At A Glance:
- The pillars of all relationships are the same. Trust, Communication, Love, Honesty and Respect.
- We may read a host of the relationship management techniques and be inspired to practise them. What matters though is to go step by step, let it grow naturally too.
- Crises are inevitable. The way you handle it, depends on the level of trust and how intimate your communication is.
Each moment of our day, we are involved in a relationship: it could be romantic, with our family, as a colleague or boss, or simply with ourselves. A relationship that is happy and loving, is what all of humanity, every creature craves for. Relationships are all about connection – as each of us would want – a deep, fulfilling connection.
We are made to love, give, interact with each other and thus live a peaceful, joyous life. We strive day in and day out to build and maintain beautiful relationships, where we give and receive happiness.
But often, aren’t these very relationships sources for pain and challenges? Doesn’t the very relationship that seemed so blissful in the beginning, end up breaking two people when they part ways? What brings about this sorrow? Is there any way to manage our relationships better? What are relationships all about?
The pillars of every relationship remain the same: Trust, Love, Respect, Honesty, Transparency and most importantly – Communication! Remove any one, the relationship goes for a toss.
In this article, we will look into the common foundation on which our personal relationships such as the one with a romantic partner, friendships, family, and most importantly the one with ourselves rest, as well some simple techniques to nurture them holistically.
Relationship With YourSelf
From the relationship you have with yourself, arises the premise for every other relationship of your life. As your mind, so the world. Only when you are complete from within, full of love and joy that you will even be able to help others. Take care of yourself, all else will be taken care of.
1. Solitude Heals
Being alone with yourself, even if for a few minutes in the day can be refreshing and gives you a perspective. Being aware of your internal world is key to having a good relationship with yourself. Learn to slowly enjoy your own company. Introspect on how your day passed, what are your key strengths, what you could improve upon, how are you feeling, what’s bothering you regularly, dive deeper into yourself. Journaling as we know is therapeutic.
Try writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly, you could have a simple gratitude journal. Try taking a meditation class. Even a few moments of this timeless practice each day can make a huge difference.
You could also take some moments off with a cup of a light beverage and soak in the silent hours of the morning or night. Just Be. You will notice yourself becoming calmer with each day.
2. Be Kind To Yourself
Have realistic expectations of yourself. If you find that setting higher goals makes you anxious, break them down into achievable chunks. For instance, you could start with a morning jog twice a week initially and let it grow on you. The dialogue you have with yourself internally decides how you feel about yourself. When you find you are being harsh with yourself, pause.
Take a reflective step back. Notice if you feel low, frustrated or your heart rate fastens? Think of how you would speak to a loved one and re-phrase the script to be compassionate to yourself. Be gentler, let yourself calm down. You could consider talking out loud to yourself if conditions are suitable. This tip helps you gain motivation from your own self.
3. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Understanding
Respect your physical needs of nutrition, sleep and activity. When you take care of your body, habits you are looking to cultivate to feed your mind and spirit, come more easily. Understand and accept that your strengths and weaknesses are a part of you. You can always work your way through weaknesses.
Consider gifting yourself that little keychain you have wanted when you complete a challenging task. Be appreciative of yourself. Start your day with a practise that sets a positive tone for the rest of the day and be open for spontaneity here. Review your goals and see how you can make them more purposeful and fulfilling.
Having a sense of integrity, finding purpose in what you do, be it work or recreation, your relationships can help you realize what truly matters and take steps to weed out what doesn’t. This could be letting go of a toxic friend or standing up for yourself when needed.
4. An Attitude of Acceptance and Curiosity
Know that change is inevitable and it is better to be accepting of it than be overly fearful. Be wary though of indecision. You could have a personal crisis plan, knowing that it is possible to fall back to older and harmful ways of living. Be prepared for such times.
Write down your thoughts and long-term goals, why you would never want to give up, have trusted people by you if you need help. Remember, when you practise sustainable self-care, no matter what life throws at you, a reservoir of strength builds up within that you can draw from. But don’t hesitate to reach out too, even if that would be the toughest to do.
Adopt the curious attitude of a child. A child sees the world each moment with a new vision. Look up from your screens and at the world around. Be up for learning new things, go out on walks, nurture your hobbies.
All romantic relationships have their ups and downs and require effort, commitment and a willingness to adapt from both partners. Each relationship is unique where two people come together for different reasons. However, there are some basic principles that all healthy relationships have in common.
1. Quality Time Together
Couples fall in love by looking at each other, listening to the other. Hence, Love is sustained and nourished in the long run – by continuing to listen attentively to your partner, by looking at them with love and understanding.
However, with the digital age come hurried texts after the initial phase of being together, being married for long comes with increased responsibilities which leads you to compromising on time with each other.
But the emotional signs you need to feel loved, that strength comes only from spending face-to-face quality time with each other. Thus, you could make it a point to carve out time for each other, where you will keep all devices and thoughts aside. Do something fun for your partner like surprising them with a book or outfit they have been wanting.
Go out for a morning jog or sign up for a hobby you could pursue together. Consider volunteering for a project or community cause, it allows you to explore new horizons, tackle challenges and know each other in new ways. This time together allows you to bond stronger and deepen the fulfillment of the relationship.
2. Communicate Openly and Often
Where there is no communication, all else fails. It is the cornerstone that supports and nurtures the edifice of your relationship. Even if you find it difficult, be open and clear about what you need and expect from your partner. Don’t assume they can read your mind just because you have been together for a while.
They may know to some extent, but you need to be clear to avoid misunderstandings. When you are together, observe their body language and tone of speech. These non-verbal and subtle cues hold much of what they won’t day openly. For instance, a smile that doesn’t reach their eyes clearly indicate something is wrong. When you really listen to them, you will be able to pick up subtle intonations while your partner communicates.
Being an aware listener and paying attention to your partner’s emotional cues, helps build a deeper and stronger relationship. Communication at a sublime level also enhances trust and empathy, the ability to connect during stressful times and resolve conflicts together.
3. Value Emotional Connect
Emotions are what breathe life into a relationship. The key to a strong relationship however is to not just respect each other’s emotions and make each other feel loved and emotionally fulfilled, but also not let your emotions get over your sanity during conflicts. Even if they do, it is best to peace out and come back to talk it out later.
You each should be able to talk to each other without feeling inhibited, build a safe space for the other to vent. Be willing to forgive and compromise when needed. Lack of these two factors will lead to resentment and anger building up. Don’t make winning a point, respect the other’s views.
Gestures such as holding hands for a few moments after a long day, a warm hug and regular couple time do wonders to deepen the emotional connect between both of you.
4. Stay Together During Tough Times
A vital part of building a healthy relationship is to learn to tackle challenges together. Accept that there will be ups and downs, that you may not always be on the same page. A change of job or country, losing a loved one may impact you differently. You may have different ways of dealing with a financial crunch.
Your needs and wants will change with time. In and through this, make sure to remember you are a team. This attitude will allow you to be flexible and accept changes and remain solution-oriented instead of problem-oriented. It enables you to grow together.
Venting out your frustration on your partner might seem tempting but it harms the relationship in the long run. Find other healthier alternatives like art, sports, etc to de-stress. When the going gets tough, look back to happier times, analyse where you went wrong and resolve to go toward happiness together.
Right from the time we are kids, to our older years – friendships form the crux of our social life. They give us tons of memories to cherish and moments to hold close. With them, we have the assurance that someone is always there. Friendships too like any other relationship require tremendous amount of time, effort, honesty and empathy to sustain.
1. Being There
Nothing accounts for more than the physical presence of a person. Meet your friends whenever possible, go out on trips together. If your schedules make it difficult, fix a date and meet up at least once a month.
If it is a long-distance friendship, ensure you have video calls or phone calls, where you talk about what is going on in your minds and lives, unwind together and encourage each other to keep going on and enjoy this journey called life. It deepens the connection. Being there also entails being a good listener. Often, your friend needs just a listening ear to know that she will be fine. You needn’t offer advice, just be a compassionate listener.
2. Appreciate and Understand
Generosity and gratitude are pillars of relationships. Often with friends whom we have known since long, we take their presence for granted. This leads to them feeling unloved. Take effort to show you care, that you value their love and support, their struggles and who they are.
You could a small note, send across a gift or simply surprise them when they are low by cooking them a meal of warmth and love. Being considerate to their emotions strengthens the bond with each day.
3. Be Honest and Transparent
A friend acts as a mirror who can gently yet firmly point out your mistakes, where you are likely to go wrong and how you can work on yourself more. Having a friend you can open yourself to, speak honestly with, someone who offers honest feedback on what you do is a great blessing.
Friends can ask questions like, “What is your true vision? What do you really want to do?” In this process we get to know ourselves better and approach life with integrity and clarity. Of course, you too should reciprocate this! Know when to say no to something, do not hesitate to step back if what your friend wants is against what you strongly stand for.
4. Be Compassionate
What matters in any relationship is to do what is right, than wanting to be right. When we spend enough time with a person, we often their best and worst. We may end up becoming cynical of their negative traits. Sometimes we may also end up comparing ourselves and our achievements to theirs. At such times, we should remember that to be compassionate is to be human.
Each is their unique self and each has their own journey to make. Be kind to your friends and yourself. Compassion helps us appreciate strengths, intelligently evaluate and overcome weaknesses and appreciate each other’s struggles and stories. If your friend has unintentionally failed to fulfill your expectations, don’t withdraw. Instead be clear about your thoughts.
If you have ways of expressing affection and gratitude, don’t assume they too will reciprocate similarly. They have their own little gestures. Accept and love them for their uniqueness. That’s what friendship is all about.
Families provide warmth and security, being part of a loving family feels good! A healthy family relationship and support can help in many ways – respecting differences in opinions, make it easier to resolve conflicts, look at multiple perspectives and help children gain independence along with the skills to build healthy relationships.
Here’s how you can improve and strengthen your relationship with your children and other family members:
1. Be Present
Sneak away moments from your busy schedules to spend time together. Share a laugh, how your day went by. You could cook meals together on a holiday, fix a night for family games or outings. When your cousins fly over from other countries, make it a point to meet.
When we grow together in a nurturing family environment, it not just gives us beautiful memories, but allows our children to blossom into kind and strong individuals. Have chats with individual family members to know what is going on in their lives, it truly helps.
2. Compassion Matters
When we realize how finite our time together is, how precious our family is, compassion comes naturally. Make time to appreciate each other’s efforts and achievements and go for each other’s sports and drama events. Include everyone in discussions, take an interest in each other’s thoughts and goals.
Talk to family members about their opinions, likes and dislikes, how they feel, acknowledge each other’s talents and strengths.If siblings help each other, acknowledge them, it makes them feel good. Another important tip is to share family stories and memories with younger children.
For instance, your childhood days or an incident from your sister’s life that her child is oblivious to. Misunderstandings are inevitable in a family, thus learning to talk it out and forgive is invaluable.
3. Positive Communication
Talk about your feelings such as frustration, anxiety, what makes you happy. Be clear about your wants and needs.
Respect each other’s right to communicate and in some cases to be alone to figure things out. Learn and push yourself to talk about difficult topics such as alcohol, addiction, sex, drugs, cyber-bullying, etc with your teenagers. It helps to highlight your thoughts and get their say as well.
Be open for spontaneous conversations before bed, during dinner. Listen fully when your child or partner wishes to talk. Observe non-verbal cues. Subtle ones such as an assurance with a smile, hugs, kisses and eye-contact convey more than any words can. Be generous with gestures of love and words of encouragement.
4. Be A Team
For the family to function smoothly, each of you has to remember that you are a team. Include young children too in making decisions regarding meals, family vacations, etc. Let them feel a sense of belonging by helping out with household chores.
Have family meetings to discuss everyone’s opinions, set family rules like everyone will sit calmly and talk if a conflict arises instead of panicking.
When a problem arises, try to work as a team by considering each other’s opinions, taking constructive feedback and work towards a solution together. Make the environment all-inclusive and nourishing.
No matter what the techniques we offer or anyone else offers, none knows yourself and your relationship dynamics better than you. Tailor these tips around your personal lives.
If you think you need someone to talk to, if your family or friends need help, don’t think twice before coming to us! Also we advise, read this article section-wise to get the best out of it! Trijog is always here for you with its safe, mentally and spiritually nurturing space.
- It is as important to be kind to yourself as it is to be towards others.
- Every relationship requires genuine nourishment in the form of warm hugs, encouraging words of appreciation and gestures of compassion.
- Be firm of your expectations, wants and needs. Be equally considerate to your partner or family’s needs. Consider how they can go hand in hand and where you can’t compromise.
- Your relationship with yourself matters the most. After all, the most intimate access we have to an internal world of thoughts and feelings, is our own!