8 Strategies to Create More Love in Your Life

Randy Kamen Gredinger, Ed.D

Psychologist, educator, speaker,

Here are some strategies that, when properly orchestrated, create a fertile ground for self-care and the building and strengthening of the relationships that matter most.

1. Be your authentic self and speak your truth.

Speaking your truth is vital to your authenticity as a person. However, that does not give license to be hurtful to another person. When you speak out of anger, what frequently follows is regret. It is wise to take a few deep breaths to feel calm and clear before speaking your truth. Then you are poised to speak with greater thought and care, regardless of the message to be delivered.

2. Practice self-compassion.

Self-compassion occurs when we tune into our own needs and feelings. We are usually hardest on ourselves. While others might receive the overflow of our negativity, we take the hardest hit when we are lacking in self-compassion

3. Remain open and curious.

Be curious rather than judgmental about what your friend or loved one shares. It is much more compelling and informative to listen carefully when someone is speaking to you. Judgment and criticism can be toxic to any relationship.

4. Assume the best of the person with whom you are talking.

Our minds have a way of taking us to weird and sometimes paranoid places. Often, we think the worst without considering the alternatives.

5. Laugh often.

Deliberately craft fun experiences, for these times together create the memories that bring meaning and sweetness to our lives. It’s been shown that laughter may lower stress and the risk of heart disease.

6. Apologize.

Be quick to apologize when you have hurt or offended another. Apology is an important way of showing compassion, respecting another person, and letting them know that their feelings count. An apology can heal relationships and alleviate suffering.

7. Forgive.

Forgiveness requires a shift of perception. We make the decision to look at the person that has wronged us through a different lens. It does not mean that we forget what happened or that the person is off the hook for their behavior. It means that we are ready to let go of the wrongdoing and of the past so that we can move forward in our own lives. Sometimes forgiving another person deepens the relationship, and sometimes it means that the relationship is over and you are choosing to no longer look back. Either way, forgiveness liberates us from the pain, loss, and disappointments of the past. Learning to forgive can be cultivated with practice and the passage of time.

readily move past the offense or wrongdoing. An apology also clears the path to forgiveness.

8. Express gratitude.

Be grateful for friends, loved ones, and acts of kindness by others. Expressing gratitude by saying thanks and showing appreciation in all kinds of creative ways keeps the relationship wheel well oiled. We are fortunate to have people in our lives that love us, and we must do whatever we can to honor these crucial relationships.

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