Do you struggle with your relationships? Are you having a difficult time feeling close to family members, friends, intimate partner, colleagues, teachers/professors, etc.? Establishing close bonds with others sounds like it would be an easy task, but many find it extremely challenging. It’s important to self-reflect and ponder on what you need in your relationships. Do you need someone to be there just to listen to your problems? What kind of affection do you desire? When do you feel an emotional connection with people in your inner circle? How do you feel when someone becomes too dependent on you? When was the last time you felt comfortable with your family members? There are many questions to help you figure out what you need from your interpersonal relationships.
Personally, I find it disappointing with my friendships when I feel it’s one-sided. Let me explain a little further. It appears that when attempting to keep in contact with some of my friends, I find myself reaching out by text. However, it’s not a two-way street. I ask myself, “Do they not want to be friends?” When we get together, we enjoy each other’s company so why then will they not reach out? It confuses me yet I continue to reach out because I value the friendship. It becomes frustrating at times, but I have found that it’s worth the effort, even if it’s not two-sided.
Here are some pointers towards developing stronger bonds with those in your inner circle:
Send text or call a friend
Spend time together (movies, lunch/dinner, beach, etc)
Ask open-ended questions
Actively listen without giving advice (unless requested)