Fundamental Principles

There are a few principles that govern the quality of human relations.  The most important of which is a genuine care for others; taking a thoughtful interest in them and their lives.  This care at it’s height is a choice, completely volitional.  So many human relationships are weighted down by feelings of obligation and disapproval.  This conditional love is generally learned through socialization in youth.  To allow your relationships to flourish, it is vitally important to continually renew your choice to love as they are rather than as they could be.

 

Next, it is important to remember the Platinum Rule:

 

treat others in the way they want to be treated.

 

If you genuinely care for others and treat them as they desire, you are sure to attract peoples good favor.  Though, this sometimes takes great discernment and wisdom as a persons true desires can often be hidden beneath self-suppression and a lack of self-awareness.  So look closely to see how you can be of most impact in the lives of those you cherish.

The Triple-A Formula

In his book How To Have Confidence and Power In Dealing With People, Les Giblin gives a succinct formula for understanding how most people want to be treated:

 

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  • acceptance
  • approval
  • appreciation

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All of us want to be accepted despite our deficiencies and vices.  By accepting others, even when they are disagreeable, you are honoring the most sacred part of them.  We then want to be recognized for the good work that we do; most people have a strong desire to feel useful and important.  Lastly, we want to self-actualize, valuing when others see and nurture the potential within us [1, 2, 3].

Behaviors

Knowing how others wish to be treated demands that we also behave in ways that honor our understanding.  The best ways to do this are:

 

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  • listen to understand
  • learn about others values and interests
  • relate to or share in their values and interests
  • show your appreciation for their uniqueness and efforts

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