Whether we are talking about family, friends or lovers, there have been many deep and insightful books written about relationships.  If we apply the advice of Robert Fulghum though, it really is very simple.  A few decades ago he wrote a book called “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and what he had to say is as true today as it was then.

Be nice
It doesn’t take much and it’s a basic truth that (mostly) if you are nice to others, they are likely to be nice back.  That means speaking kindly to and about others, even when you might not be feeling so kindly towards them.  Remember that everyone is dealing with their own challenges, which you may know nothing about, and doing the best they can under the circumstances.  Do the best you can to be nice and make life easier for people – without making it harder for yourself, of course.

Take turns
Some people like to be the one in charge and others like to follow some else’s lead.  In the best and most fulfilling relationships, people take turns to support and be supported, and they negotiate on any important decisions where there is disagreement.  Otherwise one person is always going to end up feeling like the victim/martyr.

Clean up your messes
We all make mistakes sometimes – after all we’re human.  As an adult, the best way to move past them is to take responsibility for what you did, apologise and try to do better next time.

Let people know what is going on in your life and listen to what is going on in theirs.  As the old saying goes, a burden shared is a burden halved, and a joy shared is a joy doubled.

Take time out to play
Sharing fun activities can be one of the best ways to get to know someone in an easy and low-pressure environment.  That’s why joining a group that does something you’re already interested in is one of the best ways to meet people.

Follow these basic rules and watch your relationships blossom!

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