Every human being has the inner need to feel loved, appreciated and celebrated. Growing closer to people requires genuine interest in someone other than yourself. It takes the focus off you and puts it on another. Strengthening existing relationships and building new friendships takes effort, but it is a worthwhile endeavor as it creates bonds of mutual love, respect and support that can last a lifetime. Take time to listen more, talk less, show others you care and grow closer to the people in your life.
Listen attentively. Pay attention when someone is talking with you. Listen and ask questions when appropriate. Try not to focus on what you are going to say next, but hear what the other person is saying.
Engage in conversations without dominating. Comment without being judgmental. Do not dominate conversations, but share on a give-and-take basis. If you tend to interrupt others when talking, then make a mental note to pause before speaking, so that you do not cut others off. Ask questions about the other person's interests.
Be encouraging. Refrain from gossiping and putting others down to build yourself up. Focus on being a positive, encouraging person. When someone looks nice, take the time to say so, but steer clear of constant complimenting that can appear phony and insincere.
Laugh out loud. Release your sense of humor, and enjoy being with others. Do not be afraid of being silly, and truly have fun with those in your life.
Remember important things. Take time to remember names and birthdays. If someone shared a problem with you, remember to follow up and ask how things are going. If a friend is about to start a new job, remember to congratulate her. If someone you know is going through a divorce, take time to tell him you are thinking about him and offer your support.
Forget the little things. Do not be overly sensitive. If a friend has to cancel a lunch date, and you are already waiting at the restaurant, do not take it personally. Let go of grudges. Forgive, forget and move on when a minor disagreement occurs.
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