How to find balance in your relationships
Relationships are a part of life, from your spouse and your kids to your friends and extended family. Every situation has the potential for drama, but it’s all in how you approach and interpret what’s happening. Sometimes we need help, other times we’re giving help, but what about those relationships that seem more one-sided? Like that friend who only calls when there’s a problem, or that family member who can’t make a decision without your input? I’ve got a few tips on how to find balance in any relationship, and what you can do today to become more self-aware.
Assess the relationship as it is today
In order to know which changes need to be made, you first have to look at the relationship as it is today. Think of that one friend or family member you don’t get excited about seeing. Why don’t you get excited? What do you feel instead? Assessing not only the relationship, but also how you feel about it will help you understand where the issues lie. Is the relationship too one-sided? Do you feel responsible for them? Are your emotions fried after you’re done talking to them? Be honest with yourself because you can’t make changes if you aren’t aware of the problem.
Now that you’ve looked at your relationship and have discovered your true emotions you have to interpret what that means for the future of the relationship. Even though your sister calls too frequently you still may want to talk to her sometimes. Or maybe your friend just doesn’t understand your lifestyle and there isn’t really room for them anymore. It’s tough deciding whom to keep in your life and under what circumstances, but if you’ve got a relationship that’s robbing you of your personal time or time with your immediate family then something must change.
The last step in this process is acting on your decision. There are usually two solid ways to change a relationship, either slowly changing, or breaking it off. Slowly changing is for people you want to keep around but maybe talk to less frequently or only about certain topics. This can include not answering every phone call or text message, and keeping a specific schedule or frequency to see each other. Maybe you tell your mom that you’re only available to talk on Tuesdays, or that your budget only allows for dinner out once a week. Be honest with your friend and adjust both how you respond to and approach the friendship.
On the other hand, breaking it off is for people you no longer wish to associate with. This is not a mean act, but more an explanation of how you feel and why you feel it. Approach this conversation as an act of explaining not blaming. Tell your friend you love and respect them but you feel that the relationship is taking too much time away from other important things in your life and you don’t feel very useful to them at this time. Maybe a break is all that’s needed, or maybe you won’t associate beyond the discussion. Remember that you decide whom you spend time with and who gets to be a part of your life. Each relationship should add balance and growth to your life, not bring you down or burn you out.
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