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According to Cambridge dictionary: “Relationship is the way in which two or more people feel and behave towards each other”. It’s not just the connection between a man and a woman to become something we call love as some people usually think. They are also family relationship, friendship, colleagues relationship, etc.

I have been in and out of some kind of relationships lately. They were happy, yes; desperated, yes; joyful (also happy); angry, yes; worry, yes… but overall, they all taugh me something. And I want to list them all out here what I’ve learn in these relationships that a lot of people might have been aware of as well and some might not.

1. Communication

That’s so important. You need to communicate with your partner, your family members, your colleages so they know what you have in mind. Don’t ever make the mistake of keeping everything inside your head and let it boil. It’s not healthy at all. And the hard part is you need to learn how to communicate it clearly. Make sure people can understand you, there would be no judgement or misunderstanding. “Even a mom of a mute and deaf child couldn’t know what it wants sometimes, let alone other people” So you can’t expect people read between the line or understand your thought without communicating.

2. Honesty

I don’t know how other people see this, but for me, since I was a kid, I just cannot lie, or at least am not good at it. I used to think it’s not good, to tell the truth all the time. As you have already known, this world actually works based on lies. My mom always told me being honest is not usually good for you in real world, in adult world. But as I growing up, I’ve learned that, because the world are full of lies, people are starving for the truth, for honesty. So I started to tell whatever I think, whatever in my mind. When I was a kid, I told the truth, but the raw one, so sometimes, people got offensive and it made me be more quiet, closed myself in. But now, I know how to choose words to say, still the truth but easier to accept. I’m still working on it so I can be better. But there are already some positive change in my life: people enjoy talking to me more, they feel fresh, that I don’t hide my feeling or I don’t care to try to say nice thing just to please their feeling. And in relationship like work place, my boss used to said he appreciated my honesty. In relationship with my partner, I tried to say whatever I feel, so we could be on the same page. And one thing about honesty is that, some people might find it harsh or they don’t like it. But you know what, they either like it or they don’t. And that’s their problems, not yours. You have to admit with me, no relationship can last long if it’s full of lies. If you have to lie to some one so you can make them happy, can you be happy in the long run? You have the answer for yourself.

3. Vulnerability

Have you ever watched the Ted talk of Dr. Brene Brown about The power of Vulnerability? Just check it out first then come back here. It has more than 10mil views for a reason, doesn’t it? I know there are a lot of articles, quotes or self-help books out there have already told you that you have to be strong, you have to be bold, be brave. How? By covering yourself with a mask of tough wall, by pretending that you can do everything, by telling you that there’s no good in showing your weakness to others? But you know what is the strongest? Showing your deepest fear, your vulnerability. How many people can raise their hand that they dare to do that? I used to be asked the question: “What do you think that makes you so powerful?”. And my answer is: “I am powerful because I’m not scared of being vulnerable”. It’s actually a hard thing in Asia culture or Vietnamese culture in specific. You don’t usually hear the parents said: “I love you” or “I’m sorry” to their kids. So some people found it hard to express how they feel. They tend to show it by actions. It’s also ok-ish, but in a long term, the more feeling you can put out there, the more connection you feel between 2 people or in relationship, the less conflict you have. How many of guys can be brave enough to cry in front of their love one? How many of you dare to show someone you love your darkest side without the thought of it might push him or her away? It’s not easy, it needs support, and practice.

4. Be yourself!

I’m not so sure about this one in some cases. Like in a working environment, if you want to be yourself, you’d better find a company which has an open mind attitude. For example, I’ve been trying to work for a Japanese company for a few months now, and it’s horrible. You feel like you are working with robots. I’m a bit lucky that I can express my honesty with my boss at least, but imagine, you told your boss, this company’s suck, by all mean, ok, then be hold to get fired. So in your work relationship, maybe it’s not ideal to “be yourself” all the time, because after all, you just come there, work, get paid and go home, not really to make friends 🙂 But if you found yourself have to pretend to be someone else for a long time, all the time, then how can you be happy? It’s part of your life and what’s the point if you can’t be happy? So not just in working environment, all relationship, you can just be yourself to be happy. You can try to live up by other’s expectation, sure, but just good luck, you will realize it’s not what you want soon. You have my blesses, dear 😉

5. Listening (or understanding what’s not said)

As important as communication (or some people may consider listening is a part of communication, which is also true), conversation requires from both sides. Ever had a fight with your parents and it ended up in fire because you were all think your opinions were solid? That is when listening needs to be a part of it. Make sure both parties can be listened in respectful way. And it required put your echo and pride aside.


(To be updated… since I will have more and more relationships in the future and there are still more to learn, and to do that, you need to accept you don’t know everything)

Please feel free to share your thought

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