Rethinking Your Relationships
The pandemic has created a reset of epic proportion. Rarely do we get these grand interruptions in the habits of our days. Rarely do we get the opportunity to stop and notice what’s working and not working so we can continually improve.
We’ve been gifted that moment.
One of the greatest benefits I’m seeing come from COVID-19 is that we have the time to re-evaluate and refocus on what is really important in our lives. In many cases, the one thing that tops the list is our relationships.
When we stop and notice our relationships – and take an inventory of what works and doesn’t work in each of them – we become clear of what we should do more of and what needs improving. The observations can be enlightening, particularly the observations on what’s not working. Things like realizing work became more of a priority than time with your kids, or that you’ve accepted that your teen is distant and non-communicative because it’s been easier that way, or that you and your spouse have become roommates instead of living the passion that initially brought you together.
The power of the COVID-19 interruption is that we can more clearly see what life looks like today so we can choose how to move forward in a way that is wiser and better.
Consider these 3 ways to rethink your relationships at this exact moment to make each of them better.
- Get present. Use some of the time the pandemic has forced on you to assess what relationship you want to have with the important people in your life, and what is currently working and not working in each. Don’t judge where things are; just notice and assess it (is it where you want it to be?). Now you have information and clarity about what you want and where you are. You can’t improve or celebrate what you can’t see.
- Brainstorm improvements. Choose any of the things you see are not working and brainstorm ways you could improve it. If you feel you spend too much time on technology, for example, consider brainstorming ways you can turn it off or step away for a bit. Include the other person of the relationship you are rethinking in your brainstorming so you can work together to suggest improvements that work for both of you.
- Choose and implement. From your ideas, choose one and decide how you will work together to make it happen. You may have decided that increasing the amount of conversation is something you both want to work on, so your plan may be to have one meal a day with each other where you set the time for 10 minutes to talk about the important things on your mind with each other. Or, it could be that your commitment is to stop multitasking and listen generously when the other person is speaking. Each relationship will need different things to rebuild it or sustain it because the people in each relationship are different. Be open to what will make the greatest difference and do your part to make it happen. Small changes over time generate large results.
There is a reason why we are social creatures; we need each other to make it through our days. And the more successful we are at building and sustaining relationships, the more successful we will be in handling all of the ups and downs in life.
Identify 3 of the important relationships in your life. Define what a successful relationship would look like in each of the 3 you identified. Then assess where you are with each, specifically what works and what doesn’t work about that relationship. Choose something that is not working in each relationship and make a plan to improve it.
Make reviewing and improving relationships a weekly event. The results will amaze you.
Consider reading Your Impact is Greater Than You Think