If you want to improve your relationships, if you want to build happier and longer lasting social connections, you have to learn how to better communicate. If let’s say for example you are in a relationship and your partner acts in ways that you no longer can accept, ways that are hurting your feelings, you have to know how to responds to his actions, his behaviors and words. You have to learn to stop reacting and start responding. Always talk about the behavior and not the person. Tell him that you love and appreciate him but you simply can’t accept his behavior, you can’t tolerate it anymore. If you call somebody stupid when he or she does something wrong, that person becomes all defensive and no longer can hear what you are trying to communicate. The person becomes all emotional and can only think of ways to defend himself or herself. If you choose to call a person stupid, incompetent or whatever not only you are hurting that person’s feelings but you are not helping them at all, you are not improving your relationship with that person.

You might love them and you might want to help but that is not the way to do it. If you call somebody stupid, how can that person improve? Grow his IQ? You will not get good results with this kind of behavior. Always refer to that person’s behavior and actions. Try first to pay them a compliment, try first to tell them how great they are, how smart and capable they are and then share with them that which is bothering you.


Express your love and appreciation for that person and then express your concern for the way they are acting, for their actions and behaviors. A behavior can be corrected, can be changed, can be improved. Tell them how great they are and how they can do much more by changing some of their actions. People don’t like to be criticized and less or nothing will be achieved by criticism. I once had a friend that had a really strange behavior and a lot of the things she was doing were affecting the people around her and herself. At that time I thought I was helping her and I was sharing with her my concerns and ways to help her change. She could not stand it. We would always end up fighting and not talking for days. I asked her once:”What is it that bothers you so much? I am only trying to help you and make your life better. This is what friends do. They tell you what you are doing wrong in order for you to change so that you won’t get hurt later on in life. Criticism is constructive.” Her response? “Well I don’t your help. I don’t need you to keep on criticizing everything I do. You are the only person I know that tries to do this. I don’t need to know what’s wrong with me. I only want people to tell me how good I am, I only want people to share with me the things that are positive about me.” What can I say? If that is what makes her happy, who am I to stand in the way of her happiness? Who am I to try to help if she does not need my help? You can’t help people if they don’t want to be helped, if they think they don’t need it.

So next time when your friend, mother, father, husband, wife, dog, cat or what other creatures is getting on your nerves, pay close attention to how you’re gonna respond. You don’t react, because when you react, things can only get messier and I assure you it will not be a win win situation. You respond and by doing that, you show them how valuable they are and how they can achieve a lot more by working on their behaviors.

I am going to give you an example so you can better understand what I am talking about. Let’s take for example Bil and Lisa who are married for almost 3 years now. One nigh Lisa comes home from work, exhausted and hears her husband screaming out loud from the game room:”Lisa honey, is that you? Can you make me something to eat? I am starving.” The sink is full with dishes, the house is a mess, clothes all over the place. She gets so mad and thinks:”I am working from 9:00 am and it’s almost 10pm. I am exhausted, my head is killing me, I am tired, I want to take a bath, I want to get some rest and this is what I get? More work? He is home all day long and can’t wash the dishes? Can’t clean the house a little bit? He can’t make something to eat? Do I have to do everything around here? I am gonna go crazy one day. I can’t do this anymore. I am gonna go and tell him what I think about him. I am going to tell him.” She walks very fast toward the game room and suddenly stops:”If I start screaming at him, that will only make everything worse. I love him and I really don’t want to make a scene. I can make this work. I can do it without us fighting. I can do it.”

She enters the room and there is Bil playing his favorite game. Instead of reacting to his irresponsible and immature behavior Susan starts talking and expressing his concerns. “Sweetie, I know how much you love this game and I now how much fun you have right now and I really don’t want to stand in the way of that but I am really tired and I would really love to take a bath. You know, when I got in the house and saw your clothes all over the place, the sink full of dishes, I felt irritated because I want to start cooking dinner for us and I can’t do it right away with all the dishes in the sink, all these clothes lying all over the house and if I start cleaning it will take forever until the dinner is ready. So I want to ask you to help me out so we can both be happy, well fed, watch a movie and then go to bed. We are a team sweetie and if we don’t work with one another, what then?”

It’s that simple. If you let all your anger get in the way you will not get from him what you want and your day, night or whatever will be a disaster. It’s all in how we choose to respond to those situations, those behaviors that will eventually decide if we are going to be happy or not. If we are going to improve the relationships with those we love or destroy them little by little.

Look how beautiful Viktor Frankl talks about this:”Between what happens to us, the stimulus and how we respond to that stimulus there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

We have the power to choose for ourselves, we have the power to choose how are we going to respond and based on our choices we make our life. So let’s all chose to live a happier life. Let’s all chose to improve the relationships we already have and also build new ones.

Author's Bio: 

Writer, blogger, people builder, soul sculptor and a lover of life.