Three Phrases for Better Relationships

Everybody knows the phrases, “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” and “help me.” But how and when you say them are very important for strong and meaningful relationships. When you have difficulty relating to others, ask yourself, “Am I good at saying ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘help me’?” Do you say, “I’m sorry” right away when you make a mistake or hurt someone, even for small things? Or do you wait until later? How often do you say, “thank you?” Do you go out of your way to help others without expecting something in return, and ask for help when you have a clear idea of the help you need?

When we know how to say, “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” and “help me,” appropriately, we can connect to other people’s hearts and communicate more easily. We can create positive energy flow rather than stagnation; a healthy relationship requires an unimpeded flow of energy. Saying these three phrases properly is a way of creating trust and promoting fair exchange. If we build mutual trust we can really appreciate each other, help each other, and accept each other, despite mistakes. In this way, our relationships grow deeper and deeper.

Ilchi Lee - Thank you, I'm sorry, Help me

Often, saying these three phrases takes courage, humility, and flexibility. It also takes sincerity, honesty, and responsibility. If we get too caught up in our pride, our arrogance, our thoughts, or our ego, we miss opportunities to say them. We get stressed by little things and imagine slights where they weren’t intended, and then create worse situations because we are too caught up in our emotions to say, “I’m sorry,” or “thank you,” or “help me.” We produce an atmosphere of rejection and disappointment, driving the other person away.

We might also find it hard to say, “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” and “help me,” because we find self-expression difficult, especially when we feel we’ve made a mistake or are afraid to ask for help, and want to hide. But please don’t do that. Human beings are not perfect. We all need help and we all need to communicate. By always making the effort to open up and communicate with others all of the time, we can liberate ourselves and create the energy flow between ourselves and others that is essential for healthy relationships.

When we are sincere and honest with ourselves and others, we can say, “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” and “help me,” boldly and confidently. By practicing saying these three phrases, we can develop our character and have strong and fulfilling relationships.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you!

  • I agree, however, in helping people that are, let’s say unbalanced, and you constantly get the bad end of the stick, does not one have a right to walk away from the drama that effects others as well as oneself?

  • Thank you Seuseungnim, I am practicing these three and sometimes it’s really hard to say them after I made a mistake and other person doesn’t want to even hear my ‘I’m sorry, Thank you and Please help’ anymore.

  • I grew up in the 1940’s and those are beautiful words that I was taught as a child, but it also helps the say that I really do love you!

  • I often can’t believe how on target your messages are. Thank you. I feel if I ask for help the answer will be…”You already know the answer, it is inside you.” I know it’s there. I would like bounce things off someone who’s been through this . I guess that’s coming back to trusting myself though. I just reread your message and I’m asking you to help me. My mind is very stubborn.

    November 17, 2010 11:44 pm


  • Thank you so much! Ever since I started saying this, I have noticed that all my relationships have bloomed like it was the life-blood that needed to be supplied to a very fickle and sick plant. It reminds me to be grateful and not take things for granted. I’m sorry for me is when I am not mindful enough or considerate of the other person or thing and I say it right away by impulse. And help me was the hardest! But when I ask in private during prayer or mediation, I find the courage to ask the right person at the right time and this opportunity is lit up for me to see but only after I have practiced “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry”.

  • Thank you for this posting. It is good reminder for myself that we are not perfect. I often expect perfection from myself and in turn, am not satisfied when others do not meet that expectation. I see the harmony rising on the horizon.


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