Learning From your Past Connections to Better Improve your Next


Photo of a couple in a movie theater, looking in love. Spending time together can help build connections. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Songs to listen to with this article:
Always -Daniel Caesar ft. Summer Walker

Nothing by Bruno Major

When you think of all the people you’ve met, certain characteristics/actions remind you of how they made you feel. No matter if it was positive or negative, every situation helps you understand how you want to be treated. When I think of past friendships, I remember all the things that those situations taught me. The best way to determine if this person will make a positive impact on your life is if they do certain actions that help you connect. And when looking more in-depth at this list, remember this: It takes two to make a connection. So you shouldn’t only be looking at their actions, but also how you treat them!


1: Effort

This may seem like an unspoken rule already in any relationship, but I feel this is the most important thing to look for in a relationship. There are two types of individuals in a relationship, “Those who actively want to be there, and those who’re simply along for the ride.”
Said best by Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert, and love coach,
And those two people are drastically different. To better understand relationships, you should know that effort takes “two to tango”, and The basic 3 to start working on are communication, resolution, and encouragement.

Starting with communication, all it takes is a “How are you?” or an “I hope you’re doing well.” You wouldn’t believe what a difference that makes. Communication can just take a couple of minutes, but could completely brighten their day. If you want more advanced options, try asking them about their day, listen to what they’re telling you, and ask questions based on their day. Need an example? If they say something like “My classes were tiring.” say something like “What classes did you have today?” Just show them you’re listening actively.

When it comes to resolution, it can be different for every person. The one thing to remember is not to just act like your problems aren’t there. Work towards resolving them together. Not only will resolution help you better understand each other, but it will also take your relationship to a whole new level. It takes communication, patience and consideration but it’ll grow both of you.

Onto the next, encouragement! If they are working on a personal goal, be there cheering them on. Go to their games, compliment their hard work, and do your best to understand that they have other important things other than putting every second of their day towards you. You want to be there for them, watching them succeed and grow! They probably want you to cheer them on, it’ll give them a feeling of warmth and love.


2: Compliments ( i interviewed people on their favorite compliments)

Some people don’t like complimenting people or being complimented, but once in a while some appreciation or someone who notices how hard you work can feel amazing! It’s just a basic way of making someone know how you care about them. It’s also a way to tell how someone feels about you! If they choose to be negative, or not encourage you, wouldn’t it be hard to celebrate those important moments with them? When interviewing people at Sacred Hearts Academy, and tallied their favorite compliments. 25/30 students agreed that compliments made their day a lot better. Compliments, even though they only take a couple of seconds, can change someone’s day.

As best said by Rachel Sussman, a psychotherapist and relationship expert in New York City, who talked to INSIDER, “Compliments activate the reward centers in the brain, called the ventral striatum and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex. One study even found that receiving a compliment is just as thrilling to the brain as receiving cash — both are perceived by the striatum as ‘social rewards.’ “

That’s proof enough that a small compliment a day can make someone’s entire week! The best part about a compliment is that you can make it personal so easily! Compliments don’t have to be about only their looks, but also about their personality, achievements, or the effort they put into your connection. An example of a small compliment is “You’re so pretty!” or “ I see all the hard work you put in!” or even something as simple as “Thank you for being there for me”. As said by Rachel Sussman, to INSIDER,

“If you’re one of those people that can’t take compliments or say ‘I don’t need compliments,’ you should take a look inward and try to figure out why that is.”. It could indicate deeper issues related to low confidence or self-esteem.“ Compliments create a healthy environment for building a connection.


3: Trust

Trust is a fundamental part of any healthy relationship. It makes both people comfortable being vulnerable and can take a relationship to the next level. The dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone.” When I think of relationships, and what the most important factors are, trust comes to mind. A partner should have our best interests in mind, and be someone we can emotionally and physically depend on.

Trust makes relationships feel safe and comfortable. Danielle Laura, relationship counselor and author of the book, “Dear Love, I’m Ready for You” Danielle says, “There are three main pillars that makeup trust: honesty, openness, and transparency.”

Honesty is putting your feelings in front of them, being honest, and creating trust between you two. Becoming a more Honest person is being true to who you are and putting your fears of rejection or worry that you might anger them aside, and realizing that it’s best, to be honest from the start!

Openness is being vulnerable with them when it comes to talking about miscommunications, and being there for them when they decide to be vulnerable with you.

Transparency consists of being in tune with how you feel, and being in touch with what is being said to you! As said by Danielle Laura, “This combination is what leads to ultimate trust.”

With those 3 pointers, you may be able to better understand your relationships with people better! Just remember, no one is perfect, and relationships with people take time.


You don’t have to be perfect to be loved, you gotta be yourself :)!