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Our roles in life create some relationships for us—family, neighbors, classmates, fellow employees. Others can grow naturally out of common interests and activities—hobbies, sports and other recreational activities, religious affiliations and so on. Still, others we may seek out through one means or another. Some of these relationships are voluntary and may be fleeting; others are permanent or last at least as long as our connection with an organization like school.

Like any other living thing, no matter how carefully we may cultivate them, relationships sometimes come under stress. We can make life better by trying to treat others as we want to be treated, reaching out with honesty and love, listening openly, forgiving others' shortcomings and admitting when we're wrong. When good intentions are not enough (or lacking), counseling—at least for yourself and ideally for all parties—may be the best path to restoring a healthy relationship.

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