How to Build and Maintain Strong Relationships

How to Build and Maintain Strong Relationships
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

We will all agree that families, communities, and nations are built on human relationships. No man is an island; we need each other one way or the other. We live in a world where cooperation and collaboration work best in solving problems more often than not. That is why we must learn to build and maintain strong relationships. Whether in the workplace, or amongst family, intimate partners, or friends – strong relationships work profoundly to make us happier and more content. Additionally, they help to improve the quality of our lives and lengthen our lifespan.

build and maintain strong relationships

In the modern age, people often fake sticking closer to one another on social media. But they act quite distant and dishonest in real life. It is important to reverse this trend, as addiction to the internet is negatively impacting the quality of human relationships. How is it that right inside the home, some folks can no longer hold a decent conversation? Or settle quarrels amicably? They choose rather to dissolve into their phones and laptops, moving far away from reality. And living like strangers. A situation not good for anybody.

Here below are some useful tips to build and maintain strong relationships that can last. Enjoy reading along, and don’t forget to apply them.

Ways to Build and Maintain Strong Relationships

Open Communication

The most critical factor needed to build and maintain strong relationships is communication. You simply need to have open, heartfelt conversations with one another – face to face. And very often as well. Not only that, talking frequently with one another should be a two-way activity. Both parties need to speak with and listen to one another. Give each another the opportunity to open up and speak your minds freely. By doing so, you communicate more than just words. Body language and facial expressions can reveal people’s real thoughts and foster a deeper understanding and connectivity. 

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Have a Good Laugh 

Some of the greatest moments of a relationship are those moments of fun. The opportunity to laugh and lighten up as often as possible is invaluable. Create moments when you can physically meet and chat, play, socialize, discuss, and keep each other’s company. The more these fun moments are shared, the more people appreciate and look forward to seeing one another face to face. This is the most exciting part of learning to build and maintain strong relationships. 

Mutual Respect

There is a place for VALUE in a relationship. When people value one another and demonstrate it, it is not difficult to maintain a strong relationship. When employees feel undervalued by their bosses/managers or colleagues (and thus disrespected), they grow further and further away from the job. And naturally their productivity and zeal for the job (and workplace) will wane. In the same vein, lovers, friends, or family members who find it hard to show mutual respect will experience a serious disconnect. Communication can break down pretty fast under those circumstances.

As you give respect, you deserve respect as well. Respect is earned and it is reciprocal. Without this balance, you cannot agree on anything meaningful. But you must put yourself in a place of self-worth and stand up for yourself as well. Make it clear what you can or cannot condone, and similarly understand the needs of the other party. What you are attempting to achieve is to establish a middle ground – where both parties can make sensible compromises for one another. Additionally, you can offer better quality support to one another. 


Good Listening Skills

If all you do is seek an audience and talk endlessly about what you feel or need, you are extremely selfish. You need to allow the other person to respond as well. It is necessary to understand the other person’s viewpoint and receive meaningful advice or consoling words from them. 

On the other hand, listening goes way beyond keeping quiet and allowng the other person to speak. It is quite easy to pretend to be listening, while your mind wanders away or is focused elsewhere. You must learn to be an active listener and to reason along with the other party; or at least show empathy. 

Active listening allows you to understand the other person, the way they reason, and why they do so. That would help you to think deeper and find sensible ways to connect with one another, thereby offering a helping hand. 


Going a step beyond listening is the need to genuinely respond to the other party from the heart. Responsiveness is an emotional connection. It is a willingness to understand and reach out to the other person so he/she does not feel alone or ignored. It is also the tangible cement of understanding in any relationship. Your responsiveness can determine if your spouse, friend, blood relative, business associate, customer, or employee would continue relating with you (and for how long). 

Build Trust through Honesty

If you must build and maintain strong relationships, then learn to be open and honest with your feelings. Also learn to keep your promises – be dependable and reliable in your dealings with people. To be reliable means you can be trusted to do things right and in a principled, consistent way. Thus, it will be easy to earn other people’s trust – whatever the connection that binds you with that significant other. 


Asking Questions

Never jump into conclusions about anything. Instead, ask questions for further clarity. Asking thoughtful questions without any show of anger or ego, does not make you vulnerable or stupid. Rather, you will get answers that empower you in better, more accurate decision making. Thoughtful questions pave the way for deeper understanding of the situation, the person, and/or the present challenge. It will beckon the other party to genuinely cooperate with you.


Resolving Conflicts with Wisdom

If there is anything people critically lack in the modern age, it is the ability to resolve or handle differences with maturity. Your true value of another person will manifest in the way you handle your disagreements with him/her. It is strongly recommended to learn to listen and relate with the other person. That way, you can seek how to find common ground with him or her. There must be points of agreement or safe compromise both of you can agree to, without causing harm to one another. Rather than tear things apart out of impatience. 

Learning to Give

One of the best ways to build and maintain strong relationships is the art of giving. You can give your money and physical gifts (big or small) to show love to the other person.  You can also give some other intangible but equally valuable gifts such as your time, advice, help, consolation, encouragement, even a kiss and a hug. Your gifts further strengthen your bond and establish an emotional connection with the other person. Gifts are not easily forgotten; they help form pleasant memories. 



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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.