We live in a culture where, when we use the word “relationship” we really just think about romantic relationships. That does us a real disservice when we consider all the relationships we have (and should be cultivating) in our lives. Friendships, professional associations, the relationship you have with your family, and so much more are critical to our mental well-being.
If you want to set goals around your relationships and feel a little flummoxed by the whole thing you are certainly not alone. Relationships can be really hard, especially for those of us whose first relationships were built on a bed of toxicity. Understanding what constitutes a healthy relationship and then setting goals to cultivate that can really go a long way
As a 90’s kid raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints, I have watched my fair share of “Family: Isn’t It About Time?” ads. I’ll be honest, those ads are adorable, and I love them (but this one is my favorite). I think they also provide important insight into how we can cultivate all our relationships. If growing a relationship is important to you, start by putting quality time into it.
I mean things like makeing sure that time is put into positive interactions doing things like expressing appreciation, serving others together (including other family members!), and communicating openly, clearly, and regularly about what’s going on. If you start putting in the time, it’s very likely that the effort will be reciprocated.
I don’t want to come across like putting time into your relationships is some kind of a magic fix if something is broken. It’s not. If you’re working hard and the other person is not then it’s time to build in some distance.
The toxicity could be from a romantic partner, the parent to your kids, a coworker, or a supervisor. It can be hard to sever ties completely, but if a relationship is harming you then it’s time to go. The best goal setting in the world can’t change anything if the other person isn’t willing to reciprocate.
What have some of your experiences been in purposefully cultivating relationships or cutting ties when it became clear it wasn’t serving anyone?