We often ask for relationship advice from our friends, parents, co-workers and even strangers (because sometimes it is easier to pour your heart out to a complete stranger than to a best friend).
Sometimes we get good advice, sometimes we just get an understanding shoulder to cry on and sometimes we get heart-felt and sincere advice, that is. . . NOT good. Bad, actually. Terrible, to say the least.
Because any advice that you receive from people that like you, is rooted deeply in their personal beliefs, past experiences and popular assumptions. And there is no guarantee that THEIR beliefs, opinions and past experiences will help you with YOUR relationships.
So why look for the right person to help you with your relationships, when there is timeless and very practical advice that spiritual people from all ages have left us.
I guarantee that if you follow at least some of it, your relationships with other people will bloom, arguments will get resolved and past hurt will be forgotten.
5 Quotes by Spiritual People: All The Relationship Advice You Will Ever Need
1. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
This is probably one of the most widely-known and frequently repeated quotes and for this reason it is also one of the most overlooked as well. The problem is that we understand it too literally. When we hear about changing the world, we think of grand problems like world hunger, racism or global warming. We also believe that it takes someone like Gandhi to make a difference.
But if you take this pure gold advice and apply it on a smaller scale, like daily interactions between people, then you will get a real life transformation.
Because instead of blindly reacting (and overreacting) to situations, you will become more conscious about your actions. Do you want a driver not to honk at you three times, because you got distracted and did not go as soon as the light changed to green? Do you want your spouse to say “I’m sorry” and put the differences behind you. Do you want people to be more understanding and tactful when you are having a bad day? Then start with YOU.
Because if you want your world to be a better place, you should be the first one willing to change.
2. “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.” – Jesus
If you want to be treated well, start doing the same. Make it a rule to treat others well, despite how they may treat you. It does not mean that you should be a doormat and let people walk all over you. You have to defend your rights and what you believe in, but it does not mean that you should try to hurt or humiliate another person, just because you have been treated badly first.
Don’t let toxic people drag you to their level. Protect your inner peace from the spikes of negativity and anger. I know that it is not always easy to “turn the other cheek” and respond with kindness to negativity, but at least try to rise above it.
3. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
One of the best spiritual practices that you can adopt in life is to always try to place yourself in another person’ shoes. If you learn just this one skill, you will excel in any area of your life, be it your relationships or your career.
Whenever you face another person, be it your spouse, your boss or a total stranger, try to understand what are they going through, what it is like to be them, why do they say what they say and do what they do. You will soon discover that every single one of us has loved someone, lost something and is still longing for happiness.
So if you see sorrow and pain in another person’s eyes, take a small step to ease it. We are all equal particles in the Universe and other people’s joys and sufferings affect us as well (even when we don’t realize it).
4. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. also added that there is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. None of us is perfect. We have all made mistakes and have done something we are not proud of. And just like we often find justifications for our own shortcomings, we need to make an effort to forgive others. Whatever they have done is up to them. It is their karma. It’s between them and the Universe.
You, however, are responsible for your own feelings and actions. Such negative emotions as resentment, hatred, anger and a secret desire to see another person punished, bruises YOUR heart, not theirs. You are the one keeping yourself unhappy in the process. Forgiving those who have done you wrong is not something you do for them. It is something you do for your own well-being and peace of mind.
5. “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.” – Buddha
When we think about negative emotions, lack of trust is never the first one that comes to mind. Many of us have come to believe that we can only count on ourselves if we want to achieve anything worthwhile. Our past experiences tell us that there are no guarantees when it comes to relationships. That people may sometimes hurt us, betray us or promise something and then forget about it. So we think that it is better to expect the worst and not to give people a second chance to hurt us.
The problem is that if we don’t trust our partner 100%, if we give another person an assignment and expect them to mess up, then we are the ones creating what psychologists call “self-fulfilling prophecies”. Our positive or negative expectations about circumstances, events or people actions affect and change people’s behavior causing those expectations to be fulfilled.
You can use this knowledge to improve your own relationships, learning little by little to trust people and to expect the best from them, creating new positive self-fulfilling prophesies. If your husband comes home after a long work day, don’t assume that he will be stressed out or in a bad mood. If your friend usually arrives 10-15 minutes late for appointments, make a mental effort to imagine them being on time for every encounter with you. If your boss does not act very friendly around you, don’t assume that he is an arrogant jerk and that you will never get a raise from him.
Don’t let doubts ruin your relationships. Expect the best of people and you will be amazed at how often they will surprise you!