It’s been a while since The Art Of War by Sun Tzu was written, but the wisdom found inside are still truths today that you can apply to all aspects of life. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend that you do. Until then, you can read reviews of it and articles on how the lessons apply to various areas of your life such as business and negotiation. But, the reason you need to read it for yourself is because the ideas inside can help you outside of the scope of business and negotiation.
For instance, if you want to improve your relationships and stop the conflict in them, The Art Of War can help you, and we will talk about how some of his strategic rules can do that in this article. I’m going to paraphrase a lot of what Sun Tzu says and change some words that he uses like ‘enemy’ and ‘battle’, which is not what relationships should be about – even the most negative relationships we have. So, let’s take a look at his advice that can help you with both intimate and non-intimate relationships.
Know Yourself And Your Partner
In The Art Of War by Sun Tzu, he made it clear that if you know yourself and your enemy, you don’t need to worry about having a hundred battles. He says that if you only know yourself, you will suffer a defeat for every victory you have. And, if you don’t know yourself nor your enemy, you will lose every battle you take on with them. This applies to your relationships in a big way!
You need to know both yourself and the other person if you want to stop fighting and start finding peace in your relationship. When you have awareness around yourself and your needs, you will be able to communicate better with other people about who you are and what you want, and they will have more of an understanding about where you are coming from. That will help them see your point of view clearer and stop a lot of the resistance that comes from not understanding each other.
When you take the time to understand other people, you start to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You understand their needs and how they view the world. You understand their belief systems. And you can work with that knowledge to come to a resolution that makes everyone happy.
But, when you have no self-awareness or awareness of other people’s feelings, beliefs, and thoughts, you will make choices based on instinct and reaction. You can’t make beneficial choices that benefit your relationship because you don’t know what will benefit your relationship. You don’t understand what you need or what they need, so you struggle and resist and fight and never find the peace that you want.
I’ve known a lot of people who operate from a lack of awareness in their relationships and are always in a constant state of struggle. Some of these people have been struggling for decades because they are simply unwilling to take the time to get to know themselves and other people.
If you find yourself struggling in your relationships, then self-awareness and general awareness of other people’s thoughts, feelings, and struggles, are two things you should be working on starting today. Speaking from experience, you will instantly find less struggle in your relationships and more peace.
Don’t Let Fights Go On And On And On
Sun Tzu said that your objective should be victory, not battling it out for a long period of time. This advice can help you be viewed as a person who moves towards peace, not struggle, and it can help you gain the respect of the people around you.
Think about how this applies to your relationships and how beneficial it will be for your relationships. If your main objective is to fight, then you are going to be viewed as someone who wants to stir up trouble and create problems. Nobody holds someone like that in high regard. Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone like that.