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How to build a better relationship with YOU

2013-01-09 10:21:10

Published on 2013-01-09 10:21:10

Woman looking in mirrorWhen we think about relationships, we typically define them in terms of family, partners, friendships and even business. What we are less likely to consider is that we have a relationship with ourselves. Think about it, you spend every day of your life with you, have an internal dialogue with yourself, and choose how to treat yourself. This relationship with YOU is the biggest and most significant one you will EVER have in your life. Yet, how often do we really invest in this relationship or take a good hard look at whether it’s ‘working’ or not?

Our ideal relationships are characterised by such qualities as love, respect, kindness, and understanding, and yet the relationship that we have with ourselves can often be diametrically opposed to these qualities.

What is your relationship like with yourself? Are you an abusive and judgemental ‘partner’ to yourself? The shocking truth is that if we were in love relationships or friendships as critical and loveless as some of those we have with ourselves, we’d think it unsupportive and even abusive and consider getting out!

So how do we foster a healthy relationship with ourselves? The answer is perhaps not so difficult as you might think. Look at all your other relationships – which ones do you consider to be the most nurturing, supportive and loving? What has made them this way? The strategies that you use to cultivate a good relationship with others are the same as those for developing a new relationship with yourself:

Learn acceptance

Think about friends or relatives who you accept just as they are, despite them being irritating at times! Embrace all parts of yourself; they make you who you are.

Become non- judgemental

With good friends it’s easier to be non-judgemental of their behaviour, because we accept them as they are. Practice taking an objective view of your behaviour, looking at it factually rather than labelling it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Practice forgiveness

Let yourself off the hook – stop beating yourself up over things you think you should or shouldn’t have done. Think of all the times you’ve forgiven family and friends.

Cultivate kindness

Be kind to yourself – think of yourself as your own best friend. How would your best friend comfort and support you when you are going through a tough time?

Love you

Relationships endure because of love – often unconditional. It’s not egotistical or self centred to ‘love yourself’ – it’s vital for a healthy relationship with yourself. In fact, until you can learn to love yourself, it is very difficult to love others.

Respect yourself

In the same way that abusive behaviour is not acceptable in our relationships with others, respect should be an integral part of how we interact with ourselves. Being abusive in any form – through a critical internal voice, or physical self abuse (excesses of alcohol, over or under eating, taking drugs, self harming) are not signs of self respect.

Make this year the one that you enter into a new and special relationship – the one you have with yourself!

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