In a time where our social interactions are already so limited, it’s easy to lose touch with the ones closest to us. But just because we’re physically distant from each other, doesn’t mean we can’t be close emotionally. Here are a few helpful tips we can learn from our parents or parental figures in our life, about maintaining and strengthening our connections with the people we love!
Don’t Set Unrealistic Expectations
It is natural to have expectations and sometimes they are even necessary. However, there is a very fine line between knowing what you deserve and setting unrealistic standards about how people SHOULD behave. In order to maintain this balance, it is important to set open lines of communication with other people. Healthy relationships are forged on the foundations of effort and transparency. We can learn to implement this from our elders as they are usually more expressive about their needs and expectations in their relationships.
Respect People’s Boundaries
Setting boundaries are crucial in ensuring that relationships are built on mutual respect and understanding. The first step to respecting people’s boundaries comes with being attentive to social cues. Do they seem uncomfortable engaging in conversation? If you are unsure about what they’re feeling, ask them. Let them know that they are allowed to state their boundaries with you. It is also important to accept what the other person is trying to communicate with you, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. While this may be difficult, this will show the other person that they are able to express their emotions with you without feeling invalidated. Due to how hyperconnected our generation is, we’re used to immediate fixes. This expectation results in a loss of patience whereby we expect people to operate on our time. However, this is unrealistic. Our parents are able to give their loved ones space without fixating on the problem at hand. They are able to do this due to the immense trust they place in their relationships.
Reach Out To People
During these incredibly trying times, it’s hard enough to keep up with ourselves and checking up on someone might seem exhausting. However, dropping a simple text to let someone know that you’re thinking of them, and hope they are doing well may not only strengthen that bond but will also provide a meaningful boost for that person. You may even send a token to someone, for example food or flowers to let them know that you are there for them. While this task initially may have seemed tedious, once you get over the initial awkwardness, you will realise the power of the simplest gestures and their way of lifting others as well as yourself. It may even be refreshing to do so. We can observe this from the mutual support our elders extend to their relatives and friends by meeting with each other and exchanging gifts on festive occasions, or even monetary support in the case of a personal crisis or tragedy. They go out of their way to be there for their loved ones by remaining actively involved in their lives through hardship and happiness.
Avoid Being Judgmental
Being non-judgemental will allow the other person to confide in you, giving you a chance to help them. Practicing non-judgmental behavior will sometimes involve accepting people or things that we don’t agree with. This will happen by not reflecting your own personal biases into relationships. It includes developing an attitude of acceptance and understanding and empathy. This behavior will be depicted through your actions and words. Being judgmental involves noticing everyone’s faults including your own. Adopting a non-judgmental approach will relieve the stress of this. However, this doesn’t mean you have to accept or even tolerate someone mistreating you or others. It simply means investing your time and energy into those who truly deserve it.
Learn To Put Your Ego Aside
Maintaining relationships with people over different phases of your life seems unrealistic as it’s completely normal to outgrow some people. However, it’s vital to maintain some of these connections as having a strong support system is vital to your own growth. We can see our parents doing this as they remain in touch, even with those they went to school with. Their relationships are more durable due to their willingness to sacrifice their own egos. Surrendering your ego will include a lot of steps which will seem uncomfortable at first. In relationships where sentiments are involved, your ego may be the destructive force that can potentially override the relationship. Putting your ego aside will require you to confront your weaknesses. One way to do this is by forgiveness and letting go. This would entail letting go of frivolous matters like small arguments about minor issues. This will enable you to reach resolutions without it feeling like a direct attack to your character. It will also help you find stability and contentment within your relationships, which will further secure the bond.