Everyone will meet hundreds or even thousands of people throughout life. Some of these people will stay for good, while some of them will move on. This is perfectly normal. What’s more important is that you make the most out of those relationships that do last. It takes a bit of hard work but nurturing such connections will be well worth your time and effort.
Here are some simple tips on how to cultivate your relationships and keep the garden of your connections blooming:
One of the key things to maintaining a relationship, romantic or otherwise, is finding self-acceptance. When you accept everything about yourself, you’ll also be more confident about everything that you do and be able to adapt better to change. Moreover, it’s easier for you to accept and fulfill your purpose. Self-acceptance also allows you to observe yourself in an objective manner. This, in turn, allows you to manage how you react to different situations. Finally, and most importantly, self-acceptance helps you feel like you’re a true part of a community. This sense of belonging is a huge factor in truly wanting to maintain relationships.
Communicate With Honesty
Any relationship will crumble if you aren’t able to communicate with honesty. You have to work at it; if there’s something that needs to be talked about, then talk about it. If you keep things bottled up, negative emotions are likely to develop, and you’ll harbor these feelings for a long time. Make an effort to communicate and make sure to be honest. Remember that lies, even well-meaning white lies, are the foundation of distrust and you don’t want your relationships tainted with them.
Listen Without Prejudice
When you think of communicating, you probably associate it with speaking your mind. However, the most important part of communication is actually listening. In particular, you have to listen to others without any prejudice. Be open and be legitimately curious about whatever they are saying. Listen with respect and attention, so that you may learn something more about the other person.
Be Fully Present
Spending time together is a key element of nurturing connections. The problem is that oftentimes, you get so distracted that you aren’t truly present when you’re with your friends or with your romantic partner. And these days, smartphones can be the primary culprit—although you can also be distracted by your own thoughts. In essence, unwanted distractions can destroy the essence of spending time together.
Don’t just sit beside a person for the sake of “being there.” You have to be fully present and engage. Invest in the moments you spend together to deepen and strengthen the relationship. Let go of your gadgets for a while and just enjoy each other’s company.
Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship. It can even be argued that disagreements, as long as they aren’t allowed to fester, can make relationships healthier. Indeed, what ruins connections are not the disagreements themselves but rather the situations when one refuses to take responsibility. If something is your fault, don’t resort to blaming others. Step back and evaluate. How have your actions contributed to the conflict? What can you do to stop the conflict and settle your differences? By taking responsibility, it empowers both you and others to see things objectively and clearly. This leads to peaceful resolutions and fresh perspectives.
Once you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it can be easy to get complacent. This can lead to you taking your friends or loved ones for granted. To avoid this, you must actively do your share in maintaining your connections. One of the most important things is to always remember to be grateful.
Simply put, always offer gratitude. Show your genuine appreciation for others, both in words and in actions. You should also learn how to receive gratitude gracefully. It takes some practice and a lot of humility but receiving gratitude can help you towards being more accepting of yourself and your value (remember the first point).
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t take care of others or indeed your relationships if you don’t take care of yourself first. This doesn’t just mean your physical health, although this is definitely important. There are many facets of your overall well-being that you have to take care of. These can include your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. You can either seek help from your friends or your partner or spend some time alone to address any problems. You can even go to a professional for support, especially for your mental and spiritual health. The bottom-line here is to take care of your needs. Remember that you can’t give what you don’t have, so you need to show yourself some love first before you can truly love others.
When it comes to lifelong connections, quantity doesn’t matter. What’s important is their quality, because this will influence your own quality of life. Take note of these tips to nurture your connections and make them last.