Connect with your loved ones with these tips and tools to help you build up your relationships and find happiness in working together.This activity will help build, grow, and deepen our connection to family, friends, and loved ones.At the end of this life, you will only have the memories you’ve made and the people you shared them with. Why not grow our personal relationships the way most of us hope to grow our bank accounts? Relationships play a major role in our health and happiness; we should take time to nurture them.
For Friends, Family, Loved Ones, and Significant OthersBelow is a list of questions for each of you to fill out. Trade answers when you’re done.
- Write down five things the other person does that you appreciate, you like, or has made an impact on you.
- Write down a memory of each other that makes you laugh or smile.
- Tell a moment from your childhood that made your heart sing.
- Write about a trip or adventure you want to go on and why.
- Write about a trip you went on, what you did there, and how (or if) it was different from what you expected.
- List something you love, why you love it, and a memory you have of it. (e.g. cupcakes, because they melt in your mouth and are spongy and creamy and can be any flavor. I remember eating a chocolate frosted vanilla cupcake on a picnic blanket in green grass the first time I saw a dragon shape in the clouds.)
- List a best feeling (e.g. the sensation of ice cream on your tongue, or the sun warming your skin, or the feeling of going to paved road after you’ve been driving on a bumpy dirt road for a long trip, etc.).
- What is one of the most adventurous things you’ve done?
- What is the most adventurous thing you’re willing to do?
- Share the best thing that happened this month.
- Share what you would do with your life if you could do anything. No holds barred.
For Your Significant Other“It takes three seconds to say I love you . . . but a lifetime to prove it.” ~ unknownLoving relationships shouldn’t require hard work, but there are ways to strengthen our bonds and discover deeper levels of love.
1. Expressing AppreciationEvery night, list two or three things your love did that day that you liked, appreciated, or were impressed by. Write them in a journal and share. Reminding each other of our strengths and the reasons we love one another is powerful.
2. Little Surprises“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ AesopGrand romantic gestures are wonderful, but small things can replace the banality of daily life with a ray of sunshine. Just give little surprises, things you know your love will love: randomly bring home a little treat from the store when they didn’t ask for it. Give them a light shoulder rub for five minutes. Listen for hints of desires and dreams and hopes. Find a way to make them a reality, even if only symbolically. (e.g. If they want to go to Europe, make chocolate croissants and put them on a plate with a note that says, “We will find a way.”)
3. Encourage and ApplaudBe each other’s cheerleader and coach. When life’s challenges arise, devise a plan together. Give them a massage, a foot rub, light a candle, or cook (and clean up after) their favorite meal, something to ease the tension. Then help them see the bright side and the path to a solution.
4. Taking ResponsibilityFor example, if you know you’re going to be late, make sure to respect the other person enough to call or text them to let them know. If you can’t contact them beforehand, instead of trying to excuse your lateness or trying to make your lateness more right, honor the other person’s inconvenience. Admit that what happened was wrong, that you are sorry, and that you will do your best to never let it happen again. This applies to everything. Anytime the other person feels wronged, instead of trying to make them see how right you are, spend time honoring or trying to understand how wronged they felt. Perhaps even ask, “How can I make it up to you?” When the tables are turned, when your loved one is sincerely asking for forgiveness, give it.
5. You’re in this togetherAny argument that arises needs to be handled with care. Instead of yelling and blaming one another, try speaking with kindness and love. “I am upset about this . . . I would appreciate if next time . . . .” It can help to sit with a pen and paper to write out how you feel and why. Don’t forget to include a solution.
6. GratitudeEvery few days, sit together over a meal or beverage and make a list of things you are grateful for in your life. Shoot for at least ten things. Be general or specific. “For the AC cooling the room.” “For a phone call I got last week.” It is especially important to do if you’re feeling stressed or bummed. Keep it in a journal and refer to it as needed (like when you find yourself complaining a lot).
7. Romantic GesturesDon’t just sit around expecting Santa Claus to know what to send you for presents without giving him your list! Instead of dropping vague hints, compile a notebook, Pinterest page, whatever—something that says in bold headline font “I want to be romanced and treated like this” because no one is a mind reader. So tell each other how you need to be romanced and treated. Put it in writing or in photos. And then check each other’s list and get to it!When making your gratitude lists, try this great chai smoothie!
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