Category Archives: Relationships Tips

Easy Conversation Starters That Work Great With Family and Friends

Quality conversations are a necessary part of relationships, especially between family and friends. Conversations with those we care about can help us learn more about them and their lives. It also gives them a chance to get to know us better.

Moreover, conversations with our loved ones can provide us the opportunity to become more involved in their daily lives and activities, thus helping us build stronger bonds with them. This is especially important for the relational development with our spouses and children.

For many families dinner time is more than just a time to eat. It is also a time where family members can come together and talk about their daily experiences. However, table talk can be easier said than done for some families.

The key to establishing a conversation with a family member is to ask engaging questions and to listen to what the other is saying. For example, you might ask a child, “teach us something you learned today that we might not know.”

Many children enjoy this kind of opportunity because they want to share with their parents the things they learned. And the more the parent listens with genuine interest the more engaged the child might become.

Most of us have aunts and uncles, and all of us have a grandma and a grandpa. These family members, especially grandma and grandpa enjoy sharing parts of their lives with us. The older members of our families have so much experience to share with the younger ones and generally are more than willing to do so.

A good easy conversation starter for grandma or grandpa might be, “What was growing up like for you?” This is an especially good question for a younger person to ask.

Aunts and uncles also like to share parts of their lives with other family members. If you have a aunt or uncle that means your mom or dad was their sibling. This being the case that means your aunt and uncle probably has some wild, crazy, and maybe even funny stories to tell about their experiences with your mom and dad.

No matter how old you are an easy conversation starter might be something like, “So, what was your brother (or sister) like when you two were growing up?”

Most everyone likes talking about their experiences with their siblings. And through listening to those experiences you also learn more about your aunt or uncle, as well as their brother or sister.

Starting a conversation with a friend can be just as easy as starting a conversation with a family member, although you might not start it in the same way. We generally know family members much more intimately than we do our friends. But this is the whole point of having a conversation with our friends – to get to know them better.

If you have a friend who has a girlfriend or boyfriend, an easy conversation starter might be,  “What is the (boyfriend or girlfriend) like?” Most friends who are involved in an intimate relationship with someone want, and sometimes even need, to share that part of their life with you, especially if they trust you.

Easy conversation starters with family and friends are easier to come up with than most of think. First and foremost, we already have an established relationship with these people.

Even if the conversation starter you choose to use is not something your friend or family member wishes to discuss with you, it’s okay. The relational bond will remain because you are their friend or a part of their family.

Which Issues to talk about to Improve your Relationship

Too often, people put their relationship aside and do not give it the attention it deserves. Our world has become so high-tech and high speed; we are all rushing around, bound and determined to get things done. The result is, we do more things, but get less done. A relationship, like any other part of your life, needs attention in order for it to grow, develop and survive.

When trying to decide what issues you need to focus on in order to keep a relationship healthy, the first needs to be communication. You have to be able to talk; even if you do not agree about things. There is an old saying about how opposites attract. Yet, there is another one that says oil and water can not mix. So, which one is right? Well, they both are. Opposites can attract, and get along, so long as they can talk.

Another important issue is mutual respect. When you are together, you need to be aware of your partner’s feelings and do not insult or demean them in front of others. Often in films today you will see a husband made the butt of jokes in front of friends, family, and even the children. This is fine for a comedy movie, but not real life. If you run your partner down in front of people, you will only end up hurting them. Is that truly what you want? And ask yourself this: how long will they put up with it? There is that all saying, the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is a pretty good rule to live by.

Next, there is the matter of shared responsibilities. If you or your partner are a stay at home person, either to only take care of the home, or also young children, that is one thing. But, these days, most couples both work. So, you should talk about how you will share the household chores.

It needs to be fair and flexible. Maybe you do not mind loading the dishwasher, but hate unloading it. So long as you can divide this issues up in a fair manner, you can work things out where one of you does not feel put upon.

Of course, there is always the issue of sex. Even today, many people are a little embarrassed to talk about it; even with their partner. This is especially true if you have a particular fantasy, but you should still strive to talk about such things. A good way to start is by asking them if they have some fantasy they would like to try, and then be open to doing it. If he (or she) wants you to wear a sexy outfit, try it! If they saw a movie and want to try something along those lines, give it a go. So long as something is not illegal, there is nothing wrong with a healthy fantasy life.

Then there is the issue of compromise. This can perhaps be the most powerful means of improving a relationship. After all, there is no guarantee that you will agree on everything. Nothing says you have to be in perfect sync’ on every issue. Yet, if you can agree to disagree, and then find the means of working through it, this will lead to a healthy relationship: compromise is a  simple act, yet a powerful one.

Like Yourself More and Others will Like You Even More

A fact of interpersonal relationships is: before others will like you, or even begin to like you, you must like yourself.  We can actually call this fact the “Golden Rule” of interpersonal relationships. If you don’t like yourself it becomes difficult for others to like you and, because of this fact, quality relationships with those around you can become more difficult to maintain whenever you find yourself not liking yourself.

When you don’t like yourself it shows in your verbal language, body language and other behaviors. In all interpersonal communications, whether good or bad, the language you use to talk, your body posturing, along with other behaviors have a strong influence upon new and existing relationships, each and every one of them. Your behaviors, including both verbal and non-verbal communication, speak volumes about how much you like yourself.

Liking yourself should be a natural act for everyone. Unfortunately it’s not. Liking yourself is a learning process that starts from infancy. As a growing child, the more people like you, specifically those close to you, the more you develop a liking within you for yourself. From this point of reference you learn, through the experience of numerous interactions and many life events, what liking is and what it means to you. What should be obvious here is that you learn to like yourself.

With this concept in mind it should make logical sense that you can like yourself more, after all liking yourself is a learning process, as we have seen.  However, liking yourself more means getting to know yourself more. This requires some introspection on your part, a looking inward within yourself, and we all need to do this if we want others to like you more.

Many of us have things about ourselves we don’t like and most of us have more than one thing or behavior about ourselves we don’t like. Perhaps it’s the language we use to talk with or how nervous we get when first meeting someone. Maybe it’s how we behave when someone points out a fault of ours. The good news is that you can change your attitude about practically anything you don’t like about yourself by paying attention to it and becoming aware of it.

It’s important to note that the attitude you take about yourself can fuel the degree of liking you have for yourself. If you consistently have a negative attitude about yourself and your future youwill become even more negative through time and therefore may find yourself disliking yourself even more. If, on the other hand, you take a positive attitude about yourself, an attitude that facilitates your liking for yourself, as often as possible, you can develop a deeper liking for yourself.

When you pay attention to something you don’t like about yourself you have choices to make in what to do about your findings. The choices are: change it, accept it, or ignore it. The choice is always yours. However, ignoring it will certainly bring you back to facing it again sometime in your future, whereas changing it or accepting it can bring you to a point of liking yourself more, which in turn will influence others to like you more because they will see what you see in yourself. Also, you will be a happy and cheerful person to be around, which will attract people to your company.

Any time you engage in the evaluation, change, and or acceptance of those things you don’t like about yourself you are making an investment into liking yourself more. This investment, much like the interest acquired from a savings bank account, is accumulative.  The more you find to like in yourself the more you will like yourself, and when people see that you like yourself more they can’t help but to like you more.