5 Habits That Need To Be Created To Build More Fulfilling Relationships

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Ever wonder……

what it takes to build strong, healthy relationships? Have you ever felt that the relationships you currently have could use some maintenance?

You’re not alone.

But why having strong, healthy relationships matter? We’ll discuss that next.

Why Are Strong, Healthy Relationships Important?

While people can be talented and brilliant, few of us work or live in a vacuum. Despite what some people may think, it is rarely ever all on the individual.

More often than not, what determines how successful we are in our careers, our family, our friendships, and our marriages is the ability to develop and nurture relationships.

Developing and nurturing relationships is not a natural ability people have. It is a skill that can be mastered over time through conscious effort and practice.

Don’t believe me?

According to Northwestern Medicine, humans have an inherent desire to connect and build relationships. Social support is a very important part of being human. When social relationships break down, it can have a big impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

Here are some other benefits of having strong, healthy relationships:

  • Less Stress
  • Greater Sense of Purpose
  • Healthier Lifestyle Behaviors
  • Live Longer

How Having Healthy Relationships Can Impact Your Financial Life

If that doesn’t prove to you that strong, healthy relationships matter, then consider how healthy relationships can improve your financial life.

For example, the best way to usually grow your wealth is to maximize your income through your career.  It’s the engine that powers your financial life and can fuel money used for investing to create other income streams.

One day you can quit your job, but for now your career earnings is what you will use to power your financial journey.

How Relationships Can Improve Your Financial Life

The best way to increase your income is to be promoted. Do you think that a promotion is all about your hard work and effort? Think again.

The sad fact is that people are promoted not only because of their technical knowledge, but also because of the relationships they have nurtured and cultivated.

A great example is a chief engineer I used to work for. While he was very technically savvy, his real superpower was his ability to create and cultivate relationships.

This man knew EVERYBODY…….. and everybody knew him….. and they had nothing but good things to say about him.

He had what I consider one of the coolest jobs in our company and he also deftly managed the political minefields that laid before him.

I sat with him one day having a career discussion. During the discussion, he told me his career goal was to become a director in the next 18 months.

I asked him how he could be so sure he was going to be promoted? He told me that he has been laying the foundation for years through the assignments he received and the people he has met along the way.

It’s a classic example of success is as much about WHO you know as it is WHAT you know.

Want an example of the flipside?

I know of another chief engineer who didn’t develop relationships. To be blunt, many people I talked to called him, and is as polite as I can be, “a total a$$hol#”. Their words not mine.

End result of his poor relationship building was that he alienated literally EVERYONE that worked for him to the point that people were leaving his organization in droves!

As soon as the product launched, he received a demotion into another organization. On paper, it was a lateral move, but in reality, he was put in the proverbial janitor’s closet so he wouldn’t piss off the few people who still worked for him.

So if you didn’t believe cultivating relationships could impact your financial life, I hope these examples show to you that it does matter…… A LOT!

If you are struggling to learn how to improve your relationships with your spouse, kids, family, co-workers, or just the checkout person at the grocery store, this week’s article is for you!

We’ll go through 5 things you can start doing today to build healthy, strong, and just plain better relationships.

Let’s get started…….

Learn To Be Great At Listening

Listening is one of the best tools to develop to have strong, healthy relationships.

Even though a great deal of emphasis in our society is talking, being heard has a much larger impact.

If a person can learn to listen in a way that makes a person feel valued and understood, you can a build deep, strong connection.

There is a big difference between hearing and listening.

Per Webster’s Dictionary, to hear is the perceive or become aware by the ear.

To listen is to hear with thoughtful attention.

When you listen, and I mean really listen, you’ll hear the subtle intonations in a person’s voice that will clue you in on how they are feeling and what they are thinking.

Being great at listening does NOT mean you must agree with what is being said. Being a great listener does mean you make the other person feel heard.

How To Make Someone Feel Heard Thru Active Listening

Being a great listener is important for building and maintaining relationships. When the other person feels heard, they feel connected, understood, and even loved.

When a person feels heard, they are more likely to reciprocate the same treatment.

The next time you find yourself thinking about what to say next or argue a certain point, stop and take the time to listen and understand that person.

As Stephen Covey states in the 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People, “seek first to understand and then be understood”.

Connect Through Communication

Good communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. When you connect through communication, a person feels safe, protected, and happy.

When people stop communicating, they also stop relating to each other as well.

Good communication is like oxygen to relationships. It‘s required for a relationship to be healthy and survive.

Good, effective communication provides clarity to confusing things and allows for two people to interact in a healthy, productive way.

People need effective communication to discuss difficult situations without promoting conflict. People need to be able to convey their thoughts and feelings without fear of being attacked.

Have you ever struggled with this?…. I have!

Based on my experiences, here are some things you can do to start connecting thru effective communication:

Do Not Make Them Guess How You Feel

It’s not always easy to talk about how you feel. If you have known each other for awhile, it’s easy to assume that the other person knows exactly how you are feeling.

Odds on, they do not. I mean, they are not a mind reader!

So since they do not have telepathy, just be honest and forthright when you tell them how you feel.

Do not attack and accuse. Instead use, “When you did this, I felt like…….” to express how you are feeling in a constructive non-judgmental way.

For example, “When you forgot to take out the trash after I asked you several times, it made me feel not heard and that I’m not valued.”

It takes some practice, but the results are well worth it!

Pay Attention To Non-Verbal Cues

It’s been said that 80% of all communication is non-verbal. A lot of the communication we transmit is by our actions and non-verbal cues not the words we speak.

These cues include tone of voice, eye contact, posture, and our gestures.

When you pick up on your partner’s non-verbal cues, you’ll be able to tell how a person really feels and then respond accordingly.

It’s also important when you speak that your body language accentuates what you are saying. If it doesn’t, you could be sending mixed messages.

If you don’t pay attention to their non-verbal cues, you are only understanding part of the total picture and you may be damaging the relationship.

Seek To Understand

Lastly, use the opportunity to communicate to understand the person you are speaking to.

The best way to do this is with clarifying questions.

Asking clarifying question not only enables understanding, but it also enables you to own any mistakes you may have made or not even realized you did.

Lastly, clarifying questions also enables empathy to occur which makes understanding someone SO much easier!

Remember, communication is all about connecting. Use these tips to improve your communication skills and connections with others.

Express Vulnerability

Many people try to come off as perfect and uncaring.

They don’t talk about their failures, shortcomings, or fears.

They won’t EVER say anything that could embarrass they or make them appear as flawed.

But that is what people are. We are imperfect. We make mistakes. We have flaws and idiosyncrasies that can drive some people crazy.

For example, my wife HATES it when I channel flip through about 50 channels in under a minute.

On the flip side, it drives me nuts when she does not put her dishes in the sink. On top of that, she burps louder than most truck drivers that I have met……. seriously!

How To Express Vulnerability

But who’s perfect? We need to accept people for who they are INCLUDING their flaws and imperfections.

All hiding your flaws does is make you appear cold and impersonal. You seem more like a marble status than a real person and this makes it very hard for people to connect with you emotionally.

I know from experience.

A good friend of mine at work (we have been friends since college) always knew me as the easy-going, fun-loving person that she loved to hang out with.

Once we worked together, she saw another, albeit unflattering, side.

This side she described as my corporate side: cold, unemotional, impersonal, and hard to get to know.

When we hung out outside of work, she said I would literally flip a switch to go back to my fun-loving version she knew in college.

End result was I didn’t make many emotional connections with people at work and didn’t appear vulnerable.

I worked on showing vulnerability for years to build connections with my co-workers and grow my group of friends.

However, I was wondering if the work really paid off?

It came to a test when my girls were born. Being a dad brought out the vulnerability in me and forced me to suck up my pride to help my girls.

My daughters suffered from severe GERD (acid reflux) when they were born.

For you and me it’s no big deal, we just take Pepcid or Prilosec and move on with life.

From my girls, it caused them to refuse to eat and not learn how to suck on a bottle. Doctors termed their condition, “failure to thrive”.

Not good news.

We ended up inserting feeding tubes into their stomach just so they could survive, had to hire full-time caregivers to take care of them, and send them to a special feeding clinic 8 hours away for an 8-week long “feeding bootcamp”.

Of course, insurance did not cover it, so we started a GoFundMe page. I had to suck up my pride and ask for help. I’ve been on my own since I was 18 and NOW I had to ask for help. We were drowning in medical bills with no end in sight.

It …… sucked.

I reached out to my co-workers to spread the word about my girls’ condition and see if they knew of any charities, churches, etc. who could help our cause.

What did they do?

They donated…. in bunches!

In fact, if it wasn’t for them, we never could have afforded it. They also covered for me so I could be with them and rallied around my family with support.

I cannot thank them all enough.

This happened all because I decided to be vulnerable and connect with people.

Pretty powerful stuff isn’t it? 😊

Build Trust

It can years to build trust, but a single moment could damage years of hard work.

But what habits or characteristics build trust? Try working on these 3 things to better build trust with people


Integrity is the alignment between your thoughts, words, and actions

Basically it means when you consistently say what you think and do what you say.

Having integrity means people can trust you. They can trust you to give honest, constructive feedback and to keep your promises and commitments.

It’s also important to NOT overpromise and underdeliver. If you do this, you risk been seen as lacking integrity and not following through on your commitments. Only promise what you know you can deliver and commit to.


While you cannot be there for everybody all the time, it’s important to provide support when needed to the people you care about most.

Providing support means you have that person’s back when it matters, and you will help catch them if they fall.

How To Build Trust

Support breeds connection between people and plays a role in building trust as well.

By helping the people you care about practically, you can comfort them emotionally and will really help in building relationships with people.


Promises are easy to make, but sometimes difficult to keep.

Not keeping promises is a major reason strong, healthy relationships can break down.

Committing to your words and promises also means you are committing to the relationship you helped to create.

Remember this the next time you are considering not following though on the promises you made.

Which leads us to the last thing you can do to promote healthy relationships.

Protect The Relationship

The strength of your relationships is dependent on how well you value and protect the relationship.

Protecting relationships is the long game and playing chess when others are playing checkers.

Treat the relationship like a newborn baby. Babies need love and nurturing to grow and prosper. Relationships needs the same things to survive.

If you are only worried about getting the job done, it doesn’t consider the relationships that might be damaged along the way. I know from experience.

I used to be a “get the job done at all costs” type of person. I didn’t care whose feelings I hurt along the way.

However, when it came time to ask for help from those same people, let’s just say they were not the most helpful.

I played the short game instead of the long game…. and it cost me a lot. Don’t follow the same mistake I made.

One of the most important things you can do to protect the relationship is to learn how to respectfully resolve conflicts.

But how do you do that?

Try following these ideas for respectfully resolving conflict:

  • Fight fair and don’t attack someone directly
  • Take the hit when needed to preserve the relationship
  • Admit to mistakes
  • Be willing to forgive
  • If tempers flare, take a break

Learning how to respectfully resolve conflict can mean the difference between disrespecting your colleagues and family or building lifelong relationships.


Developing and nurturing relationships is a learned skill… none of us were born with this skill.

Today’s article covered 5 things you can do today to build strong, healthy relationships.

With the right mindset, behavior, and practice, you can strengthen and advance a wide range of relationships in your life.

5 Things to do to Build Stronger, Healthier Relationships

Healthy relationships will make you feel more fulfilled and connected to the people and world around you.

Your life will feel like it has real value, and you’ll have more fun and excitement to boot.

When you develop strong, healthy relationships, your whole world opens up!

When that happens, you just need to walk through the doors……

Go make it happen…. today! 😊

Live The Life You Love, Want, And Deserve! 😊


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