Everyone would agree that one of the most important things in our lives (if not the most important) is our relationships. The people that we pour into each day matter to us. Those who care for us and invest in us are a defining part of our life. If our relationships are so important, why are so many of us plagued with broken relationships? Here are three things to think about that could be damaging your relationships right now:
Assuming You Know
You have likely spent a good deal of time with your closest relationships. You know your friends and families as well as anyone, but it’s important to remember that you don’t know them perfectly. Not only that, but people change over time, so the things you know today, may be less true in a couple of months. So, when your daughter comes to talk to you, don’t automatically switch to auto-pilot, assuming that you know what she is going through and what she needs. You may not know. Even if you have a pretty good idea, she needs to talk about it. So look at her and really listen.
Assuming Everyone’s OK
Things can often seem good on the surface of your family or friend group. No one is complaining. Everyone is going to school or work and seems to be functioning well. But, just because everyone looks ok, doesn’t mean that everyone is ok. Here’s a shocking truth for you: people are really good at hiding stuff. (ok, that’s not a big revelation). You don’t know how people are doing until you ask. Pay attention to people, listen to them, and pray for them. The earlier you catch a problem the easier it is to deal with.
Assuming It’ll Pass
We all make mistakes. We all say hurtful things or leave important things unsaid. When you have hurt someone, don’t assume that the damage will go away if you ignore it. The same goes for being hurt by others. There are only two ways to deal with these sort of breakdowns. Forgive or confront. Own it and release it or go talk it out. Leaving things unaddressed leaves landmines scattered around in your relationship to be stepped on later. What was only a minor problem today can become a relationship crushing problem next month.
Pay attention to the people you love. Ask questions. Be present. It’s easier to keep a relationship healthy than it is to try to repair a broken one!
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo