Once you have analysed with whom you are connected and taken responsibility for those connections we come to the final requirement toward building better connections and improving self-esteem.

How would you rate the quality of the relationships that you have with the identified people in your inner and outer circles: your friends, spouse, children, siblings, colleagues, parents, mentors, etc.? Perhaps they are healthy and you are doing well. Perhaps not.

Your relationship with others is largely determined by your relationship with yourself.

If your relationship with yourself is based on respect, trust, assertion, commitment, affection, loyalty and understanding, then it will be easier to have relationships with others based on these qualities. But if your relationship with yourself is based on judgement, criticism, dissatisfaction, distrust and disrespect, then your relationship with others will mirror this too.

Suggestions for developing healthy relationships

Consciously work on your relationship with yourself, that is, on building your own self-esteem.

Find out the requirements of the people you care about "words of affirmation, time together, physical affection, gifts or acts of service" and meet them consistently.

  • Give what you most want to receive.
  • Use enthusiasm to enhance the quality of your relationship.
  • Be spontaneous.
  • Don't look for a relationship to be the solution to your problems.
  • The quality of a relationship comes down to the quality of the commitment to make it work.
  • Relationships should sustain and nourish.
  • Relationships should be respectful and unconditional.
  • Be assertive! Remove yourself if the relationship is harmful or draining.
  • Work from the concept that relationships are a place to give rather than a place to get.

Select three people from your inner circle and write down answers to these questions in your journal or diary:

  • What unique things can I do to enhance my relationship with this person?
  • What would I like to experience in this relationship?

When we take responsibility for our connections, we put ourselves first in the line-up of those who can determine the course of our lives.