There are plenty of lists out there for how to improve relationships of all kinds. You know, the ones about listening and being kind, sharing and having balance, being yourself and celebrating the other person, and on and on.
Recently, though, I've come to think that there is an important behavior essential to having good relationships. But before I divulge the new insight, what is the opposite? What is the one thing that cripples relationships the most? There's a lot of lists out there for that, too, but really, think about the relationships you've ended or are not currently happy in. Is there a common theme for you, were or are they all unsatisfactory in the same way? Spend some time evaluating that for yourself, but in the meantime, here's the reveal:
One of the best ways to improve your relationships is to end harsh personal judgments of yourself. If you are quick to call yourself horrible names, put yourself down as stupid or incompetent, having running tapes in your head about you not being good enough, ugly, hopeless, worthless and worse, you most likely also have some troubles with maintaining healthy relationships. You may judge others as harshly as you judge yourself, which will likely drive people away sooner than later. Or you may get caught in a cycle of abuse with someone who's glad to also say horrible things about you as well as themselves.
If you do not truly value yourself, treat yourself well, help yourself constructively during hard times, it's very hard to authentically do that with the people in your life. That's mostly because your own self-talk will get in the way and build resentment toward others, or depression will increase and you will likely withdraw from others because you don't feel worthy or have the energy for others.
Loving and accepting yourself is key to loving and accepting others. If you are interested in learning how, go to the source: Louise Hay. If you have never heard of her, read on for true inspiration for having a healthy relationship with yourself and your world.