As you get older one of the biggest challenges ahead is the possibility of loneliness. Loneliness has been equated with something as bad as smoking many cigarettes a day. The only way to beat loneliness is to build a strong circle of friends. Some from the past and many from the present. To have, maintain and enjoy this circle of friends its important to have strong interpersonal skills. Read on about the how of maintaining strong interpersonal relationships, key to overcoming loneliness in your later years. Team RetyrSmart
Beating loneliness in retirement – strong interpersonal relationships is key
- Be Open
Any strong relationship needs to have the willingness to be open. This means the ability and desire to share what you’re thinking and your feelings about different subjects.
It really makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When you are open and willing to share, it shows the other person that you care about the relationship; that you are wanting to create a close connection by being truthful and receptive to the other person’s thoughts and feelings.
- Show Empathy
Here’s a saying you may have heard before:
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel.”
Pretty powerful stuff. One of the deepest human desires is to feel understood. When you show empathy towards someone else, you are showing that you care enough to understand how they feel. And that goes a really long way in maintaining strong relationships.
- Be Respectful
It goes without saying that in order to help build and maintain strong relationships, you will need to be respectful — respectful of the other person’s time, opinion, feelings, and so on. This is vitally important in one on one relationships such as a marriage or close friendship.
Work towards being respectful of others in general and certainly in tighter relationships.
- Be Available
Giving your time is like giving a gift. Time is the one thing we all have the same amount of — same 24 hours in a day, same amount of days in a week, etc. How you choose to spend that time says a lot about you. And being available to someone shows that you value them enough to spend your time with them. That is absolutely huge.
Being giving of your time shows the other person that you care enough about them and the relationship to share your most valuable commodity. Being available to someone will do wonders for maintaining strong personal relationships.
- Establish Boundaries
Boundaries are critical for healthy relationships. A boundary is a belief, or way of life, or conviction that you have. It involves your beliefs, values, and limits. It’s important to be clear to other people in your life, especially the strong interpersonal relationships, about what your boundaries are. It helps to create self-esteem and respect in the relationship. It’s basically showing others what you stand for and what you will and won’t allow in your life.
- Be a Good Listener
Something most people tend to forget is that listening is half of all communication. And when we get really good at listening, it becomes more than half of our communication. That’s because being a good listener will do wonders for your strong relationships.
Showing that you are actively listening will help boost the other persons self esteem because it shows that you truly care about what they are saying; that makes them feel important. It shows that you seek to understand and that it’s important to you to know how the other person is feeling about something.
- Okay to Disagree
It is so beneficial to strong interpersonal relationships to know that it’s okay to disagree. We are all different and have different feelings and opinions. Strong relationships actually thrive on some disagreement and conflict. The alternative is not speaking up when you disagree with something and stuffing it inside.
And you know what happens if you stuff your feelings and opinions and feelings inside for a long time? Resentment. And smouldering resentment will eventually explode in a way that’s not good for anyone.
- Be Appreciative
This one makes a lot of sense. Showing you are appreciative of another person in a good relationship only makes the relationship stronger.
We all like to feel appreciated and understood. When someone thanks you for something you did or said, it makes you feel good. You feel good because it’s nice to know that your efforts not only make someone feel better or supported but also that they noticed it. And this will certainly help to maintain your strong interpersonal relationships.
Never forget how important having strong and close relationships are to leading a happy and fulfilling life. It’s far too easy to get caught up our day to day actions of life and put relationships on the back burner.
Above are 8 great ways that will help you to maintain your strong interpersonal relationships. Take a look at these and see which ones might be helpful to you in your various partnerships. Use as needed to maintain one of the most important aspects of our lives.