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3 Tips to Strengthen, Repair, and Establish Stronger Relationships

One of the contributing factors to our wellbeing is the quality of our relationships with those who are close and interact with us regularly. Sometimes when we get busy with getting things done at the end of the year or getting things started at the beginning of the year, we can lose sight of our relationships. Especially, if there are no problems brought up, we tend to believe everything is fine. Until things slow down a bit and we realize that things are really not fine, but we were distracted by keeping ourselves busy. So, when looking at relationships within the past year, what changed for you?

Reflecting on the past year, are there new relationships you built along the way? Are there any that you lost touch with? Every so often when we are not seeing people as much, whether that be people in our family, at work, friends, we can slowly get so wrapped up in our busy lifestyles and after months have passed, we realize that we haven’t heard from a person in a while—usually without realizing how much time really passed by. Some relationships may feel closer now, some relationships may feel more distant, and some may feel rocky.

In this blog, we will talk about 3 tips to strengthen, repair, and establish stronger relationships.

1. Communication

Communication is a key factor to connecting with others because we are social beings we can observe a situation or person in many ways combined with effective communication helps us understand it. However, communication is fueled by emotions and when the stakes are high, sometimes we let our emotions talk for us and our conversations become ineffective and can lead to a disconnect. For instance, if you have a problem with your partner that continues to come up every time you argue, that’s a cue that it has not been resolved. And if a problem has not been resolved for a while, it can trigger feelings of resentment and frustration which over time can turn our voices up during our conversations which turn them into arguments and fights. This is a common example between couples when communication becomes ineffective. So, if we look at communication as a skill that helps us express ourselves and connect with others, we can identify gaps in the way we communicate where our feelings tend to take over blurring our focus. Oftentimes, difficult feelings are hard to communicate, but there are effective ways to communicate them.

First, it is important to know that we cannot expect someone to understand how we feel if we don’t communicate it. We have to be aware of what we are feeling and allow ourselves to explore that feeling to understand it. it is also important to use nonjudgmental language when communicating to avoid triggering the other person from getting defensive. Likewise, it is essential to utilize nonjudgmental listening and ask curious and clarifying questions to gain a clear understanding and prevent assumptions. This can be done by using “I” statements and reflective listening techniques.

2. Trust

Trust is like the glue that holds the relationship together and without trust, a relationship can feel imbalanced and out of control. Trust is emotional and logical. Think about the person you trust the most, why do you trust this person? Some may say because they are honest and supportive. Others may say because they are dependable and do what they say. Trust creates a safe environment for the relationship to flourish and for individuals to express themselves freely.

What is trust to you? How do you build or restore it if it has been broken?

Every experience we share with one another is a contributing factor to building trust. For instance, doing something we enjoy and makes us laugh creates a strong bond in relationships. On the contrary, if you meet someone for the first time and they ask you to walk down a dark alley with them, that’s likely to cause fear and lack of trust. So if we are constantly fighting or creating negative experiences with others we are also creating distance and lack of trust in those relationships. We have to be intentional about the experiences we invite into our lives because they can make or break a relationship.

3. Understanding

Understanding someone’s character is essential in building strong relationships. We can be quick to judge someone based on something they said or something they did. When someone is having a bad day, struggling to navigate strong emotions, or just dealing with a lot, they can act out of character. If we meet someone on a wrong day and at the wrong time we may not be getting a true glimpse of who they are. Being patient when building relationships helps in developing a true understanding of the other person. Spending time together in different settings and creating shared experiences provides valuable feedback about the person’s character.

True understanding means you are willing to open your heart to learn about what the other person is thinking and feeling. To gain insight into their overall experience. Listening with purpose helps make that happen. We can do that by listening to the message the other person is trying to convey. They may not have the best words to express what they are trying to say so pay attention to the energy behind the words they chose to use, their tone of voice, and non-verbal cues. If you are fighting with your partner and they say, “Get away from me,” do they mean they want you to leave them alone or is it a cry for help to come closer? Being aware of the context is helpful to gain a deeper understanding. It is ok to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense. When we don’t ask questions we assume and if our assumptions are negative we are likely to become distant. Asking open-ended questions provides room for open conversations and clarification to occur so we can gain an honest understanding.

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About Sam Nabil

Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Boston therapist and a Boston Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Boston and Boston Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety. Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university, Yahoo News, USA Today,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world. Naya Clinics also offers Online marriage counseling, online therapy, and online life coaching.

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