Building a Better Relationship
Depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse have a way of eroding the bonds you have established with loved ones — bonds that need to be strong when you are feeling your weakest.
Take steps to strengthen your relationships.
- Make a list of people you would like to see regularly.
- Remove distractions, like cell phones, when you visit.
- Be a better listener.
- Give moral support for their endeavors.
You may have a relationship that is already in trouble. Now is the time to take the steps to fix it. The first step is to acknowledge that you are part of the problem. It’s easy to blame others for miscommunication, disagreements and other factors that strain a relationship. Recognize your own personal responsibilities for the difficulty in your relationship, and you can move on to the next steps:
- Stay constructive and propose solutions.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Focus on what you value about the other person.
You and the people you have relationships with are going to argue. (Disagreeing is a natural part of any relationship.) Just remember to fight fair. Researcher John Gottman noted that fighting style matters in a relationship, and the best way to avoid heating up any matter is to avoid finger-pointing and overgeneralizing statements like, “You never pay any attention to me!” Focus on being forgiving, and think about the stressors that may be causing the other person’s behavior.
If you are still having trouble either expressing your needs or having them met, seek counseling or couple’s therapy.
STEPS ON THE PATHWAY
- Remember the importance of friends and family.
- Strengthen bonds through communication, listening and understanding.
- Admit your personal responsibility for difficulties in a relationship.
- Put yourself in the other person’s place.
- Remember that communication is a two-way interaction.
- Offer and ask for forgiveness.
If you need a guide to help you down the pathway, or if you feel that you need immediate assistance, call the Front Porch at 901.762.8558.