Fostering Healthy Relationships
Relationships can be anything you want them to be. We have relationships with friends, family, pets, food, hell even the weather and I have quite a dynamic relationship. The one thing all these bonds have in common is that they have power in our lives. Good or bad, relationships surround us, and if we provide them shelter and compassion, they can thrive even in the toughest of times.
Here is the cold hard truth about relationships:
You have to work at it!
There are many dynamic aspects of relationships based on where you are in your life, how we make friendships change over time as well. When considering these tips and ways to continue growing in your relationships, share this post or your expectations with those you seek progression with because if they do not know your expectations or how to make it happen, it's virtually impossible to elicit that. The best tip for fostering healthy relationships is to be present. Don't just show up and "hangout." Put the phone down and give your undivided attention and you might be surprised what you will learn about someone you thought you already knew perfectly. Instead of jumping to what you think they should do, no matter how big or small, let them talk it out, and if they ask for your advice, you will know when they want it. Embrace the uncomfortable conversations or the silence for internal processing, and be present in the feelings of your loved one, thinking about what you feel when being placed in that same situation. Be honest with your feelings, as well as taking the time to identify them. Be there for your people, and they will be there for you!
Being active in a relationship or friendship is key to success for both parties involved. To facilitate the give and take of the connection, monitor how much of each you are doing. If you need to give more listening and attentiveness, take a step back from your life for a second and peer into someone else's. If you need to speak up more often, maybe explore a new area together and try something you've always wanted to do. No matter which side of the listening you are on, be warm, kind, judgment-free, and receptive to whatever feeling someone has even if it is different from your own.
Regardless of where you stand in your relationship, be honest and open with the other person(s) involved as well as yourself. If you do not know how you feel and do not know how to open up start the conversation and see where it takes you! Show up emotionally with your best intentions and let your person know exactly how you feel, regardless of what you think they might think.
Quick tips to fostering healthy relationships:
Keep things positive when it should be! The happier you are with others, the happier your life will be
Have the difficult conversations, but laugh until your belly hurts too
Push your relationship to bounds you never expected
Have your person inspire ideas or other outlooks on life to challenge you and grow together
Take a step back now and then and make sure you honestly hear what they have to say
Put the phones down, turn the TV off, and talk
Play an active role in the relationship
What happens when relationships start to fade?
As we age or go to different places for college, grad school, starting our careers, or settling down, we may find that when we are right next door to our friends and family, the relationship may begin to fade and fizzle out. This can seem harsh at first when reflecting on what you thought you had as a relationship, but realistically, the distance may have nothing to do with the shift in dynamic. Take the time to reflect on how you have changed from the beginning of the relationship, to where the fizzling out took place. What changed? Did you dive into your relationship with a significant other? Did you take on more at work? Did you have a child? All of these things are part of life, but you and your life then change, not necessarily in a wrong way, but your relationships have to adjust accordingly as well, or they will fizzle out.
First of all, know that your relationship with friends does not have to change if you meet (the right) significant other.
You can always pick up the phone and call
If you have a distant friend call you, make the time to answer, and even if you can't talk at that moment let them know you will call them back, and then do so! I get it we are all busy... but nobody is that busy
Show them you care still and are interested in developing your relationship even though life has changed
Sometimes at the end of the day, you and the other person have changed, which is not a bad thing, but you have grown apart. This is sometimes the hardest part but is part of the phases of our lives.
Never forget that you are worth it and that you have the power to make new friendships and surround yourself with positive, like-minded people.
Because you're worth it beautiful