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The secret to good relationships?

manuelita otero

Have you ever wondered why relationships seem to be so tough? Whether it’s the people we are close to or a stranger standing in front of us in line, sometimes it’s just hard.  Have you ever asked yourself what is the secret to positive relationships? I don’t think there’s “one” secret, but really lots of things that help make relationships work better.

My children have grown and now my daughter has a boyfriend and my son a girlfriend and I wish I could teach them what I’ve learned from my experience and help them avoid pain. I wish there was a list of things to do and not to do in relationships, but that’s not exactly how it works. We’re complex individuals and we find ourselves in situations where instead of lists we need character and determination. Tips, guidelines, and advice are wonderful and greatly needed, but they can only go so far, we need to teach our children to know themselves, to know who they are so they can enter every relationship with confidence.

Why do I believe confidence is key? Because it’s difficult for a person with low confidence to have a healthy relationship- I’m saying this based on experience. A person with low confidence is afraid of being judged and often feels he or she is not enough. I used to be that person. I would pretend to be fine but even the smallest comment would secretly upset me and could escalate into something bigger. Having to face my lack of confidence was difficult because I felt I had to keep my life “together” to show everyone I was strong. I didn’t want to make myself vulnerable, but I finally realized that accepting my “weaknesses” made me stronger. Recognizing the way I felt about certain things and actually sharing it with others was a great help to gain the confidence I needed.

Confidence in relationships will help you:

-Say what you mean and mean what you say. And give the people around you the same freedom to express what they feel and be accepted. Make your life simpler by being honest.

-Listen to other people’s opinions without feeling the need to defend yours. Take what’s good and let go what isn’t. Everyone has the right to his or her opinion. And remember- It’s ok for someone to disagree with you.

-Make your life a little easier by not taking every little thing personally.

-Enjoy who you are and bring your best to every relationship. You are unique and valuable.  You can share something special with each person you meet. You can make a difference in people’s lives by being you.

I don’t know the “magic” formula to have happy and thriving relationships, I honestly don’t think it even exists, but knowing who you are and feeling good about it makes a world of difference.

I tell my children that before they can have a good relationship with anyone, they need to have a good relationship with themselves. The more they know themselves the more confidence they will have. So I guess relationships are not so complicated after all. Love yourself first and then love others.

Manuelita@manuelitaotero