|1. Swallow your pride:||Proving you’re right isn’t worth hurting someone else. Everyone argues, everyone says things they shouldn’t, but always recognize when enough is enough and let it go at least for the time being.
|2. Say it:||If you love someone, tell them. If you appreciate someone or something they did, tell them. If you’re sorry, tell whoever you hurt that you’re sorry.
|3. Stop talking, stop thinking, and listen:||Always aim for dialogue (as opposed to a discussion or debate). When other people are talking, don’t daydream, think of your response to each of their points ahead of time, or interrupt them. Just listen.
|4. Be honest:||If you’ll have to lie about it later, don’t do it in the first place. An open an honest relationship will have a stronger foundation. When times get tough, trust will come easier.
|5. The little things matter:||Don’t forget seemingly small gestures, like a thank you card. Physical reminders of sentiments you may or may not remember to communicate otherwise will get your message across in a meaningful and lasting way. Time spent just taking turns talking and listening on a given day is likely more important than anything big you’d ever plan.
|6. Ask:||You’ll never know everything about someone else. If you’ve spent a while in a relationship with them, don’t assume you’ve learned it all or enough. There’s always more to learn and more insight to gain. Better understanding strengthens any bond.
|7. Be yourself:||Never let go of who you are for someone else or a group of people. We can always learn from others and better ourselves, but if we change who we are completely to satisfy someone else or to just to fit it, we’ve lost ourselves. Those who love you for exactly who you are and want to be will be there for you when it matters most. Those who don’t won’t.
|8. Take care:||Be there. When a loved one is hurting, do what you can to make it better. If they need to talk, listen. If they need company, go stay with them. Never expect someone to be there for you if you wouldn’t do the same for them.
|9. Let them call you on your shit:||You shouldn’t just surround yourself with people who will always agree with you. If you slip up and say the wrong thing, if you’re being lazy and should do something, if you do one thing and say another, respect the people who will call you on it. People who can stand up or speak up to one another when something goes awry will build deeper respect and trust for one another. Plus, you’ll end up a person of greater integrity if those around you will hold you to your word.
|10. Don’t be afraid to love:||Some love too quickly and end up hurt. Some never love and lose out. Find that happy medium with those you’re close to. If people mean something to you, don’t be afraid to love them, to tell them, to show them. If there’s anything we all need more of, it’s love.