It seems fairly obvious that in an ideal world we would all treat each other and be treated with kindness and respect, however things don’t always pan out as we plan, we are all very happy to receive love, respect and praise but often a little stingy when we need to hand it out.
If you want to improve your relationship with someone then “stroking” is a good thing to do. Treating someone badly and looking down your nose at them will just provoke a hostile retaliation. Try treating them with kindness despite the anger or annoyance you might be feeling and they will almost certainly respond in a more reasonable and flexible manner.
It is difficult to be nice to someone who infuriates you or who you feel perhaps would benefit from a serious tongue lashing, but make an effort to hold back because you’ll be able to convey your point of you in a far more effective manner. Comment on a positive quality they might have, let them know that even though you are feeling frustrated right now and you are in the midst of a disagreement, you still respect them and value their friendship.
There are certain situations in which you are required to be honest or make a constructive criticism. Expressing negative feelings is a given and unfortunately an aspect of life is now and again making people upset. However make sure you think about damage limitation before saying something that could potentially hurt or humiliate someone. Always balance criticism with respect and negativity with something positive and hopefully you’ll be treated in the same way!