"We can have no relationships of depth or authenticity if we insist there is nothing wrong with us, or that it is always the other person's fault ... to refuse to take responsibility and admit our flaws makes the intimacy and love we seek in relationships an impossibility".          
Rebecca Manley Pippert

"We have to learn to love ourselves first... if we want any kind of meaningful and loving relationship with others."

"A friend is someone who is concerned with everything you do..."

Susan Polis Schutz

I always tell my daughters and students: "Don't rush. The time will come when you will meet that special person that will love you for who you are, that will respect you and will not try to control you, that will share beautiful moments with you and you can grow together and learn many wonderful lessons." I hope that by teaching her to love herself, to believe in herself and appreciate her talents, she'll have an easier time in relationships - with a boyfriend and with her friends. If she respects herself, she will not put up with abuse (physical or mental), she'll be strong and will leave a boyfriend that's controlling, possessive, jealous or that doesn't know how to communicate his feelings, etc.  Relationships are not easy, we have to work hard to make them work; but the important things are: good communication, patience, respect, kindness and honesty.

We have to learn to express our feelings, without hurting others; to be honest without insulting; to try to make the other person understand how we feel without putting them down - demeaning them or blaming them; and to respect their opinions and beliefs. We have to concentrate in the qualities of others (the good) and appreciate their efforts to make us happy; but we cannot expect so much, that we'll never be satisfied or pleased with anything they do. The hardest thing is to love without expectations, without conditions, without judgements; learning to express our feelings but respecting how our boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or friend feels; to let the loved one be FREE (free to be themselves, free to grow, free to accomplish his/her goals and dreams...)

No, love is not easy - but the challenge is worth it! But love should never feel bad. If something doesn't feel right, listen to yourself, listen to your feelings, listen to your heart and do something about it. You cannot let anyone use you or abuse you. You have to teach the other person how to treat you and tell them what you want and need with love and understanding, always respectful and always lovingly; once we insult someone, it will be harder for that person to trust us, no matter how many times we apologize. And of course we have to learn to forgive. We all make mistakes and want others to forgive us for our faults and weaknesses as well. If we hurt the feelings of others, we should say "I'm sorry" and mean it! When we love and appreciate another person, if our actions or words hurt their feelings - even if we didn't mean to hurt them - we should apologize, to let the other person know that we truly care. And it should be a sincere apology, or it will mean nothing and trust will die.

It is true that some people will never allow us to love them, because they don't know how to love themselves; they create a barrier and have a hard time letting others in. They feel vulnerable. The challenge is just to try our best; but if you are in a relationship where you feel emotionally exhausted; you keep giving and don't get anything in return; you feel that it is draining your energy - then, it is a toxic relationship and you will have to let go and move on. Unless, the other person is truly willing to work things out and get some professional help and is making a big effort to improve himself or herself.

How can we expect others to love us if we become so negative, so annoying, so angry, so ... unlovable? Don't make yourself so hard to please that others will have a hard time loving you. It is O.K. to be vulnerable. it is O.K. to give LOVE a chance!

Trust is one of the key ingredients in any relationship. We have to earn the trust of the other person and we have to be able to trust him/her. Without trust the relationship is dysfunctional or dead. When our actions (like lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, etc.) cause "mistrust" - when people have a reason to doubt us, to not trust in us, due to our behavior - it will be very hard to earn their trust again. We will have to work very hard, compromise and make a firm commitment not to act in irresponsible ways again and prove to them that we mean what we say.

Honesty then becomes one of the most important components of any relationship. People can sense when you are dishonest. No liar is a good liar; sooner or later others will discover who is worthy of trust and who is not.

My best teacher has been Leo Buscaglia; he has some great books that teach us how to become loving individuals and how to become better persons (like "Living, Loving and Learning" and "Loving Each Other"), please check
www.leobuscaglia.com. But there are many great authors out there, like Dr. Phil McGraw ("Self Matters" - please check www.drphil.com); like Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione ("Love is the Answer - Creating Positive Relationships"; like Deepak Chopra ("The Path to Love") and so many others. We can also learn a lot by observing other people; especially people that have good relationships in their lives; and of course, the best school is life. We will all make many mistakes, but hopefully we will learn our lessons and try to change. And YES, we have the power to change; we can learn to act in different ways, we can learn to control our anger, we can learn to become more loving and affectionate, we can learn to show more concern and be more understanding, we can learn to be more compassionate and kind, more patient and tolerant, etc.  There really is no excuse, we can definitely learn to become better persons and to have better relationships with others. Once we can feel how others truly like us and love us, that will be our greatest reward.

We all need and like to get attention, we like to be noticed. So try to give attention to your friends, to your girlfriend or boyfriend, to your sister or brother, to your mother and father - and you'll get attention back. People really appreciate it when we show interest in them, when we show concern, when we show that we really care. But we have to be HONEST...

Let's learn to make others feel special.
Let's learn to treat them with respect,
kindness and compassion.
Let's learn to be understanding and patient.
Let's learn to see the good in everyone
and everything.
Let's learn to listen to what others
have to say.
Let's learn to show concern and interest.
Let's learn to get along with people.
Let's learn to express our feelings,
without insulting.
Let's learn to say "I'm sorry," whether
we are wrong or not.
Let's learn to forgive and let go of
Let's learn to be a positive thinker.
Let's learn to have a good sense of humor.
Let's learn to laugh at ourselves.
Let's learn to control our temper.
Let's learn to compromise.
Let's learn not to complain so much.
Let's learn not to judge and criticize.
Let's learn not to take things so personally.
Let's learn to be honest.
Let's learn to give.
Let's learn to trust.
Let's learn to communicate in positive ways.
Let's learn to believe in our dreams
and in ourselves.
Let's learn to say "I love you".
Let's learn to LOVE... unconditionally!
Let's learn to be a true FRIEND...

We should never try to control others and make them feel bad. We should never give orders and try to take away someone's freedom. We can only guide - give advice, but never try to dominate. Only with love, patience and understanding can we receive positive attention and love. You earn respect when you give respect! We all have a great capacity to learn - so let's try to learn to truly love our friends and loved ones... It is our duty!

"Any human relationship takes work. Not so much in the sense of learning the right rules or formulas that govern relationships (if there were such things), but in two individuals working together to find what is best for both of them. How people compromise, for instance, says much about the kind of relationship they've worked out together."

Leo Buscaglia

"There is indeed an art to compromising. It's such an important part of any relationship. Perhaps it would do us all some good to consider the "nevers" - all the unequivocal no-way-am-I-going-to-change attitudes that we develop and lock into our personalities. Meeting someone halfway does involve giving in, although too often we hesitate because we look upon it as giving up something. A good compromise is one of the simplest ways to affirm and grow in the love and mutual respect that is so vital to any lasting relationship."

Leo Buscaglia

"Most of us remain strangers to ourselves, hiding who we are, and ask other strangers, hiding who they are, to love us."

Leo Buscaglia

"In all of your relationships, if you can love someone enough to allow them to be exactly what they choose to be - without any expectations or attachments from you - you'll know true peace in your lifetime. True love means you love a person for what they are, not for what you think they should be."

Wayne Dyer *

"Your thoughts are the source of virtually everything in your life. Every relationship that you're in is something that you carry around with you. If your relationship is lousy, it's because you think of it that way. The person you're in a relationship with isn't with you in this moment, or when you're at work, or when you're in the bathroom, but your thoughts about that person are always with you. The only way you can experience another person is in your thoughts... If you change your thoughts to what you love (of that person) rather than to what you label as wrong, you've just changed your entire relationship. It went from lousy to great by your changing your mind!"

Wayne Dyer *

"Friends... are those people who know the words to the song in your heart - and sing them back to you when you have forgotten the words."

"Love is a choice... Happiness is a choice... Patience is a choice... Peace of Mind is a choice..."

Check http://www.osstation.com/ThankYouForBelieving.html for a beatiful poem by Larry S. Chengges.

* Copyright 2001 by Wayne W. Dyer. "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace" (beautiful book with many    valuable lessons). Published by Hay House, Inc. Please check www.hayhouse.com.

On Dating, Loving and Friendship...

Each of us has a hidden place
Somewhere deep within ourselves;
A place where we go to get away,
To think things through,
To be alone, to be ourselves...

This unique place,
Where we confront our deepest feelings,
Becomes a storehouse of all our hopes,
All our needs, all our dreams,
And even our unspoken fears.
It encompasses the essence of who we are And what we want to be.

But now and then,
Whether by chance or design,
Someone discovers a way into
That place we thought was ours alone.
And we allow that person to see,
To feel and to share
All the reason, all the uncertainty
And all the emotion we've stored up there.

That person adds new perspective
To our hidden realm,
Then quietly settles down
In his own corner of our special place,
Where a bit of himself will stay forever.
And we call that person a friend...

Carol Elaine Faivre-Scott
Please check:

Excerpt of article by Dr. Fern Kazlow

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