The Art Of Relating
David Lawrence Preston is a hypnotherapist and personal development trainer who has frequently appeared on radio and television. Over the last 20 years he has developed the Dynamic Living Programme, which draws on practical psychological techniques and the sum of all his considerable experience with clients. He is also the author of 365 Steps to Self-confidence.
It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.
People skills are a prerequisite of happiness and success. They are indispensable in every area of life.
Human beings are social animals. We feel empty and hollow without fulfilling relationships. We need friends to care and be cared for and in our working lives the ability to get on with a wide variety of people is an important factor in career success. Would you like to be great with people, to make friends easily, to be the sort of person others love to be around?
To some, it comes naturally. They had the advantage of good role models when they were young. Others had a poor start but learned through experience. If you consider yourself to be shy and awkward with people, you too can learn. The skills are easily acquired; an attractive personality is easily within the reach of everyone who is willing to practise a few attitudes and skills.
Of course, your prime relationship is with yourself, and this is the springboard for all your other relationships. Your attitude to yourself is like a pair of coloured spectacles through which you view everyone (and everything) else. That’s why some people constantly attract inconsiderate, indifferent, even abusive partners who are genuinely incapable of loving them – but they don’t believe deep down that they are worthy of anyone better. Psychotherapists’ appointment diaries are full of such people.
There are eight basic laws governing your relationships. They apply to your relationship with your partner or spouse, your children, friends, neighbours, work colleagues… even complete strangers. Understanding and mastering these principles will help you to get on with everyone.
People principle no 1: at its most basic level, a relationship is about a mutual fulfilling of needs.
People principle no 2: if you want a relationship to succeed, take responsibility.
People principle no 3: unless you have a genuine interest in others, your relationships will never be wholly satisfactory.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
People principle no 4: know that it is impossible to fake an interest in others.
People principle no 5: listening and communication skills are the basis of relationships. They are the basis of all relationships, the secret of popularity and, unless your goal is to become a hermit, indispensable for a happy and successful life. That’s why most of the remainder of this book is devoted to them. They are crucial assets in your pursuit of your goals.
People principle no 6: relate to others on an emotional level.
People principle no 7: accept others as they are, not as you want them to be.
The biggest thing that keeps people from having the relationships they want is that they’re looking for a relationship to be the solution to their problems.
People principle no 8: work on yourself; become a better person and watch your relationships improve.