If you have followed the iMoneyCoach blog for any length of time, you know that we talk about how the different areas of your life are tied to your finances. When we struggle with an area, it is a natural tendency to throw money at a problem like a band-aid. Unfortunately that often either doesn’t fix the problem or makes it worse, and it can create bad financial situations. For example, if you and your spouse are having problems in your marriage, you may spend a lot of money on counselors or vacations or any number of things to try and “fix” the problem. But if you don’t get to the root of the problem, it’s still there and now you’ve spent a lot of money on top of it (i.e. when you go on that vacation it may be nice to get away, but when you get home you still have to deal with the underlying issue that was causing problems to begin with).

So here’s a bit of advice as you work on those relationships: let go of control. That sounds good enough, and maybe you’re thinking that you’re not after control. But deep down, we all have to face it that pretty often we want to win. We want the other person to do or think or be what we want them to do or think or be. And unlike the very many movies and fairytales out there, we need to realize that we can’t change people. You can sure try, but for the sake of your relationship it would be better if you instead worked on making yourself a better person instead of focusing on your spouse, mother, brother, friend, whoever it may be.

There is good news though. You can improve that relationship! Yes, even though that person drives you nuts and you wish they weren’t so self-centered and you just want to give up. You can make it better. You know that saying about how you can kill more flies with honey than with vinegar? You can take the initiative to be pleasant so as to 1. not cause more problems in the relationships and 2. make the relationship a little better. Remember again that you cannot change that other person. That is up to them. But you can be kind and nurture an environment that fosters a better relationship.

Here are 2 things you can start doing today to improve that relationship by letting go:

1. Give honest, meaningful compliments. In Psychology classes you would learn that people naturally like other people more when they feel that that person likes them first. When you compliment someone and treat them with respect, they will naturally feel inclined to like you and thus probably treat you better. Just remember that when you give compliments and kind words to someone that they need to be honest and from the heart. It is easy to see through superficial comments, and lying is never a good way to build up a relationship.

2. Look past the unimportant. There are things about anybody that you could let bother you. The idea is to look past those things and don’t let them bother you. If you get annoyed by someone who seems to be judgmental of everyone else (now that almost sounds hypocritical doesn’t it?), you can let the comments and remarks go. You don’t have to join in on making judgments, but you don’t have to let anger fester when you hear them. I’m not saying that you need to be a doormat or let someone else demean people you know. I’m saying that sometimes there are things that you can overlook or just plain let go.

So get to work on those relationships and see how in the end your finances are able to improve as you work towards living a life you love!

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