The thing about relationships is that they involve another person. In any relationship - romantic, friendship, family - it's no longer about who you are and what you want. It's now about a give and take. But despite the fact that you're not in it alone, you are still 100% responsible for what you choose to give and what you choose to receive.
There are two ways today that we're going to figure out how to change our relationships. The first is to determine what needs changing. Take a few moments to evaluate each of your key relationsips. What keeps you connected to that person? What do you love most about him/her? What do you appreciate about how you're alike and how you're different? What do you wish were different about him/her, or different about you together? How does he/she make you feel about yourself? What do you feel like you bring to the table?
Do this for a few people, and then ask yourself if there were any flags. Do the most important people in your life make you feel good about yourself? Do you feel you bring something special to the relationship? Does he/her project more qualities you admire than qualities you don't?
In any case where your answers alert you to a needed change, consider whether the person is someone who isn't a positive influence in your life and who you may choose to step away from, or whether your connection just needs a good dusting. Maybe a conversation needs to be had, or you need to step up your game in giving love, time, or support.
How do you plan to share life with these VIPs in your life? Use the same system from Monday and Tuesday's posts: Consider your life 10 years from now, and describe what your relationships look like. Your marriage comes first and despite busy schedules you take a family vacation and a just the two of us vacation each once a year. Your friends own a lake house together and meet there for special occasions and weekends away. You have regular wine nights with the girls. You send birthday cards. You raise your children in a way that encourages what they're good at and teaches important lessons about independence.
Then come backward from this vision. What do your relationships look like in five years? How can you be building to that in one year? What steps can you take today to invest in the kind of relationships you want to nurture? Put birthdays on your calendar and order a stock of cards. Invite a friend you haven't seen lately out to catch up one on one. Tell your husband you love him. Reach out to a friend who has been having a hard time and listen kindly to her tell her stories over again. Ask a friend who hasn't been supportive of you if there's a reason for that (bring your brave to that one, yeah!?). Plan a trip to visit family.
There's a lot more to say on this topic, but I hope these thoughts inspire you to take action and change your relationships right now, today.
Want more? This is one of my favorite things I've ever written about love. Read it! Also stay tuned for an upcoming post specifically on marriage. You can also check out my workshops, in which we dive much more deeply into these subjects.