Cornerstones for creating healthy, long-lasting relationships

By Lisa Merlo-Booth


Treat loved ones lovingly.

The important people in your life will know you cherish them, when you treat them as if you do. Be loving in your words and actions at all times… even when angry.


Use your words to build others up, not tear them down.

Words are one of the most powerful tools we have. They have the power to nourish another’s soul or harm it. Learn to use words wisely.


Be respectful at all times to all people.

All individuals have the right to be treated respectfully at all times in all situations. Learn to live by this value, regardless of how other people are behaving.


Ask for nothing more than you are giving.

Lead by example. If you want to be respected, listened to, and treated like an equal, then you must respect, listen to, and treat others as equals. If you can’t give it, don’t ask for it.


Accept nothing less than you give.

Do not allow others to treat you poorly for any reason. Each time you passively remain in the presence of someone who is treating you in hurtful ways, you send a clear message that this behavior is okay. This is not an acceptable message. It does not serve you or others to be hurt or humiliated.


Be authentic.

Speaking your truth is a wonderful gift. Be truthful in a compassionate, honoring way. Don’t hide it, sugar-coat it, or deny it. Just tell it.


Have integrity in your actions.

Integrity requires that you live your values moment to moment; not just speak them. If you can’t act upon your words, then don’t utter them.


Never use your body in anger against yourself or others.

Safety is a prerequisite for all healthy relationships. If you are using physical violence against someone in anger, that person is not safe. Intense anger acted out physically will break a connection instantly.


Do not speak ill of others — it reflects poorly on you.

If you have a problem with someone, go to the source. If you have nothing else to talk about, make it a point to read up on current events or talk about your own life.


Deal with issues directly and in a timely fashion. Allowing issues to fester destroys relationships.

If you cannot let go of an issue without resentment, then speak directly about it. Each unspoken grudge piggy-backs on previous ones, until they build up to a point where few relationships can survive without a lot of work and/or outside help.

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