Dear Teju (babyface)and Tobi Oyelakin………

9

Now that you are married:
1. Speak a little less, listen a little more

Most people get tremendous pleasure from speaking about themselves. But,
here we have to be careful; if we always speak about our achievements or
tribulations, people will get fed up with our egoism.

If we are willing and able to listen to others, we will find it much
appreciated by our friends. Some people are not aware of how much they dominate
the conversation.

“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we
speak.”

2.Seek harmony not being right

A lot of problems in relationships occur because we want to maintain our
personal pride. Don’t insist on always having the last word. Healthy
relationships are not built through winning meaningless arguments. Be willing
to back down; most arguments are not of critical importance anyway.

3. Avoid Gossip

If we value someone’s friendship we will not take pleasure in commenting on
their frequent failings. They will eventually hear about it. But, whether we
get found out or not, we weaken our relationships when we dwell on negative
qualities. Avoid gossiping about anybody; subconsciously we don’t trust people
who have a reputation for gossip. We instinctively trust and value people who
don’t feel the need to criticise others.

4. Forgive each other

Forgiveness is not just a cliché, it’s a powerful and important factor in
maintaining healthy relationships. However, real forgiveness also means that we
are willing to forget the experience. If we forgive one day, but then a few
weeks later bring up the old misdeed, this is not real forgiveness. When we
make mistakes, just consider how much we would appreciate others forgiving and
forgetting.

5. Know When to Keep Silent

If you think a friend has a bad or unworkable idea, don’t always argue
against it; just keep silent and let them work things out for themselves. It’s
a mistake to always feel responsible for their actions. You can offer support
to friends, but you can’t live their life for them.

6. Have the right Motive

If you view friendship from the perspective of “what can I get from this?”
you are making a big mistake. This kind of relationship proves very tentative.
If you make friendships with the hope of some benefit, you will find that
people will have a similar attitude to you. This kind of friendship leads to
insecurity and jealousy. True friendship should be based on mutual support and
good will, irrespective of any personal gain.

7. Strive for Oneness.

The real secret of healthy relationships is developing a feeling of oneness.
This means that you will consider the impact on others of your words and
actions. If you have a true feeling of oneness, you will find it difficult to
do anything that causes suffering to your friends. When there is a feeling of
oneness, your relationships will be free of jealousy and insecurity.

For example, it is a feeling of oneness which enables you to share in the
success of your friends. This is much better than harbouring feelings of
jealousy. To develop oneness we have to let go of feelings of superiority and
inferiority; good relationships should not be based on a judgemental approach.
In essence, successful friendship depends on the golden rule: “do unto others
as you would have done to yourself.” This is the basis of healthy
relationships.

8. Take time to laugh together

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be willing to laugh at yourself and be
self-deprecating. This does not mean we have to humiliate ourselves, far from
it — it just means we let go of our ego. Humour is often the best antidote for
relieving tense situations.

9. Work at developing you relationship but don’t over analyze

Maintaining healthy relationships doesn’t mean we have to spend several
hours in the psychiatrist’s chair. It means we take a little time to consider
others, remembering birthdays and anniversaries etc. But, it is a mistake to
spend several hours ruminating and dissecting relationships. This makes the
whole thing very mental; it’s better to forget any negative experiences. Good
friendships should be built on spontaneity and newness, sharing a moment of
humour can often do more benefit than several hours of discussion.

10. Concern and Detachment

Healthy relationships should be built on a degree of detachment. Here,
people often make a mistake; they think that being detached means, “not
caring”. However, this is not the case. Often when we develop a very strong
attachment we expect the person to behave in a certain way. When they don’t we
feel miserable and try to change them. A good friendship based on detachment
means we will always offer good will, but we will not be upset if they wish to
go a different way.

Yours’ Faithfully,
Oguntuiga Liz ‘Jaiyefunke

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