From the beginning of this month, I said who we spend time with matters. While some people grow us, others can drag us down.
Although there are ways to remove those who hold us back, it’s best to find and stick to those who support us.
Yet, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of a relationship. Constantly taking from a relationship will soon enough sour the relationship and it can be toxic.
Like influence people have over you, leveraging relationships comes from spending time together. That being said, there are other methods that can strengthen relationships. Furthermore these methods will ensure that people want to spend time with you as well.
Hang Out & Follow Up
Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace. — Christie Brinkley
Of course the first thing is to spend time with them. However there is a certain style to it.
Simply spending time together isn’t enough. If you don’t chat with one another then trust isn’t built. Furthermore it gives room for doubt and can cause a rift to occur.
This was the case with one of my roommates. When we first started to chat he was constantly talking about his inability to have a conversation.
That first impression didn’t sit well with me. Although I should’ve been more forward with wanting to talk to my roommate at the time, there still was rift.
Over time, we hung out less even though we lived in the same apartment.
It wasn’t toxic or anything, however with the difficulty to converse from the beginning, we slowly drifted apart.
One of the big things that can strengthen a relationship is following up. Of course devoting time to one another is good. Provided you two can talk naturally and be yourself.
That being said, there are times where times available don’t match up.
In those situations — or if you can’t physically hang out — then it’s smart to send them a quick email or text. This is following up.
Depending on both the nature of the relationship and how you two met will determine the frequency in following up. There’s not a particular time frame, however studies have shown that the more you spend time around others the more health benefits you get. This is for both mentally and physically. There’s a lot of perks that stem from being around other people.
With this in mind, ideally you want to be following up at least on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you can physically hang out with someone, obviously the more chances you have, the better.
If you haven’t seen your friend in a while or didn’t hear back from them after a while, follow up again.
One strategy that you can work with is talk about what you talked about last.
Did they get a new house pet? Ask them how that experience is going.
Have they started a business venture? Follow up on how that’s going.
Regardless, follow up often and make sure you make the time you spend with them worth it.
Give Them Exclusive & Quality Advice
One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Another thing that you can do to strengthen bonds is to tell them something that others don’t. I’m not talking about drama or anything. I’m talking about proper advice.
Take for example the relationship I have with my accountability partner.
Every week we call and over the week we send a few messages on twitter asking how we are doing. But it’s during these calls that we strengthen ourselves more.
For myself, it’s stemming from revelations that I share with him.
As for my accountability partner, he’s given me websites to look at that are practical and useful for what I’m doing.
Of course that information could be public knowledge — considering the fact I’m so open and liberal in general.
But I still don’t divulge everything.
Not because I’m hiding it behind some sale tactic, but because it’s unnecessary for the public to know.
Anyway, the act of sharing valuable information and council is valuable and if it isn’t cheap it can strengthen relationships considerably. By giving quality information that the other can use, it’s only going to place more trust in that person.
It shows that you care for that person. And caring goes a long way.
The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. — Hubert H. Humphrey
The last method you can consider is gifts.
Gifts come in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t necessarily require you spend money on them immediately. Examples of this would be giving advice, showing support by listening, or lending a book or something else. There are ways you can help a person at no cost.
Conversely there is nothing wrong with buying a small item or covering a lunch bill either. These small gestures should be spread out so as not to spoil a relationship.
This method is certainly nice, it leaves a nice impression. At the same time, doing this too much can result in someone expecting it to happen. That of course depends on the person so play this one by ear.
Relationships can help us tap into ourselves and learn more about ourselves.
Furthermore having someone or two close to you in your life is incredibly helpful. You are considered a minority if you have two or more close friends in your life today.
The need to have meaningful relationships with people is important now more than ever before.
So take action and find some truly meaningful ones. Furthermore, devote the time to growing them. You never know where they may take you.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 57 of 91 of this series.
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