in opinion.
13. "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." – Donna Roberts
If someone's fire is temporarily burning low, or they've lost their footing, show them the way back to their heart. Don't punish them for their misdeed—when they find their way back to themselves, they'll know just how badly they've acted. And if they already know, self-hatred is likely why they haven't gone back to being their old self yet—they're too busy punishing themselves by messing up.
14. "It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Just as your employer, or employees, will be made happy by a smile from you in the morning, so will your friends and family. Remember to show the joy you feel in their company by smiling at them. That, in turn, will create more joy.
15. "Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." – Marcel Proust
When was the last time you took the time to express gratitude for those you love? When did you last compliment them? Shed light as to why you enjoy their company?
Good relationships need nurturing. The flame of love, or friendship, is kept alive during the years by fanning said flame with gratitude, acts of love, and choosing to be kind when dealing with problems within the relationship.