How to have the best relationships
Contact and connection with other humans has long been recognised as an important aspect for our mental wellbeing, after all we are social beings and our relationships support us. Hence a focus on alleviating loneliness in old age. Over recent years that has become more apparent in younger age groups too. Then we have experienced the pandemic with its lockdowns and so loneliness and its effects has had an even greater recognition for us all.
So why is it important to consider our human relationships?
A lack of good human relationships has been shown to have an impact on both our physical and mental health. From the detrimental physical effects of high blood pressure, the potential to lead to obesity, to the evidence of an increase of anxiety and cases of depression. Whilst the quantity of human contact / connectedness is relevant, the quality, or lack of, also has an impact.
An important thing we focus on at Fresh Air Fridays when talking about Healthy Relationships, especially those ones of quality mentioned above, is that you can’t change other people. We often hear, “if they just did…” or, “it’s really irritating when they…”. Recognising that you are the only person you can be truly responsible for, in terms of actions and reactions may help you consider things differently from the start.
If you want to increase the quality of your human connections here are a few other things you might want to consider:
- You could choose to vary how you make contact, perhaps to talk to someone rather than send an email, what’s app or another zoom.
- You could choose to change the tone of voice you use and notice the response you get as a result.
- You could choose to make a different depth of contact with someone. For example, to just check in with them rather than because you need something from them and enjoy a conversation that is more than transactional.
- You could choose to really listen to what they are saying and use what we refer to as ‘listening without commentary’.
- And you could choose to be truly you and be honest about how you are.
Healthy Relationships is a fundamental part of being a team that functions well and taking responsibility for ourselves in that team. It is one subject we explore in the ‘Working Well programme’, where you will get to practise listening without commentary and taking responsibility for your own actions amongst other tools and techniques. If you are interested in finding out more then contact us here