If you were all alone in the universe, with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life?  It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony.  We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge.  The joy of growth.  ~  Mitsugi Saotome

Strong relationships contribute to a long, healthy and happy life. But relationships take work. We all want to connect with people. We want others to listen to us, to hear the great idea we just had. To have a friend, be a friend. Connect with others by listening and understanding. Hear what others have to say without judgment or interruption. Let them know that you hear them and that you support them. When we want something in the relationship, be honest about it. Expressing our desires might feel uncomfortable, but it gives the other person a fighting chance to give us what we really want.

Make time for those who really matter. Giving value is the best way to be apprecated by the people around us. Ask your friends what you can do for them. Try to understand things from their point of view. Compliment them on their good qualities and for the things they do well.

The support offered by a caring friend can provide a buffer against the effects of stress. Friendships require attention and nurturing. You’ve got to give to get, and what you give is what you’ll get in return. The best way to build better relationships with everyone is through positivity. Let your friends know that you value your friendship with them. Good relationships bring enhanced happiness into our lives.

Don’t take your relationships with other people for granted.  People who are connected to others take better care of themselves, take fewer risks and find more meaning to their lives.  Relationships of all kinds improve health of those involved.  Relationships matter!

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