How can you bring about growth in your relationships? We talked about dark versus light in one of the earlier challenges. Some of the relationships that you’ll have will bring out your dark thoughts. Others will make you feel buoyant and fill you with lightness.
So let’s think about the people you engage with on a routine basis. You likely have different friends and relations with different levels of intimacy.
Maybe you have at least a few, if not many, surface relationships. These are the people with whom you have social interactions. How are these playing for you? Do your social engagements satisfy you? Or do you feel like having to deal with so many obligations or navigate so many personality types, is wearing on your spirit?
You can effectively spring clean your social engagements by really being honest with yourself about the value that these engagements bring to you and whether it’s worth sacrificing some part of your life (time, energy) to keep them going.
What about your friendships? Friendship means different things to different people. What is your level of desired sharing, and do you have friends who match your need? Some people never discuss intimate details of their lives with friends. Others bear all. Do you feel good about what you disclose to friends? Is the sharing reciprocal?
Be honest with yourself in assessing the health of your friendships. You might have some so-called friends who make life harder than it has to be. You can ease off on spending time with these people if being with them brings you anxiety.
Finally, think about your intimate relationships – marital partners, family. How is the communication between you and those with whom you are the closest? Do you feel relaxed and at ease with loved ones? Or do you hold back as a result of mistrust, or walk on eggshells?
Assess what needs to change in your relationships at all levels of intimacy. You might work on connecting in a more positive way. Or you might scale back on how often you see certain people or what you share.
Journal Exercise: Prune Away What Isn’t Working in Your Relationships
Today you’ll be doing some journaling to gain insights into your relationships and level of satisfaction with them.
Write down the names of people with whom you socialize on a surface level. They might be your children’s friends’ parents, or work people whom you meet up with for happy hour.
Describe how you relate to these people. Are your interactions light hearted, fun and/or productive? If not, what can you do to either change how you interact with said people?
If you don’t care for the amount of time you’re devoting to these surface friendships, what can you change in your life to minimize how often you see these people?
Next think about your friends. Are they people with whom you can truly let your guard down and be yourself? Write about your comfort level in sharing with these friends.
Is there anything you’d like to change in how you relate to your friends? Does anything bother you? Write down what you can do to improve these relationships.
What about your intimate relationships with family or married/committed partners?
Write down what you enjoy most about these relationships. Be as general or specific as you like.
What would you change about these relationships if you could?
Set Your Intention:
You’ve pulled out some aspects of your friendships that you’d like to clean up a bit for spring. Now state at least one change you plan to make in an effort to improve the situation.
Even if you don’t intend to make sweeping relationship changes at this time, such as a breakup or divorce, assessing the health of your most intimate relationships is one way to prune away the things that aren’t working for you.
Stay Safe and Be Well
The Positive Professional 🙂