5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Relationships


Have you ever heard someone say, “I love my work, but I can’t stand the people I work with”? Without a doubt people are difficult to deal with. Some people complain, other criticize. Trusted friends can betray you. Family members can leave you out of the loop. Authority figures can snub you. What’s your response? Here are five ways to get along with the people in our lives.

Be thankful.

Be grateful for the people in your life. They are placed there to make you a better person. Two of the most important words you can say to another person are: Thank you. Thankfulness is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good close friends are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. When we begin to thank the people in our lives for their contributions, assistance, and presence it does a profound work in them and in us. Take a moment to express heartfelt gratitude for (and to) the people in your life now.

Be a team player.

Your family, work, or church is comprised of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. They are a team. The motivational poster defines team with an acrostic: Together everyone accomplishes more. Three of the most uplifting words you can say to another person is: I’m with you. If you want to enjoy the people in your life, get along side of them in an important venture, whether it’s raising a family, achieving a goal, supporting a cause, or growing a business.

Be patient.

People are in process. They have not arrived, but they were becoming. Be patient with people. They are at various stages along the developmental highway. Popular several years ago were buttons that had the letters “PBPGINFWMY.” The letters stood for “Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.” We would be wise to follow that directive with the people in our lives. Four of the most meaningful words you can to another is: I believe in you. The people in our lives are not perfect. They are not all they want to be. We can do much to encourage and affirm them. It helps to remember not just how far they have to go, but how far in which they have come. They are not where they want to be, but neither are they where they used to be. God isn’t finished with you, nor the people in your life. As he is patient with you, you be patient with them.

Be affectionate.

If people aren’t on our hearts, they’re on our nerves. Meaning, if we don’t have our children, our spouse, our teammates, or our coworkers on our hearts, they get on our nerves. Three of the most cherished words you can say to another human being are: I love you. When we love from the heart it changes the people in our lives and it changes us. Love is not a syrupy emotionalism, but a strong desire that hopes and works for the best for the other person. When you truly love someone, you will seek their best interest.

Be prayerful.

Pray for the people in your life. This will accomplish two objectives: change your attitude toward them and change you. We pray not just for what it does for others, but for what it does to us. Positive praying is much more powerful than positive thinking. People may resist our advice, spurn our appeals, reject our suggestions, not listen to our help; but they are powerless against our prayers. Four of the most meaningful words you can say to another person is: I’m praying for you. One of the most expressive ways we can communicate how much we cherish another person is to pray for them.

Put these five suggestions into practice and see what difference it will make in you as you relate to the people in your life.

One of my most popular books, The 7 Sins of Highly Defective People, takes a twenty-first century look at the seven deadly sins and offers advice on how, through Christ, we can overcome them. The book is a repair guide that will take you from highly defective to highly effective in your Christian walk. Click here to claim your copy.

About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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