There’s some comfort in that. If you’re struggling to connect with a person, or you’ve made mistakes in how you treat someone who’s important to you... you’re not alone. (Even though it might feel that way now, especially if you’ve fallen out with your co-worker/partner/closest relative.)
Here’s more good news – you can fix your relationships.
And better yet, this article is going to give you the perfect recipe to do it.
Because building a successful relationship is not rocket science. It’s actually much more like baking a cake. Put the right things in, and you’ll have something satisfying to share at the end. (Having said that, there's some things that you should avoid doing too, so you can also further your progress after implementing these 7 ingredients by looking at some proper training into it.)
So, here’s our recipe: the 7 ingredients in every successful relationship.
They’d probably make a pretty foul cake, to be honest – but start sprinkling them into your daily life, and they’re sure to put new zing into your work and home relationships.
Let’s get baking.
1. Bread (for breaking)Share and be open
To build a strong bond with someone, you must be willing to open up and show them who you truly are. You have to share the things that are most important and personal to you.
The ancient ritual of breaking bread is not just about sharing food. It’s a leveller, cutting through the superficial things we project like status, pride and politeness.
When you share things like your biggest fears and passions, you are placing trust in the other person. That builds their trust in you, and your relationship can start to grow.
2. Meat and potatoesBe dependable
It’s basic. It’s solid. It can sustain you through a cold winter. And it’s still around when fancier foods are scarce. That’s why meat and potatoes are a byword for dependability. And that’s why we’ve got it in our relationship recipe.
The key to a strong relationship is being able to rely on each other. So make sure you’re there for your colleagues and the people you care about. Arrive on time. Do what you said you would. Be supportive.
Prove you won’t let people down, be reliable and trustworthy, and your relationships will succeed.
3. A plate of crowAdmit when you’re wrong
In case you’re not familiar with it, the term ‘eating crow’ means to humbly admit you were wrong after taking a strong – and totally wrong – stance on something.
Why is that important? Because honesty is important.
Some people never admit they’re wrong. They’re too proud, or ashamed, or pig-headed. Their relationships suffer, because everyone else can see the truth.
Don’t be like that. Admit when you’re wrong and you’ll have the respect of everyone around you.
4. A gobstopperListen!
Yes, it’s important to say what’s on your mind. But remember – a relationship is a two-way street. And one of the best ways to show you care about someone is to listen to their problems, their dreams, and their silly stories.
So stick a gobstopper in your mouth once in a while, and just listen. It’s a great way to build a successful relationship.
5. Sugar, spice and all things niceBe sweet once in a while
You’ll be shocked to hear this, but being nice to people is pretty important if you want to build strong relationships with them.
Even if your relationship is built on banter, friendly rivalry and pranks, you still need to remind people how much you like them – and often.
Give a present. Give a compliment. Bake a cake (a real one!). Your relationships will flourish.
6. A dash of hot sauceBe fun and unpredictable
Remember those dependable meat and potatoes we talked about earlier? Well, you wouldn’t want to eat them at every meal, would you?
Try adding a bit of chilli or a yummy dessert afterwards – in other words, a bit of fun!
Yep, even the oldest school chums need to put effort into keeping their friendship fresh. Otherwise, you risk drifting apart.
So, do make the effort to be funny in conversation. Do plan unusual trips and nights out. Do be unpredictable now and again. Your friends, co-workers and loved ones will want you around even more.
7. Your own selfBe present
Remember, we’re dealing strictly in metaphors here. Don’t go baking yourself, or eating a real crow, or anything like that.
That said, the final and most vital ingredient your relationships need is you. By this we mean not just physically being there – but really being present in the moment.
Let’s put this a better way. Sometimes, when people become too comfortable in a relationship, they stop making the kind of effort they used to. Their priorities change. Deep in their subconscious, they decide it’s better to look at their phone or daydream than give their full attention.
Some people don’t even make the effort at the start of a relationship!
This kind of careless behaviour is hurtful. It makes people feel under-valued, or that they must be boring. It will ruin your relationships.
The ingredients you need are within youInstead, always remember to...
• Be present
• Be fun
• Be dependable
• Be sweet
• Be honest
• Be open and trusting
• Be a listener
• And be yourself
You already have a long list of excellent qualities, which can help you develop successful relationships and strong bonds.
You don’t need to change who you are. You just need to remember how to give the very best of yourself, to the people who are most important to you.
Whether you are building, rekindling or repairing a relationship, good luck. We hope it turns out beautifully.