Relationships & friendships revolve around a two-way connection:
- You to Me &
- Me to You.
Connecting with another person can bring such a sense of fulfilment.
But it will also bring us heartache & challenge. That is not an if; it is a when.
Relationships are only as strong as their weakest link.
If they are built on mutual, trust & respect, then strengthened with time, commitment & openness, with a sprinkling of forgiveness & reconciliation, they are not only strong; they are also resilient, they have space for mistakes, disappointments & let-downs without running the risk of fracture or disengagement.
If they lack any of these qualities they are prone to disruption, even meltdown; the road will be rocky & the chance of continuing after a disappointment or disagreement is greatly reduced. They often falter at the first challenge.
Two-way means giving & receiving; 2 key elements for success.
We can become so focussed & enthusiastic about what we want to say or do that we lose sight of what the other person has done or may want. We forget to mention what they have done or said that has been helpful, uplifting or encouraging for us.
A simple, practical activity for developing & maintaining strong relationships (including friendships) is practising the art of gratitude; saying “Thank You.”
“Thank You” or “I’m Grateful For…” are two great ways to cement relationships & enable them to deepen & grow. It puts the focus on the other party & on letting them know they matter.
It completes the loop in really cconnecting with them.
Research has shown that gratitude is a REAL source of joy (not the reverse).
We often think that if I’m happy or joyful I will be able to express gratitude.
Interestingly it is the reverse that is true: As I express gratitude I experience joy.
This isn’t a recipe to express gratitude in order to feel joy.
It is about spontaneously articulating & expressing heartfelt gratitude … however you wish to express it.
So if you have a struggling relationship or friendship, try injecting a bit of gratitude. Say the words, “Thank you.” Then see what happens: for you & the other person.
Take care until next time …