Relationships are important. They give us the support we need when we’re down. They provide others we can laugh with. In times of grief or illness, we have people to lean on. Relationships can often be a source of tremendous blessing if you’re willing to give of yourself for the relationship.
Focus on the People You Care About
Focus on those you love and care about. When others see that you’re interested in them and what they have going on in their lives, they’ll open up and be more caring to you, in most cases. That establishes a good, strong friendship.
When you focus on someone else, participate in some of the things that they enjoy. Take an interest in their activities and career. When you do, you’ll begin to see things from their perspective and enjoy a deeper, more meaningful friendship.
Get Close to the People Who Matter
Getting closer means different things to different people. Some people move to be closer to family, for example. Others live far away but use the phone and internet to stay close and in touch. They tell each other they care and remain close in spirit and heart even when they’re far apart. Relationships take effort, but the rewards are well worth it.
If you really want to stay close to loved ones and expand your personal relationships, you have to be willing to get outside of your comfort zone. A friend may have something he does for a hobby that you have yet to try. You might meet new people and build on the number of relationships you have in your life.
No matter how close your relationships are now, you can become closer by:
1. Talking to the people in your life. What do they need from you?
2. Thinking about your relationships. What do you need from others?
3. Sharing what matters. Express your thoughts, opinions, and values and be open to those of others.
4. Eliminating negativity from your relationships. Regardless of the type of relationship you have, whether business or personal, it should be positive, with both of you getting something good out of the relationship.
5. Letting others know you care. You might assume that those close to you know you care, but the other person may be waiting to hear that they’re important to you. Tell the people you care about how you feel as often as you can. Show them you care. Actions speak even louder than words.
6. Spending time with them. Spend as much time with them as you can, too. Time is a precious commodity, and spending your time with someone shows them that they’re important to you. Use the time you spend together to get all the enjoyment and fulfillment you can from each of your relationships.
Changing the dynamics of a relationship you care about often takes time and patience. To get more from your personal relationships, spend some time evaluating them. Then, begin to pour your time and energy into the ones that mean the most to you.
Consider forging new personal relationships, as well as strengthening old ones. It’s perfectly okay to have a lot of friends, as long as you have the time to cultivate the relationships that you have with them.