Developing Healthier Relationships

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What role do you play in the relationships in your life, are you a supportive friend, a caring partner, a reliable family member?

Reflecting on relationships and connections has been a significant focus for me in recent years. I’ve noticed that some of my close relationships are drifting apart, seemingly without intentional effort from either party. This has led me to ponder “Is this simply a result of the busy lives we lead, and is it just a natural evolution of life’s journey?”

Have any of you experienced this before? If so, know that you’re not alone!

Professional relationships, connections, friendships, partnerships, sibling bonds, and parental ties play a significant role in everyone’s life. During my teenage years and into my 20’s and 30’s, I had a large circle of friends, which marked a vibrant period of my social life. Most of my friends were exploring their identities and aspirations, just like me. Looking back now in my 40’s, I cherish the handful of close friends I have, investing time and effort to nurture these relationships, much like caring for a plant in my home. Have you ever looked back on your past relationships and realised that some were simply casual acquaintances for socialising at the local pub or night club if you did that type of thing? I’ve had similar reflections. It’s natural to question why certain so called friendships occupied so much of our time, especially when we were still figuring out our own identities in our early years. Thinking about yourself and reflecting on your experiences is an important part of growing as a person and learning more about yourself.

In this blog, I aim to share my reflections and insights on how to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships with the most important people in your life.

In a world where many of us find ourselves working from home, surrounded by four walls or being a tradesman working alone, it has become increasingly important to nurture deep and meaningful relationships. Recent research on google says, a decade ago the average British adult had 5.1 close friends, but today that number has dropped to 3.7, a significant decrease of around 27%. Even more concerning is the fact that 1 in 10 people now have no close friends at all. This begs the question, what will the future hold in another decade if we don’t prioritise building strong connections with others?

If you relate to this and are paying attention, know that you’re not alone. Keep reading for some easy tips to improve and nurture your relationships.

We all have relationships that enter and exit our lives, some of which bring positive changes and new experiences. Meeting new people can happen for various reasons. Sometimes it’s because we share a similar goal, interest, or values. I think we can all relate to individuals coming in and out of our lives, from former partners to old friends whom we may drift apart from due to our hectic schedules. So, embracing new connections entering and exiting our lives is essential for growth and learning. Sometimes, it’s better to let things happen on their own. Instead of looking for closure or answers, try to move on and trust that those who don’t want to be in your life or have moved on are focusing on other things. Don’t expect others to always comprehend your perspective, and remember, you may not always get the answers you seek. In times of need, you will discover your true friends. Some unexpected ones will rise to the occasion, while others you counted on may fade away swiftly. It’s during these moments that you realise the significance of your relationships. Trust in the journey and the lessons it brings!

Remember, every person who enters your life has a purpose too. They come into our lives when we need them the most. Their presence isn’t by chance but a meaningful meeting of paths. Feel inspired when they do enter your life and embrace with positivity.

I’d like to share some easy ways to welcome new relationships and strengthen the ones you already have. Take a look below.

1. Spend quality time together – Whether with friends, siblings, or your partner, set aside time to enjoy each other’s company.

2. Share positive thoughts – Share positive experiences and show genuine interest in each other’s lives. Listen attentively and express care for their thoughts and feelings.

3. Respect different perspectives – Understand that everyone has their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Embrace the opportunity to learn from their unique experiences and try see the world as they see it.

4. Practice self-love – Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Show self-love through actions like gratitude, spending time outdoors, eating well, and engaging in enjoyable physical activities.

5. Communicate openly – Express your feelings, thoughts, and reasons behind them. Encourage the other person to do the same. Effective communication is crucial for a thriving relationship.

6. Find solutions together – If scheduling time together is challenging, collaborate on finding a suitable solution. Don’t wait for the other person to take the initiative. Plan and prioritize time together to prevent the relationship from fading.

7. Be reliable – Honor your commitments and avoid last-minute cancellations whenever possible. It’s important for a healthy relationship to build trust by being reliable.

8. Take the time to appreciate yourself – Connect with your emotions to enhance your ability to communicate clearly and authentically. Neglecting to understand and manage your emotions can have adverse effects on your mental health and well-being.

9. Embrace the process – Building strong relationships takes time and effort. Nurture your connections, practice healthy habits, and allow your relationships to grow and evolve over time.

Now you’ve read these tips, take a moment to close your eyes and envision a relationship in your life that you aspire to improve. Consider how you can integrate these key points discussed into your interactions and behaviours within that relationship.

One profound lesson I’ve embraced after 38 years is to release my frustration towards those who don’t meet my expectations and refrain from imposing my beliefs on them. This shift in perspective is liberating and allows me to break free from draining patterns. Imagine yourself as a masterpiece in progress, shaping and refining your own behaviours and connections with others through your emotions and expressions. By focusing on personal growth like an artist shaping a sculpture, you’ll discover newfound freedom, and unlock doors to deeper more enriching relationships. My relationship with a family member has greatly improved by changing how I engage with them by not expressing my own opinions of how they should be.

The content on this blog aims to support you in cultivating trust, respect, self-awareness, and open communication. Give it a try, and you’ll not regret the possibility of experiencing more fulfilling relationships, there’s no time like the present to start!

You shouldn’t be alone. In today’s world of screens and social media, true happiness comes from connecting with people in person. Build quality relationships for a happier, healthier life. Remember relationships get better when both people are willing to admit their mistakes and forgive each other!

If you have questions or need help to improve your relationships with a relationship coach, please contact me on the link below. 

Contact Chris

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