“When people tell you who they are, believe them,” writes blogger Maria Popova ( “Just as important, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.” Those suggestions are especially crucial to keep in mind these days. You’re entering a phase when your best relationships are up for review, revision and revitalization. To foster an environment in which intimacy will thrive, be extra receptive, curious, tolerant and tender. That’s all! Easy, right? A good place to start? Proceed as if your allies know who they are better than you do — even as you ask them to return the favor.

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