Having peaceful relationships is one of the most important things that we can achieve in life. And yet, it is also the hardest to achieve. Why? First of all, we are part of the problem. It is hard to have peaceful relationships when we want to have things our own way most of the time, if not all of the time. Worse yet, we want everyone to agree with us – about everything!

But other people are the problem too. Just like us, they want things to go their way. And just like us, they want us to agree with their points of view.

And truth be told, some people just don’t want to get along with us, no matter how nice we are to them. As one of my readers recently commented, “There are a lot of people that get a good feeling about upsetting other people. They just haven’t grown up yet.” I laughed out loud when I read that comment because it is so true.

So, given all these obstacles, how can we possibly have peaceful relationships with others? Below are some ways to approach your relationships so that you can live in harmony with others and have peace in your life.

Pick Your Battles: You should not insist on getting your way all the time. If you do, then trust me, you are acting like a jerk. Normal people let other people have their way from time to time. And they do so without kicking up a big fuss.

The key is to pick your battles. I have my battles. For instance, ideally, I prefer to have an orderly home. So, if anyone in my household is being sloppy or isn’t making their bed, I get annoyed. I find that kind of behavior to be disrespectful to everyone else in the house.

All that being said, on occasion, I have had people stay in my home whose personal habits were quite poor. I don’t think Marie Kondo could have helped these folks. However, my priority is to have a peaceful existence. So, when I’ve had to suffer with messy people in my home, I’ve chosen to turn a blind eye rather than argue about what constitutes basic cleanliness.

Remember that even when you aren’t getting your way, every situation is temporary. For example, unruly houseguests leave – eventually. So, when you have to make compromises in life in order to keep the peace, ignore those things that are distasteful to you. Those issues will go away at some point.

Don’t Take Things Personally: The behavior of other people has nothing to do with you. Let me repeat that. The behavior of other people has absolutely nothing to do with you. So, don’t take what other people say and do personally.

For instance, if someone is rude to you, doesn’t include you, or is unkind to you, why would their actions have anything to do with you? They don’t. The only conclusion you can reach from that kind of behavior is that the person is rude, ungracious or unkind. Nothing more.

Now, I will admit that being on the receiving end of awful behavior is unpleasant. And you have to wonder, “What did I do to inspire someone to be so mean to me?” The short answer is, you did nothing.

We are all responsible for our own words and actions. And we are all called to be kind, decent and caring at all times, and in all circumstances. If we fail to do that, it is our fault, and no one else’s.

So, if someone is rude to you, be peaceful toward them anyway. Their behavior has nothing to do with you. And when you are peaceful, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and say, “I am a kind and decent person.” They, on the other hand, will have trouble looking at their own reflection.

Choose Who You Spend Time with Wisely: The reality is that you can’t singlehandedly make a relationship peaceful. It is a two-way street. So, don’t waste your time and energy trying to have peaceful relationships with people who just aren’t interested.

Let me put it this way: I can have ten people in my life who I relate to on a regular basis. If nine of those people are pleasant, and one is a massive problem, why give any attention to the one person who constantly creates problems? Why not give my energy to the other nine, who deserve my time and attention?

A large part of having peaceful relationships is picking the right people to be in relationship with. Once we become adults, we can choose who we relate to and who we ignore. So, choose high quality people to be part of your life.

This week, consider how you can start having more peaceful relationships with other people. Being at peace with others makes our lives so much more pleasant. The more we are at peace with others, the happier we are.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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