Hello, fellow tea lovers!
It has been a while since I shared a piece of writing with you. So here I am. Relationships are often hard work. It takes collaboration and compromise to share a healthy relationship.
What even is a healthy relationship?
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the building blocks of a healthy relationship are mutual respect, trust, and honesty, among other things. For me, it’s a mutual relationship of safety, care, and support in the form that suits and benefits one another. Some people believe that there is only one kind of relationship—intimate ones. However, relationships manifest themselves in multiple kinds of connections such as family, friends, and romantic partners.
For each relationship, a functional norm is inferred based on the interaction both parties share. We have to remember that these inferred interactions cannot be used as blueprints for each relationship because as the individual changes, so does their relationship and surroundings. In other words, never believe nor take for granted that a relationship will remain the same. In fact, people who work on themselves and embrace their changes are highly flexible and will add unique qualities to their relationship as their partners adapt and change as well.
Normally, we are frightened by change because it forces us out of our comfort zone and pushes us to mature and grow. Realizing that you are going through a period of change and your relationships are too will make the adaptation that much easier and effective. Also, it is very important to communicate and share those realizations and requests upon any necessary adaptation to your relationships.
Please avoid talking about the other person and their actions—instead, try using the “I” statement. Express yourself and how the changes make you feel and express what you need in order to maintain a stable and healthy connection in your relationships.
How to reach out during COVID-19
If one party in the relationship has been inactive and has stopped engaging at the same level, that does not mean that the relationship failed because the person changed. Where is your effort to maintain your healthy relationship? What can you do to reach out? How can you support them?
There are so many things that COVID-19 has affected and it has made many extroverts discover their introverted side, which has, in turn, affected their relationships. This is why I urge you to communicate, communicate, communicate—unless the person clearly indicated that they do not care about the relationship, of course. Here are some examples of things to say when checking in on those in your life:
- I saw this and it reminded me of you.
- I know you are fighting through the days. I wanted to express my love and admiration for you.
- You know the advice or the resource you shared with me before? They came in handy again today!
- I could not imagine my life without getting to know you. You add a unique flavour to it!
Please refrain from:
- Where are you?
- Why haven’t you been answering?
- It has been two days, are you ready to talk now?
- You’ve changed…
I want to thank everyone who has been respectful of my social withdrawal. I would also like to thank those who have genuinely reached out in a kind and supportive way. How did this kind and supportive way look like, you might ask—it’s about checking in without harassment nor judgment to answer.
Nora Amar is an informal counselor and life coach. She feels blessed to be able to help others through the likes of empathy. To be the better version of yourself, reach out today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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