There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that relationships are hard work. Keeping up with family, friends, partners, and coworkers can leave us feeling spread thin alongside our other responsibilities.
If you’ve noticed that a meaningful relationship in your life is lagging behind, and you’re not sure how to feel more connected, there are some things you can do to strengthen your relationship without investing more time than you have to spare.
Is the disconnect caused by a certain pain point within the relationship? Is it just a matter of putting in a little more effort? The practice highlighted below can help you identify the underlying cause of your relationship challenges so you can start working more intentionally to create a more connected future.
Try This Exercise
With the holidays upon us, it’s a great chance to catch up with distant family and old friends who you might have trouble keeping up with throughout the year. More than that, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your most valued relationships.
When we move into the new year, who do you want to feel more connected to? Could it be your partner? Your kids? A coworker you’ve fallen out of touch with? Once you’ve identified a relationship you want to work on, it’s time to lay the groundwork.
Write down any friction within that relationship that you want to address. As an example, let’s say you’ve lost touch with a friend and coworker and you’d like to reconnect. You can ask yourself a few questions to identify a specific area for improvement:
- What’s causing the underlying distance in our relationship? We’ve both been way too busy to catch up lately at the office.
- What can I control to feel more attuned and connected? We don’t have a lot of time to spare, but I’ll bet we can carve out some time to catch up over lunch once or twice a week.
When you’ve answered the questions above, it’s time to connect the dots. You understand the problem, and you have a vision for a more productive relationship. What’s within your control that will move you and your coworker in that direction? How can you communicate this to them to get their buy-in as well?
Maintaining healthy relationships requires equal effort from both parties, so in some cases, the solutions might feel out of your control. But that’s where communication comes into play. There’s no better way to get on the same page than to talk it out. Yeah, that vulnerability can be spooky, but those with a mastery of EQ understand it’s necessary to create a healthy, safe environment so that your relationship can thrive.
At Oats Overnight, we come to work every day as we are. Not one of us is perfect, nor do we have all the answers to our problems. But by encouraging a culture of emotional thoughtfulness, we can ensure every person on our team feels valued. We nurture new ways of thinking that help us, and those around us, grow together.
These intangibles are often undervalued compared to the hard skills we bring to the table. But in practice, it’s emotional thoughtfulness that guides our growth, our innovation as a business, and the meaningful relationships that have formed within the company.
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