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It’s darn near impossible to live in today’s world without having multiple connections of various “shapes and sizes.”

Here are 8 traits that build stress free relationships.

Self-Esteem

As I’ve repeated over and over, the #1 most important relationship a person will ever have is with themselves.

The understanding of one’s values and their pursuit, leads to their belief and experience that “I can do it!”

Developing self-esteem is fundamental to a stress free relationship, as without it, one will often seek dependence on others, financial security, and settle for far less than a happy, healthy partnership.

Honesty

When you can trust your partner it removes a voluminous amount of anxiety and stress from any relationship.

It’s normal to desire emotional security.  When it’s missing, it can evolve into jealous and destructive behaviour.

However, when honesty is the norm, you acquire a great deal of comfort and peace knowing that you can be yourself and not risk the emotional trauma associated with someone close purposely attempting to deceive you.

Empathy

Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, teaches the first habit as “Seek first to understand.”

That’s a fantastic practical application of empathy.

It’s amazing how often and how quick we are to judge others and formulate an opinion about them in our minds without actually knowing what they may be experiencing or have experienced.

Maybe they had the most terrible day of their lives…would that change the way you communicate with someone? Would you be more forgiving of behaviour you might deem inappropriate otherwise?

It’s not to say we need to accept hurtful comments or aggression.  Only that attempting to first understand someone’s situation or feelings creates a very different basis for healthy communication.

Openness

One primal desire in relationships is a feeling of connectedness and that can ONLY sustainably happen through a willingness to be open.

Sharing your thoughts and feelings, as well as being able to discuss them in a composed manner, goes a long way to building a stress-free bond.

Integrity

Saying what you mean and meaning what you say, aka integrity, is the day-to-day application of honesty.

When you tell your partner you’re going to be home for dinner but you don’t show up, you eat away at the trust and security necessary for happiness.

It may seem like a trivial example with a small impact. Yet, if repeated over and over, and in different situations, the deterioration is accelerated.

The same is entirely true in reverse. Every time you mean what you say and follow through, there’s an accumulation of stability and well-being in a partnership.

Respect

How do you treat each other on a daily basis?

Respect is reflected by how you interact, by how much you value each other’s opinions and even by how well you fight “fair” in the communication of differing beliefs, ideas and viewpoints.

Listening, speaking with words of encouragement, appreciation and gratitude are all powerful strategies to grow feelings of respect among partners.

Positivity

A core principle in the Life By Design Blueprint is to focus on what’s strong, not what’s wrong.

Most relationship advice centres on what NOT to do.  Stop nagging, pick up your clothes, I hate when you….

The happiest couples have discovered the secret that success comes from paying more attention on what TO do.

Sending a loving text, apologizing, buying flowers, planning a special evening, saying thank you…

The list of what we can do to bring a positive vibe into the relationship is only as limited as your eagerness to give it a try.

Rationality

In simple terms, rationality means that reality exists and using logic, not emotion, is the ideal form of acquiring knowledge to use as a basis for our words and actions.

Rationality is taking responsibility for one’s activities and not transferring accountability to our emotions or any other outside factor.

Although rationality may seem like an “out of place” trait to build stress free relationships, it’s actually the most important of all!

What type of relationship do you want? Are you willing to do the work or will it be ground hog day all over again?