6 Tips for Cultivating More Meaningful Relationships
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, between family, home, and work, our relationships with others tend to fall to the back burner. While you might meet up with your high school girlfriends once a year for dinner or play 18 holes with the guys from the office now and then, these relationships often stay on the surface level, leaving a hole in our lives for deep, meaningful relationships that we can grow and learn from.
Meaningful relationships develop us and enrich our lives. Without them, we begin to feel something is missing; that there isn’t much purpose. Connection is key, and if you’re looking for more of it in your life, then read on for some tips for cultivating more meaningful relationships.
Spend time with yourself. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. If you don’t know yourself deeply and actively cultivate growth and development within yourself, how can you expect to do so with others? Spend time with yourself every day. Take inventory of your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to better understand yourself and put your best foot forward with others.
Know your values. The most meaningful relationships we have are with those who at least respect our individual values, if not share in them. When you know yourself deeply, you’ll learn what you stand for and what really makes you tick so you can share that and express that with others. This will make you feel heard and known among your friends and family, which creates depth and meaning in any relationship.
Understand the relationships you’re currently in. Not all relationships are healthy. In fact, some zap us of time, energy, and even confidence. When you understand which relationships are worthwhile to deepen, you’ll learn to prioritize which relationships are worth cultivating and which ones are better left at the surface level.
Make time. This one’s easier said than done, but if relationships are important to you, then you should prioritize them. Set time aside weekly or monthly to get with your friends. Even a few seconds a day to send a text or an email to let someone know you’re thinking of them helps create a stronger bond with that person. What’s important in your life, you’ll make time for, so show the people how much you really care making yourself available when you can.
Be present. When you do finally find time to get together with friends or family, be 100% there. Get off your phone, stash it away, and really engage in the conversation and listen to what they’re saying. It’s one thing to see a movie with a friend and a completely different thing to spend those two hours catching up and talking about what’s most important to the both of you.
Always follow-up. After spending time together, always follow up. Send a text or call quickly to let the other person know how much you enjoyed your time with them and what it meant to you. Start discussing getting together again soon during your follow up and, this one is key, actually do it. Follow through and meet up again on a regular basis to really cement that relationship.
Relationships are one of the best parts of life and without them, it’s incredibly boring. When you want to make your relationships more meaningful, follow these tips and see how your connections thrive and blossom.