In all relationships, there can be moments of joy, fun, love, and there is also room to grow. In order to be able to successfully grow in our relationships and work through conflict when it happens, we need to continue to focus on, make time for, and put effort into our relationships.
When relationships are new it can be easy to be available for them and it is exciting to get to know someone but as time goes on, we can struggle to continue to maintain the focus on and put effort into our relationships. We can sometimes become complacent or even take those close relationships for granted.
For relationships to continue to grow and be life giving, we will need to continue to put work into them. Here are some tips for strengthening your relationships:
Reflect back on when you met this person. What about this person made you want to be friends? What things do you have in common? Why did you continue to get to know this person? This is the foundation of your friendship, and it is important to remember these reasons why and to continue to build upon them.
As your relationship continues to grow, so will you as a person. Life-giving relationships not only allow but embrace each person growing and changing. Never try to be someone else in your relationships. Be your authentic self.
The art of listening well requires more than we may know. In this time of continual noise and multi- tasking it can be hard to really listen well. If you are in person, that may mean putting down your phone and looking at your friend, validating that you are hearing what they are saying and feeling, and possibly restating if needed what they are sharing.
All relationships require time spent together. Make time to check in on your friends. Schedule fun activities to do together. Share experiences that you both would enjoy. Laugh together. Be there for each other in the hard seasons.
Celebrate each other. Make the time to celebrate the beautiful uniqueness of your friends. Be there to celebrate their successes.
When a difference of opinion happens, someone’s feelings are hurt, or you cannot come to an agreement on something it is critical to a healthy relationship to work through these issues in a healthy way. This will start will listening well to the other person thoughts, opinions, and feelings. It is equally important to share your own thoughts, opinions, and feelings. This will be a time to respect each other and to move together towards a resolution that is healthy for both of you.
If you are wanting to develop stronger relationships and have questions, our therapist would be happy to listen and help you. For more information, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/relationship-issues/