Tips to Spring Clean Your Relationship

Tips to Spring Clean Your Relationship

How much time do you spend preparing for relationships? I saw this question while perusing the internet and it made me reflect on the ups and downs of my relationships over the years; specifically, work relationships and friendships. Do you know what I realized? Good, solid relationships don’t just happen. Relationships are work and we, you and I, go into every relationship with some level of expectation. Which means there may be a disappointment on all sides. 
 
Enjoying good relationships also requires you to have the courage to do what I call Relationship Spring cleaning. This is the occasional dusting or purging of what no longer serves the relationship. This includes forgotten about goals, inconsistencies that have crept in and/or ignored frustrations that have become a new normal. The goal of spring cleaning is to ensure the relationship stays fresh and serves the original purpose of all parties. You are happy, they are happy and all is well. So, go ahead and kick the tires on your relationships. To get started, check out these 3 ways you can keep your relationships fresh and fruitful:

1. BE HONEST

How have the relationships met your expectations? It’s important to make sure everyone shows up as expected and the relationships are equitable for everyone. What you are doing is reevaluating whether you and others are getting what you need from the relationship. If you are a car owner, you check your tire pressure from time to time. You get a tune-up, change the oil and test the batteries to make sure your vehicle is in working order. You do what is necessary to fix any issues that come up. The same care is necessary for relationships. Be honest with yourself and your partners about your expectations. Share any changes you notice or issues you want to address. Trust yourself enough to speak up and discuss honestly what is working well, and what is not. Who knows, your partners may have the same concerns but were afraid to share. Trust, honesty and open communication at all times are what keep relationships thriving.

2. BRING YOUR BEST

There is no real partnership without each party bringing the best of their talent and skills to the table; intentionally. Check yourself first and explore what talents are not being fully utilized. Ask others how you can support them in developing their potential too. Everyone must agree to work together on goals and contribute individual strengths, gifts, perspectives, and experiences to benefit the relationship. You can’t hold back your gifts and expect the partnership to thrive. Relationships take real work – teamwork –  with everyone involved doing their part.

3. MAKE ADJUSTMENTS

When you stay in relationships that are not working, it drains your energy and creativity. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to cut the cord, but imagine how uncomfortable life will be if you don’t. When relationships grow in different directions, discuss what you still have in common and how priorities are changing.  Rocky relationships can be salvaged if it is important to everyone involved and you are willing to communicate what you feel. Communication is key. Talk with your partners openly so that if you decide to take a different path, there will be no hurt or hard feelings. Be true to yourself, honor your heart and resist feeling obligated to continue relationships that have grown toxic or unhealthy. Change is a good thing; it means you are growing and building new connections is an exciting part of growth.

Nurture relationships that support you in being who you are and release those that do not. Be proactive to ensure that everyone gets what they need, are constantly growing, and appreciate the value of the relationship.

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