10 steps to manage your relationships
Why is it difficult to hold on to a partner for life? How to deal with that difficult parent, sibling or child? How not to get disturbed or stressed by other people’s behavior?
The wisdom of Yoga provides us with all the tools to work on ourselves to remove the struggles in life. We have come up with these 10 steps from the Yoga Way of Life to manage your relationships.
Step 1. Prioritize your responsibilities
With proper time management and by following the next steps in this article, you should be able to take care of all your responsibilities without compromising a prior one.
I. Take care of your basic needs;
II. Take care of those who rely on you;
III. Provide for livelihood to the best of your capacity;
IV. Play a role in society;
V. Take care of the environment.
Step 2. Take care of your basic needs
This is the most important step and is where we make the most mistakes. If you do not take care of your basic needs first there is no stable ground for a happy healthy life and good relationships.
- Wake up early enough to do your morning routine relaxed;
- wash and nourish your body properly, including your sense organs and external excretory channels;
- do exercise such as yoga asana;
- take time to prepare your meals and sit down in a peaceful environment to eat it mindfully;
- drink enough water throughout the day;
- spend the last hour of your day away from screens and bright light, meditate or contemplate on the day;
- go to bed early;
- stimulate your positive thoughts;
- have a purpose in life, work on personal development and spiritual growth.
Step 3. Do not let your happiness depend on sensual and material desires
We all like time to blow off some steam, this could be through entertainment, indulging, pleasure or material gain. When the situation allows it, in moderation this is fine. However, you should not mistake these for basic needs. If we give them importance, they become habits. All these desires to satisfy the senses or to gather possessions give a short pleasure but will not bring fulfillment. They are a distraction from taking care of ourselves, they take away energy and precious time. This energy and time can be spent on your relationships.
Most of all we grow attached to these desires and if they are not met, we can become irritated and short tempered. We take it out on the people we love the most and our relationships suffer under this.
Step 4. Determine what your responsibilities are to those who rely on you
Children. As a parent or guardian, you have the responsibility to provide them with their basic needs and a safe environment to grow up as healthy self-reliant individuals.
Parents. Once they grow old and are less capable of taking care of their chores, responsibility falls on the children to take care.
Siblings. Together with them you form the pillars that carry a structure, the more pillars, the more support you get, the further you are away from each other, the heavier the load you carry.
Your life partner. You have the responsibility to take care of each other and bring out the best of each other.
Grandparents, uncles, aunts and parents-in-law: treat them as your extra parents.
Cousins and brothers- or sisters-in-law: treat them as your extra brothers and sisters.
Sons- or daughters-in-law, grandchildren, nephews and nieces: treat them as if they were your own children.
Not everyone is blessed with a close relative. In this case the (distant) family or even society needs to step in.
Friends. A friendship with activities based on gossiping, indulging or entertainment is not a constructive relationship. Look for a friend in someone who is truthful and helps you to become a better person.
Step 5. Do not let others depend on you
It is great to help other people, but you are not helping them if they start depending on you. Teach your children to be self-reliant. Make sure your partner can run the household if you are not there. Support elders to that extent that they can manage themselves. Let your colleagues know what you do and how it is done. Never make yourself irreplaceable as this makes you a prisoner of your responsibilities and it alienates you from your relations.
Step 6. Do not create any expectations
You have the best intentions, and want to be loved, liked or appreciated by others. This can lead to you trying to impress people or trying to meet up to what you think they expect from you, by making promises or telling them what all the things that you will do are. This, however, creates stress and conflicts when the expectations you created conflict with your other responsibilities and when you cannot meet them.
Do not worry about what you think others expect from you, just don’t undermine yourself by creating expectations. And then… Do the best you can! You will exceed their expectations!
Step 7. Do your work to the best of capacity without expecting anything in return
Work can be your job or your schooling, but it can also be housekeeping, cooking, taking care of children or elders, maintenance and other chores.
- Do your work to the best of your capacity. No matter if you like the task at hand or not. Do not complain but have a positive mindset, keep a smile on your face, anyway the work must be done, better it be done by you.
- Do not compare your results with others. Do not get upset with your partner or colleague if they work less hard than you. Be happy that you can do this for them, whether they appreciate it or not.
- Do not expect to get anything in return for your work. Yes, you do your job to get a salary, that is how you need to provide. But don’t expect compliments, don’t expect gratitude, don’t expect attention from the boss, don’t expect a promotion or a bonus. If your work will result in any fruit, that is great, but do not expect it. These are false expectations. They create a negative mindset and undermine the relationship with the person you are expecting it from.
Step 8. Do not blame
No one likes to be wrong or make a mistake. Without being fully aware of it we try to draw the attention away when this happens. Often, we do this by making excuses or even by blaming others. Often, we do this to the ones we love the most. It is easier to blame another rather than looking at ourselves.
This behavior is destroying relationships. Blaming another never helps. Even if you are only 10% wrong and the other person 90%, take the blame. Always only look at your role in a situation. Take this as a chance for self-improvement. It will have a positive effect on your relationship.
Step 9. Talk
Integrating all these steps is not easy. Especially when you feel that your relations are not appreciating your efforts, or when their behavior is opposite of what you do.
What is good to keep in mind, is that people can be so consumed by their own lives, thoughts and perceptions that they do not notice you have changed. They are not aware of what is going on in your life and in your thoughts, even though for you it seems obvious. So, the most important thing is, that whenever a situation is out of balance for you, you sit down with the other person and talk about it. Explain what you are experiencing and listen to the other person. Do not expect another person to change immediately, but you will see that this mutual understanding has the greatest effect on your relationship.
Step 10. Do not rely on other people for your happiness
It’s important to have relationships in your life. Playing a role in family and society fulfills your life. But Yoga teaches us to be an indepent, self-confident individual.
Do the best you can, keep learning and let go of what is not in your control. You will see that you can find happiness in any situation, simply because you love yourself.