9 Simple Exercises To Improve ANY Relationship


There are always going to be people in our lives that we do not “vibe” with.  Unfortunately, sometimes our situations dictate that we spend a lot of time with these individuals (i.e. a boss, sister-in-law, or co-worker), and it is imperative to learn how to best deal with it!

Here are 9 of the most effective techniques you can implement to begin seeing these people in a different light.  Try a few of these exercises out over the next few weeks and I can almost guarantee you will notice an improved outlook:

1. Commit to LISTENING For One Full Day

Challenge yourself to become an unobstructed listener for one whole day to someone you have problems relating.  As they communicate with you simply look them in the eye, breathe, and refrain from giving your typical opinion (or feeling the usual frustration).  This practice will force you to listen in a different manner, and generate a new perspective by quieting the little chatterbox in your head that causes the dislike.

2. Giving Up Being “Right” Even When You KNOW You Are Right

On the same note, while you are practicing this new way of listening give up the attitude that you are right even when you are certain you are right!  Many times, not vibing with someone stems from a general disagreement on the “ways of the world”.  Realize that you may NEVER agree with them on certain things and give up arguing and imposing your viewpoint for a day.  This is a wonderful practice that teaches you acceptance and patience.

3. Sing Their Praises to Others

I am not a big fan of “gossiping”, but spreading encouraging news and positive gossip about someone you typically do not vibe with is a great way to shift the energy between you.  They will love hearing good news going around about them, and will look at you differently.

4. Ask Them For Help

By nature, human beings enjoy helping and giving to others.  Yes, even the person you find it so hard to get along with.  A great way to knock down relationship barriers is to ask someone you have problems with for help.  Make sure it is in an area they have expertise, and see how this simple act can change the whole landscape of your relationship.

5. Give and Expect Nothing in Return

To open up the door with someone you typically have problems, try doing something unexpectedly nice.  Buy a small model airplane that you know he collects, or bring her a glazed donut you know she loves in the morning.  It does not have to be big, but the more important thing is to give genuinely and not have the “OK so what am I going to get in return” attitude.  

6. Be Completely Honest With Them

You will not be able to have truly meaningful relationships with others unless you are genuine and forthcoming.  People, at their cores, respond much more positively to honesty.  I am not advocating telling them how much you despise them and disagree with everything they do, but encouraging more honest communication.  This may be hard for you to do at first, but worth it in the long run if you want more fulfilling relationships.

7. Focus Your Attention on the Positive Attributes of the Relationship

When it comes down to it, our own thoughts dictate much of the way we relate to other people.  In dealing with people you do not get along with, try a shift in your internal dialogue—think about the positive things they bring to the table as opposed to all the negative ways they impact your life!  Applying positive thinking when it comes our relationships can be hard work, but can also hold the key to how you relate with almost everyone!

8. Make a Journal Entry As If You Were Them

Another fantastic way to get perspective on someone else, and “wear their shoes for a day”, is to write a journal entry as if you were them.  What goes on in their mind?  How do they see the world and what do they think about YOU?  As you do this really delve into the mind of the other person and momentarily let go of your own views.  This one exercise can greatly improve your relationship with anyone! 

9. Sleep on It

When all else fails, and the person is making your blood boil, I implore you to cultivate enough patience to sleep on it and resume action the following day.  Things will look different after a good night’s rest,

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and you are not apt to act as rash!

Employing these 9 activities can improve almost any relationship you are in.  Try them out, you will see results almost immediately!

Photo Above by Juan J

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12 Responses to “9 Simple Exercises To Improve ANY Relationship”

  1. Jason says:

    This is good advice, but doesn’t actually work for me, because I get along with pretty much everyone… except for people that I feel like I can’t trust at all.

    Even then, I don’t hold negative feelings for them, I just keep them at a distance.

  2. Brad Baggett says:

    I really enjoyed this article. Many times it is not only the other person that is the problem, it is also us. I really agree with “commit to listening” and my favorite is “positive attributes”. It is our perceptions and thoughts that cause many of our problems.


  3. Todd says:

    Thanks Jason and Brad for the great comments! Jason, it must be nice to be you!! lol…

  4. Jenny says:

    Great advice! I especially agree with honesty (gentle honesty not the brutal kind) as even if you never learn to enjoy each others company over time you can learn to respect one another.

  5. vienna says:

    wow, i don’t have a problem getting along with people but if i encounter such problem in the future, i will remember your advice. :)

  6. These are 9 great tips.
    8 and 9 are possibly the most difficult. Writing a journal entry from the other person’s point of view is difficult because you will tend to write as you would wish them to see things rather than as they themselves really see them. This is a big step toward empathy and ampathy can be really important in a relationship. Empathy is not just seeing things as if you were the other person; it is seeing things as the other person sees them (think about it!)

    Sleeping on things can also be dificult, especially if you have still unresolved issues going around in your mind!

    A great post and one which I am sure many couples will benefit from.


  7. Todd says:

    Doug, Vienna and Jenny–
    Thank you for the very nice comments and I am glad you liked the article! I am wrote these points from first hand experience (Ive done all of them), and know they can be very powerful!

  8. Todd,
    That is great to hear that you have tried these techniques yourself. It always helps to hear about first hand experiences. It is important to remember that everyone is different; what works for one person or couple may not work for another. So it is always worth giving anything a try, especially anything that comes from experience.


  9. Todd says:

    Very true Doug. Thanks for the input and have a great weekend!

  10. Sphynx says:

    Great article!!! I have also something to share… as for my personal point of view… I am indeed a transparent type of an individual.. What you see in me is absolutely what you get. I can be real even to a complete stranger. I don’t easily judge a person as quick as my first impression towards them. I give time for both of us to know better. At times it is ironic that the person you hate the most when you first met, would be the one you can hold for a lifetime.

    I believe that being a good and true friend does not always mean you agree and give praises to a friend when you know that there is something to be corrected and commented on. Do this in a polite and gentle manner that the person you’re talking to won’t be offended at all.

  11. sterndal says:

    i’d say, the best thing is to try to shrug it off and forget the ugly incident

  12. Sarah says:

    I totally agree, this is wonderful. especially “Give and expect nothing” Thats what Love is. People can’t always be concerned with themselves, thats the opposite of love. Honesty is required in a relationship too, holding the truth can do nothing but harm. THANKS!!! everyone should consider this blog! :)

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