In my last post I shared how I was re-purposing the term “relationship goals” to set goals for my romantic relationship. I realized that some people might not be in a romantic relationship, or might want to focus on relationships outside of romantic ones. I struggle with this because it’s easy to cling to my boyfriend like a parasite avoiding all contact with other humans. This is probably because I can be myself with him more than with other people. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize how important other interpersonal relationships are, especially for my emotional well-being.
That’s why I want to challenge myself to strengthen these relationships as well in the month of February, and I would like to challenge my readers as well. Pick two of these goals and try to complete them in the next month (I realize.February is almost half over at this point). I’m excited to see how our relationships improve, and if we see any improvements in our day-to-day moods. I’ve set four goals that are most relevant to the relationships in my life. Feel free to add goals of your own where you see fit. These are activities that I know will work for the people I want to connect with.
To identify activities that will work best for your relationships, think of the last really good conversation you had with that person and what you were doing. It’s likely that the person you want to connect with is most comfortable opening up in similar situations. For example some people really love phone conversations since they feel the most comfortable speaking over the phone. Other people like to speak intimately face-to-face. Still others may like to have the distraction of a shared activity throughout the conversation.
Have a meal with a relative. It’s so important to connect with relatives if we can. Having relatives who are close gives us built in supportive friendships. A captive audience who has to listen to our drama. Of course there are exceptions to this. But if you have relatives who are tolerable keep them close. Many people who look back on their life with regrets point to not having close enough relationships with relatives who cared about them. Even relatives who may be critical of you are most likely concerned about your well-being.
I’m hoping to have a meal with my mother. Most likely brunch, although she is usually down for anything. Although we don’t always agree on everything like work and money, I know she wants the best for me. I’m also fully aware of how lucky I am to have my mom close by.
Call your parents. If you aren’t lucky enough to liver near your parents, give them a call. My mother is from Queens, and when we didn’t live in the same city she would often leave me voicemails reminding me to “call ya motha” in her New York accent. So I’m passing on that advice to you. For all the same reasons you should have a meal with a relative, you should call your out of town relatives.
Go on an adventure with a friend. Get in a kayak with your bestie and bond while you attempt to row in one direction. Laugh about your relationships while your butts soak in all the water in the bottom of your boat. Or complain about your kids while you try to identify important landmarks like Palm Tree #5.
Meet up with a group of friends over drinks or appetizers. Maybe you can meet up with coworkers after work, grab a beer and laugh away the stress of the day. Or maybe you can meet up with a group of your girlfriends on a Friday night for tapas. Either way if you have people in your laugh who make you laugh, and help you forget your worries you need to make time for them.