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couple-climbing-a-mountainby Keely Tanner

Have you ever wondered how you could make your relationships better?

Are there things that we, as individuals, can be doing to make our relationships stronger?

One thing that we should consider is “What changes can I make?”

Too often we think of what others are doing wrong and what they can do better. What we really need to be thinking is, ‘How can I better myself and what can I do to better my relationships?’

All relationships have their rough times, but we can get through them with effort and understanding.

The University of Arkansas Extension Service compiled data on three key principles entitled “Getting Our Hearts Right.” If applied the information could provide a good start to better our relationships. We are creatures of habit and usually change is difficult. But knowledge and a strong desire to improve can be powerful tools of change.

“Getting our Hearts Right” suggests three key principles: Humility, compassion and positivity.

  1. Humility opens our hearts.

Some people think of humility as passivity or a lack of self-respect. But healthy humility is  neither of those.

  • Humility is the recognition that, while our needs matter, so do the needs of other people.
  • Humility is the willingness to admit that we do not have a complete understanding of truth. It is being open to other people’s opinions.
  • Humility is a willingness to admit that we make mistakes. It allows us to continue learning and growing.

Humility is the foundation of healthy relationships. Those who are humble are ready to learn from people and experiences.

We need to apply having humility in our relationships, but it does not stop there. We need to work on the second key as well.


  1. Compassion connects our hearts.
  • Compassion is being sensitive to the struggles and suffering of others. It means experiencing others’ sense of struggle and suffering along with them.
  • Having compassion also means that we are willing to work with them and the struggles they are facing because we love them.
  1. Positivity inspires our hearts
  • Positivity is the practice of seeing the good in people. In every relationship there are times of irritation and frustration. Positivity is deciding not to dwell on those moments or allow them to define the relationship. It is the choice to notice and dwell on what is good about the other person and the relationship. We focus on all the ways this relationship enriches our life.

Positivity is the basis of kindness. Kindness sustains relationships.

As we apply these principles into our relationships, these relationships will improve. They will become stronger and more meaningful.

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