The secret to relationships

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Nurturing bad relationships

Occasionally we come across people we just do not like. This is mostly down to personality clashes, we dislike something about the person or the person dislikes something about us. Other reasons include jealousy, intimidation, and intelligence.

quality_of_relationshipWhen it comes down to it most people wish they had something that other people have. Let that sink in for a bit: Most people wish they had something that other people have. This could be money, intelligence, confidence, looks, power, charisma, physique; a whole plethora of ideals.

I know my biggest wish is for more intelligence and wit. I envy people who are very intelligent and quick-witted. I am by no means think and dull witted but people like Stephen Fry, Robin Williams, Billy Connolly, Sandi Toksvig, Judi Dench, Victoria wood and Sharon Aitchison (my Wife) all have my admiration and respect for their intelligence and quick wittedness. I would like to be more like them, and I recognise the fact that I envy them.

However, many relationships fall down when people don't recognise what they want from the other person. Like the person who bitches about someone all the time is usually jealous in some way and wish they had something the other person has.

The workplace

We are going to meet many people in our lives who we think are "˜dicks', for want of a better word. How often have you spoken to someone or someone has spoken to you and you have thought "˜he's a dick' simple as that, your perception of him or her is that they are a dick. You don't have to speak with them again, hopefully, so you avoid them. It works both ways, there will be people thinking you are a "˜dick' and will be steering clear of you in the future, that's life you can't have everybody liking you and similarly you can't like everybody no matter how nice you are.

We meet many people through our place of work, there are many people we just do not have time for, and they do not have time for us, fair enough. What about when we know, we have to work with someone on a project and we know we don't like him or her? This can be tricky and can jeopardise the project if we are not mature enough to handle our feelings toward the other person. Alternatively, what about if we have to sit next to them everyday in the office, now everyday is a long time so wouldn't it be better if we found something to like about the person?

The trick to liking someone is to like them!

If you do find yourself working alongside or having to spend time with someone you don't like here are a few things you can do to change your relationship with them.

  • What do you like about them?

Mentally note 5 things you like about the person. There is always, always, always something you like about someone else (we are talking about everyday people here not criminals, murderers and the like). Even if you like their dress sense, it is a start. So mentally note five things you like.

You are already on your way to a better relationship.

  • Speak to them

Just make a point of saying good morning and good night, even if they don't reciprocate. You can also comment on something you like about them. You are not sucking up here, you may be spending more time with this person that you do with your partner so try to make it pleasant.

  • Recognise what their strength is

Most people have a strength and it is quite apparent from the word go. Try to find out what strength the person you dislike has. Look deeper and ask yourself if you dislike them because of this strength. Look at them a little deeper and try to find out more strengths and vulnerabilities.

  • Have a mental conversation with them

This is one of the most powerful ways to getting along with other people you can use.

Before you go to sleep at night picture yourself and the other person having a conversation. Picture yourself speaking to them in a pleasant manner and them reciprocating. Picture yourself laughing with them and apologising for the way you treated them and them apologising to you for the way they treated you.

This exercise will take all of 5 minutes and if done 2 -3 times a week it can greatly enhance any relationship.


We all have to put up with people we don't like but if we have to see them everyday and work with them make the effort to nurture your relationship. This will greatly enhance your work life and free your mind from unnecessary internal arguments.


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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.