“How would your life be different if…you approached all relationships with authenticity and honesty? You dedicate yourself to building relationships on the solid foundation of truth and authenticity.” Steve Maraboli
As we swim in a sea of messages, texts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and voice mails, there seem to be a loss of that human touch we all yearn for. The irony is that with all this social connection, you’d think we’d really feel connected. The truth is we can always make it even better. There is nothing more rewarding than a face to face genuine dialogue. We want to have an authentic connection, not just virtual conversation.
Our human need for being connected is essential. It’s part of our purpose on earth. We have evolved and progressed throughout history by the connections we made and the world is a better place as a result of more and more people embracing social authenticity. Yet, we can always do better. We can always make those connections even more meaningful and more authentic to enrich our communities.
We constantly want to improve our relationships with friends, children, spouses, neighbors and colleagues. How do we cultivate our relationships and nurture those opportunities we are faced with?
Without authentic relationships, you will not develop and expand your life. Here are some core elements I have learned in building and cultivating authentic relationships:
What does it mean to communicate in authentic relationships? It simply means being real with yourself and others. The first person we need to have authentic relationship with is ourselves. We have to reach inside our heart and truly seek to understand our communication process. Do we communicate in an honest way that fosters a genuine dialogue with the people around us?
Authentic communication takes place when people are caring enough to speak the truth and learn the truth communicated back to them. Authentic communicators embrace the on-going feedback on the conversation they want to have.
Let people be who they are, not what you want them to be
One of the best ways to foster authentic relationships is by understanding that everyone has a gift inside them. That gift is their authentic self. We are not here to change anyone but to help people become the best version of what already resides inside them. Don’t take the easy way out and judge. Make the effort to really get to know and accept the gift in front of you.
People flourish in an environment where they are accepted as they are. If you are trying to fix someone or trying to change them, you are creating an environment of judgments around you. No one feels safe in that kind of environment which can lower morale. The only person we must change is ourselves.
Have fun and celebrate
Life is a celebration of our God-given gifts we all have. We are here for a reason. We are here to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Why not celebrate and enjoy the accomplishments we achieved together? It goes back to our human connections. When we make the world better, we celebrate it through the spirit of joy, fun and the discovery of who we can become together. We really need to do more of those fun little things in our society. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”