Relationships provide us with a wonderful opportunity to get more joy from life. I am not just talking about intimate relationships. This applies to all forms of relationships. You really can get more joy from your relationships but to do so, you must do some things which most people will never do. You must assess each relationship in your life and determine whether that person has a positive or negative impact on your life. Based on that, you need to determine how much of your time and attention they deserve, if any.

When you allocate your time like this, you will automatically get more joy from your relationships because you will spend more time with people who add value to your life, and less time with people who don’t.

You can improve your communication and relationship skills with my FREE Checklist - Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with Difficult People.

Rewards V Demands

There are two things we need to understand about people in our life. Firstly, they either rewards us or cost us. Think in terms of:

  • Happiness
  • Confidence
  • Money
  • Opportunities
  • Support
  • Friendship

When you consider these categories, does the person come out positive or negative? You might choose to think in terms of a scale from -10 to +10 where -10 means they are completely negative in each of these areas and +10 would mean that they are completely positive in each of these areas.

Then there are the demands they make of you. Remember that a lot of time spent with people who make you feel good about yourself is not demanding. Time spent with people who make you feel bad is demanding. Think in terms of:

  • Do they constantly need support?
  • Do they bring a lot of problems?
  • Do they stress you out?
  • Does time spent with them feel like an eternity?
  • Do they drain your energy?

Again, you could use a scale here.

When you have considered all the people in your life this way, you should adjust your time accordingly. Those who bring the most reward while being less demanding should get more of your time. The is a very simple way to get more joy from your relationships.

Note: Many of the emails I receive from readers ask me how to fix a bad relationship. My advice is that you first consider whether you should fix that relationship or; end it.

Far too many problems and, too much stress, results from trying to fix relationships which should in fact be ended.

What to do with the negatives

Some people will score as very demanding while bringing very little reward to your life. With these people, you need to ask the following questions of yourself:

1. Why are they in my life?

That is a genuine question. If somebody is making you feel bad, draining you of your time and energy and; adds very little value to your life, why are they in your life? Just because somebody wants to be in your life, it doesn’t mean that you need to have them there.

Unless there is a very good reason for having them in your life, you should remove them. You don’t have to be rude, and you don’t have to have a fight. All you need to do is dedicate more of your time to those who deserve it. You will automatically find that you have less time for those who don’t deserve it.

If they then ask for your time, you can be assertive and tell them you have other commitments.

2. Why are they getting so much of my time?

If you couldn’t find a good reason for them being in your life, then you don’t need this question. They should have been removed from your life.

If there is a genuine reason for them being in your life, you need to minimise the amount of time and energy they get. Keep it to the minimum. Again, the easiest way to achieve this is to dedicate more of your time to those who deserve it and add value to your life.

These questions apply to those who are consistenly demanding while bringing little or no real value to your life. Where someone's bad behaviour is a rare occurence, you need to be assertive and communicate effectively with them.

If you struggle to get joy from your relationships, you may have too many difficult people in your life. If so, check out the great resource below.

​Deal With Difficult People Handbook

​If you are having to deal with difficult people and you want to start avoiding conflict, the 'Deal with Difficult People Handbook' will help you get on the right track..


So, if you wanted to know how to get more joy from your relationships, you now know. You need to identify those who bring the most value to your life and give them more of your time. Couple this with reducing the amount of time given to those who have a negative impact on your life and you will get more joy from your relationships without ever having to create a new relationship. Of course, this process will allow you to understand what you require from your relationships; helping you to identity more people whom you would like to have in your life. Now you know how to get more joy from your relationships but are you willing to put the effort in.


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