There might not be a way to have a perfect relationship this year, and that’s okay. But, there is a way to have a better relationship this year. If you’ve resolved to have better relationships in 2018 you’ll want to follow these helpful tips to ensure you have the best relationship possible.

We’re Only Human – No one is perfect and if you’re unhappy with the state of your current relationships it might be time to take stock of the people with whom you spend your time. Are they decent people doing their best or are the the kind of people who take advantage of you because you’re willing to let them? Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes the people who love us will unwittingly hurt us, but if you find you’re feeling hurt more often than not, you’ll need to determine if this is something you’re doing to attract the wrong people.

Be Appreciative – Everyone wants to know they are appreciated so tell them. If your best friend scored some great tickets to an event and invited you with her, make sure you let her know how awesome she is for thinking of you and for giving you such a generous gift. The same goes for smaller acts of kindness, too. When a stranger holds the door open for you be sure to tell them how thankful you are. Not only will they continue to do good deeds, but you’re all reap the benefits of expressing gratitude. You can’t be too appreciative so feel free to slather thanks and gratitude on anyone and everyone who shows you kindness – especially the people with whom you are closest.

Listen – No matter what kind of relationship you are in – romantic, platonic, brotherly, sisterly, parental etc.. – listening is the key to a strong and healthy relationship. Put down the phone when spending time with the people you love and care for. Listen with more than just your ears. Pay attention to body language, facial expressions and the pitch of their voice as they tell you how they are feeling. You can’t take in all the information coming to you if you have your head in your phone. Give everyone you speak to your full attention and they will appreciate and value your opinion more than ever before.

Say ‘I Love You’  – Nothing brings people closer than love. Again, we’re not necessarily talking about a romantic relationship. Any relationship, though probably not professional, can benefit from an occasional ‘I Love You’. Tell you significant other that you love them regularly. Do so with words but also with actions. Cooking a favorite meal or doing something they enjoy (even when you don’t). Same goes for the relationships with your children, parents and siblings. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them. You might be met with a little awkwardness if this is something you don’t normally do, but eventually it will begin to feel normal, even comfortable and natural.

Be Responsible – Be the kind of friend that can be counted on. If someone askes you to do something and you agree then be sure to see it through. Most people have a handful of good friends and most people have only one or two of those friends that they know they can count on in a pinch. Knowing someone has your back is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Be the person who has your friends, family and loved one’s backs – they’ll feel reassured and you’ll feel pretty good too.

Want to learn more about improving your relationships? Download my book ‘Everything Will Be OK’.