What kind of people and friends do you like being around? It’s usually the ones who accept us for who we are, who don’t try to change, criticize, or control us. Have you ever thought about whether other people really like to be around you?
If not, maybe it’s because they feel, right or wrong, that deep down inside, you really don’t love or accept them for who they are. You’re always trying to change the way they do something. Instead of serving your family and showing them acceptance, you’re constantly criticizing them for not doing it the same way you do, or you’re always bossing them around. I confess—I’m guilty! So what can you and I do about it? Here are 3 ways to build better relationships.
1. Instead of trying to CHANGE people, ACCEPT others for who they are.
Accept and love them for who they are: people made in the image of God. Love them unconditionally, no matter what they say or do. And be sure especially to love the prickly porcupine people in your life. Here are some ways to hug those porcupines. Accept their wonderful qualities and their flaws. Just remember—we are all flawed in some way.
2. Instead of CRITICIZING people, APPLAUD them more.
In the movie Pollyanna, Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” It’s often also true that if you look for good things from mankind expecting to find them, you surely will. Most of the time, we can find some good in what people do. When we see it, we should applaud them and encourage them with our words. I’m continuing to learn how to criticize less and compliment more.
3. Instead of trying to CONTROL people, ALLOW them to be who God intended them to be.
As I’ve shared before, in our early years as a couple, I tried to control Susan and our relationship too much. As a result, I chained her spirit. But when I realized my error and changed my ways, Susan was set free and allowed to be who God created her to be—an amazing, creative, and awesome woman and wife.
Are you changing, criticizing, and controlling? Or accepting, applauding, and allowing? Share in a comment below.