three pillars of a relationship

Not all relationships are created equal, but in order to ensure that our relationships thrive well, we need to keep in perspective these three important elements in our mind and our heart:

Respect: When you stop respecting the other person or vice versa, your relationship starts deteriorating. Silence may start camouflaging the cracks that have started forming in the relationship due to lack of respect. We need to make giving and expecting respect an integral part of any relationship that we engage in. If you’re not being respected or are taken for granted, communicate this truth to the other person even if your voice shakes. Those uncomfortable conversations are needed to sustain relationships in the long-term. Once the respect equation is balanced, relationships get back on track. Also, don’t let lack of respect from the other person tempt you to lose the respect that you have for them. This will be pointless, and it’s better to lead with example, not force.

Love: Without love and consistent expression of it, relationships become hollow. We need to let go of judgments and love the other person unconditionally as hard it may be for us. Love makes everything better. It’s a great idea to invest your time into learning the different love languages and figure out what are yours and what are the ones that the other person uses to communicate their affection. Equipped with that knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to bring clarity pertaining to the acts of love that need to be expressed and find a common ground to ensure that both the parties feel equally loved. Sometimes, even when we don’t get love, we need to keep giving our love to the other person. With time, we will find that the more love we give, the more we’ll get in return.

Support: The difference between good relationships and great relationships is support. You need to be there for the person both in moments of defeat and in victory. You need to be there for the person when he or she needs you the most. You need to communicate to them and remind them repeatedly that they’re not lost in dark, and you’re there for them — always! You need to support the other person and the choices that they make for themselves unconditionally and without any judgments. Support doesn’t mean that you should coach, teach or instruct them what to do and what not to do. Support means you need to hear them out and be there for them without trying to ‘fix’ them. If in doubt, just simply ask them, “Do you want my advice or do you just want me to listen to you?” With effective communication, you’ll be able to support the other person through thick and thin. You need to be there to cheer for them when they win and also be there for them when they need a shoulder to cry on. You don’t need to give yourself so much that you keep your own life and priorities on the back burner but you can be there for them as much as possible. The other person may or may not ask you to be there for them but you need to be there regardless. Their needs may be unspoken but you still need to listen to them and comfort them.

Along with giving our support, we also need to be open for their support. We can seek help whenever we need to without thinking that we’re burdening the other person. It’s okay to reveal our needs and requirements to the other person. We don’t need to go overboard and we can have a balanced approach towards giving and receiving help.

Support doesn’t always mean financial help. It can also be physical, emotional and spiritual assistance. Support adds not only value to the other person but a great depth to the relationship as well, making the bond stronger as we face obstacles and challenges together.