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Bill Bergeman


10 Simple Rules for Maintaining Positive Relationships With Anyone

    1. Don't argue.

    You can disagree and debate, but arguing accomplishes nothing but resentment. You are unlikely to convince the other person of your position by way of arguing anyhow.

    2. Always be positive.

    This doesn't mean you have to be smiley happy unicorns all the time, but having an upbeat, can-do attitude is infectious and attractive.

    3. Listen.

    As in really listen. Establish strong eye contact, repeat what you heard, and be present. Understand. Relate. Remember what they said.

    4. Be solution-oriented.

    If there's a problem, propose solutions.

    5. Don't complain.

    It is well known that people who complain attract people who complain. This is because complaining produces oxytocin, thus forming a bond with fellow complainers. Don't be this person. If someone complains to you, find a way out of the conversation or suggest an alternate way of viewing the situation.

    6. Always be supportive.

    Everyone needs help once in a while, so never condemn what someone else is doing, no matter how small or big. Be helpful in any way you can, even if it is as simple as saying, "I believe in you."

    7. Stay connected.

    This one is my kyrptonite. As many ways as there are today to stay in touch with people, we often feel more disconnected than ever. The explanation may have to do with our increasingly asynchronous lives (read Oliver Burkeman's view on this topic). So that means being more conscious of maintaining relationships - text, message on social media, call, Zoom, make plans. You have to be extra proactive about it.

    8. Care.

    Keep tabs on how people and their family and friends are doing. Know the pain points in their lives and demonstrate a willingness to help if possible.

    9. Smile.

    As simple and perhaps even as silly as it may seem, smiling produces smiling, and if you can make someone smile they will naturally like you better than they would otherwise.

    10. Have fun.

    Life is short. Difficult things happen, and it's easy to fall into a pit when they do, but if you're the person who always knows how to inject humor and fun into a situation, people will want you around.

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