Sometimes we let our relationships fall by the wayside, because we think “life is too busy”, or we simply let shit slide, including the relationships we have that we should maintain, but for whatever reason (apathy, laziness, etc.), we stop paying attention, and before we know it, it’s gone. It really is easy to nurture the relationships that matter. Here are 4 habits that create better relationships;
1. Connect with one friend or family member a day.
It’s 2017 People! By “connect with” I don’t mean that you need to get into your car and physically see that person in the flesh every day. Thanks to text and email, staying in touch has never been easier! A text is much easier than a phone call, especially if you don’t have the time to get wrapped up in a 20 minute conversation. It’s so easy to only connect with the people we see on a very regular basis, like those we see at work.
Make a habit of reaching out a little further to stay connected with the friends and family members you actually value. It only takes a few minutes to invest in a relationship that matters, with the result being that you have a strong network of people around you.
2. Write one thank you note every week.
The second of our 4 habits that create better relationships is something you do just for you; Write a thank-you note to someone who’s passed on but impacted your life while they were here, and tell them all the things you wish you could say in person. Or write a note of thanks to someone who is, or was a part of your life, and send it to that person. Cultivating gratitude helps to lessen the fear in your life.
3. End your day with a word of thanks
This simple habit that can make or break a lifelong relationship. Research has shown that expressing gratitude can improve our health and happiness, as well as our relationships.
Before you go to sleep, let your significant other know you accept and value him or her. You don’t have to be elaborate; “Thanks for being there for me,” sends the right message. If you’re not in a relationship, give yourself a word of thanks or encouragement. Sounds silly? Maybe. But it can help build your confidence and keep you from letting one bad day push you into depression.
4. Think before you speak
Train yourself to be a listener, by giving yourself time to think about your response in that pause, not while the other person is talking. This shows that you value what the other person is saying, and it also gives you time to weigh your attitude and words. In a stressful conversation, a simple five-second pause might be what keeps you from blowing up and ruining a relationship you value.
Give yourself a break. Life happens.
The last of our 4 habits that create better relationships is an easy one. You’re going to hit times when you feel stressed, frustrated, angry, or impatient, and that’s okay. Give yourself a ‘time-out’ in order to keep things in perspective. You can’t expect to be an emotionless robot, but you can train yourself to take a five-minute break from humanity when things are getting to you. Walk around the block, lock yourself in the bathroom, take a quick drive with the windows down and the music blaring. Find the “break in the day” method that works for you, and use it.