Relationships have the power to make you feel empowered, confident and supported or disempowered and weak. The relationships you have with men may differ according their role. However, whether they are your father, brother, uncle, friend, boyfriend or life partner, when the relationship is strong, you feel stronger and better balanced.
In honour of the great men in your life, here are four ways to help you strengthen your relationships (and feel better about you!).
Be prepared to Share
Quality relationships require quality time. If you regularly enjoy activities with those who matter to you, great! If not, ask yourself what could you do together? Perhaps it’s something as simple as a walk and a coffee, a regular time slot for a phone call or trying something you’ve never done before. Activities shared create opportunities to bond as well as happy memories. Not everyone is able to openly share their feelings with their most important men. If you find it hard to share how you feel, try demonstrating feelings by spending quality time together and sharing experiences. Giving your time and full attention can make the other person feel loved, respected and at least important and is a great way to strengthen those bonds.
Appreciation is key in any relationship. It opens the heart and encourages more good deeds. Starting small is all that’s needed. Begin by actively catching them doing something well. Then simply let them know that you noticed and you appreciated what they did. Aim to also express gratitude in the moment. For example, looking him in the eye and warmly saying, “thank you”, when a cup of tea is made for you is prefect. Every time you do, closeness is being cultivated…
Be clear and conscious
Take responsibility for communicating clearly and consciously. This may mean stopping to ask yourself what it is you want to achieve. When what you want to say doesn’t come out right, try again. Be brave! The words will come when spoken from the heart, even if you personally need to adopt ‘Mean what you say and say what you mean’ as your mantra for a period. It’s worth it! Be bold and brave at communicating your truth, as well as being encouraging towards the key men in your life.
Seeking to understand and feel understood are hallmarks of quality communication. NEVER be afraid to ask someone what it is they meant or what they want. From, “What do you mean?” to, “I’d like to spend more time with you. What do you think we could do together that we both might enjoy?” Even, “I’d really like to talk with you about something. When is a good time to get your full attention?”
All are examples of great questions to help you share, communicate better and strengthen your relationships with the key men in your life. As you strengthen those relationships, they in turn strengthen you. And that’s important!
*This article originally appeared in September 17 issue of peninsular living