Many of us have an appreciation for good, strong relationships. We know how much better life is when they’re in a good place, and we know how so many areas of our lives are affected when they’re not.
We know how good it feels when the people we want to be close to (family, friends, etc.) want to spend time with us, reach out and open up to us when they are struggling with something, pay close attention and actively engage with us when they’re in the same room with us, actually care about what’s going on in our lives by listening and helping us through our own challenges, miss us when we’re not with them, and consistently work hard to stay involved in our lives.
There are certainly relationships that feel more effortless compared with others; we’ve all had those friends that are just easy to be close to. They’re the ones that you can go months or years without seeing, and when you do finally reconnect it feels like you never missed a beat. They’re the ones that know exactly what to say, how to say it, and when the perfect timing for those words are. And, they’re the ones that both of you are able and willing to change your own ways of doing things and ways of thinking about things simply to make your connection with each other even stronger.
Then, there are the other relationships. Often, they’re the ones that you don’t have the freedom to just turn your back on: your co-workers, your teenage children, your siblings, your parents, your next-door-neighbors, your kid’s best friend’s Mom, your in-laws. They’re the people that you have two options with when dealing with them: you either allow them to negatively dominate your life by incessantly complaining about them and fighting them head on with every issue you don’t see eye-to-eye with, or you find a way to “manage” the relationship by compromising and figuring out how to make it work for everyone’s sake.
Regardless of which type of relationship you’re considering, they’re all important. They’re all worthy of your effort, your patience, your emotional endurance, and your willingness to try to make them better.
There are ones you “want” to try harder at, and ones you feel like you “have” to try even harder at. But, they are all worthy of your effort.
And, what better platform to practice turning your “have to’s” into “get-to’s” than the relationships that ultimately determine our overall happiness and quality of life?