Being a relationship coach, people regularly ask me how to grow their relationships. Actually, one thing I get asked is how to have a better relationship with the people they love most.

They ask what they can do to get along better with people, even how they can find their forever person. Well, what they say is that they want to know how to find someone who will truly love them and have the relationship of their dreams.

It can seem like these are all different questions with different answers. But what I’ve found is that relationships may come in different forms and types. We tend to treat relationships with family differently than we do with finding your true love.

Or with the friends you get together to go camping with.

At the heart of all of these relationships is a commitment that comes from a central place: you.

The way to have strong relationships with anyone is related to one thing: LOVE.

The key for us to embrace is how we show this love and use it.

And it all begins with you. So, let’s just keep it simple shall we? That’s the most effective way to do anything.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

First, what are some of the core issues that keep us from having stronger relationships? Identifying the root problems helps us be able to best identify solutions.

All of us have root issues inside us, false beliefs that cause us to operate from a place of insecurity, doubt and fear. Call it your inner child wound. 

Most inner child wounds are either rooted in a belief that you’re unworthy or not good enough/not enough.

From these root issues you get patterns of behaviors like codependency/people-pleasing, control and manipulation, aggressiveness, fearfulness, insecurity, isolation and other issues.

This is across all of humanity. All of us have dysfunctional patterns that we’re trying to overcome.

Life is a journey of growth and no one has arrived. We cool on that?

So here are the three tips or ways to improve any relationship.

Are you an 80s movie fan?

Image courtesy of Delorean Rental.

Remember the theme song to Back To The Future?

Huey Lewis and the News baby! The Power Of Love. Can you feel it?

LOVE is the key. And it starts with yourself.

Self-Love is ultimately the way to improve all of your relationships. 

Three Tips for how self-Love will improve any relationship:

  1. Be Clear In Your Communication – Be aware of your words, actions and behaviors and what you are saying with them. Remember that the only person who has access to your thoughts is you, so if you don’t tell us what you’re thinking and there’s something we need to know, you need to tell us. And you can use the next tip or key to make that communication have the most impact
  2. Be Empathetic Through Compassion & Kindness (describe the difference)
  3. Be Present With Integrity – Fully show up for yourself and for others and don’t put people on the back-burner by getting distracted by cell phone texts/social media stuff. Look people in the eye and engage fully. Do what you say, don’t lead people on, be whole in yourself regardless of whether people are watching or not

You know what this is at a base level?

It’s treating your neighbor as yourself. You want to be understood so work on making sure that what you’re saying is communicated in a way that a 3rd grader would understand it.

Unless you’re using big words, and honestly I do that sometimes.

Still, communication is a strength to those who practice is. If you find yourself not being understood by others or you say something that you want someone to do and they do some hackneyed variation of it, figure out where the communication gap was.

Then work on it.

Presence is a really big thing. I can think of a ton of examples where all you have to do is just keep your cell phone in your pocket and not pull it out so you can just BE with whoever you’re with.

That’s integrity and it’s honoring others.

When people do these things for you or with you, they’re showing you LOVE. And it changes the world.

Starting with your own.

D Grant Smith is known as the Growth Farmer, which means he has an old-fashioned approach to living a whole & healthy life. Get his free ebook called Love Is The Seed To Success, that gives help in healing relationships and growing healthy ones. His new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole is about the journey into self-love and self-care after heartbreak and personal loss. He’s an empowerment superhero who would love to give you encouragement so feel free to reach out!

Image courtesy of Christiana Rivers.