relationshipsClose relationships are very important in life. They can help keep you feeling loved and confident in yourself – or they can make you feel bad, guilty, pressured, drained and wrong.

Having the support of your loved ones is probably one of the most important factors in your life – and NOT having their support can determine the quality of your life just as much.

It may be easier to feel “family” when everyone is living at home but there are still ways to maintain close relationships when everyone moves out on their own.

And there are ways to keep from avoiding contact just because there’s been conflict in these family and friend relationships. There are ways to heal any issues between you and your growing children and you and your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews – everyone in your extended family, including friends.

Keeping Relationships Clean

If something feels important to us – a connection with someone or an issue with someone – then it likely IS important.

What’s MOST important is to clean up and clear up all bad feelings in relationships, and to build on GOOD feelings.

The idea is to create a support system from your most natural family and friend sources by keeping in touch in the most emotionally good-feeling way and supporting the relationships so that the relationships will support YOU.

The first and best way is to keep in touch as best you can.

These days with the social networks, email and texting, keeping in touch is a whole lot easier than it ever used to be.  Being able to post pictures of each other’s family to keep tabs on how everyone is growing is a big plus. We can watch each other’s children grow up and even though we still miss stuff we do not feel so detached.

You can decide to keep close relationships going by contributing some of your favorite photos that you’ve taken throughout the year and sending them to each other in alternate years to put together a new photo album each year. That way when the holidays come around everyone can enjoy the new album along with the older editions.

Scrapbooking is huge, too. Each child can  have his or her own scrap book for different things that have occurred in their lives. Then, just like the photo albums, you can bring them along to holiday or other family gatherings for everyone to enjoy.

Now, of course, not every relationship can be all sunshine and roses all the time. To keep our relationships close we know how to handle those times when someone has a problem and isn’t realizing they’re snapping at everyone that gets in their way.

When There’s Conflict in Your Relationships:

Show that you care. When there’s conflict, when people are out-of-sorts and taking it out on you, when things are tense – the best way to handle this type of problem is to really show that you care and ask what the problem is and offer to help any way you can.

This shows the family member that you are concerned and willing to help if needed. When people come outside themselves and put themselves out there to help a loved one this helps the relationship stay close.

Confidence and self-assurance is also key to healthy relationships with other people. If you know who you are and are comfortable in your own skin then other relationships come easy, especially if the other person in the relationship is confident and self-assured. too.

Learn to listen to what others are saying. If you listen closely then you will hear and be able to decipher the signals they are sending out. You will be able to pick up on the nuances and subtleties of their speech and body language to discern their meanings.

Commit yourself to a daily ritual of learning to reflect upon yourself and your feelings. This may take some time to accomplish but do not give up. The better you get at it then you will be able to do the same with all your other close relationships.

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