No matter how good you are with interacting with people, your relationships can always be improved. It is a combination of natural chemistry, common interests, and time and effort to foster healthy and lasting relationships. Be it with your family, friends, or work associates—your bonds can be improved regardless of your intimacy level. The actions in the following list are ways you can play a more active role.
- Participate in an activity you both enjoy
Your interaction with different people is context-bound, with an emphasis on the time, place, and occasion. With your work supervisor or colleague, you are bound to be more reserved about personal questions and discuss work-related topics. With your friends you are likely to be more open about personal problems and concerns, sometimes branching into subjects you do not talk about with your family. To further enhance your relationship, maintain your common ground.
In addition to that, you can change up the setting. Perhaps you can attend a conference related to your industry, service, or interest with your workmates. Invest in new experiences that you couldn’t do in the previous setting. While it is important to foster a sense of professionalism, it does not have to be cold. You can be friends and colleagues at the same time. They do not have to be exclusive from one another.
- Meet up regularly for updates
To foster your relationships, you need to show the other person how much you care. Family members and friends who live in distant places or have opposing schedules are hard to keep tabs on, but that is more reason why you need to make an effort. Meet up once a week or a month to get updates about their lives and give some about yours. You can meet at your favorite spots like kosher restaurants in NYC or a French café.
Making an effort to meet up shows them that you remember them regardless of your busy schedule. You can be each other’s emotional support or objective viewer towards their problems. At the same time, you can build each other up with information about new opportunities or recommended products and places. Meeting up might seem like more for close friends, but it can also be done with clients and business associates. You can discuss any new movement and changes in the industry, and the benefits are the same.
- Give thoughtful gifts and thank you notes
There are different languages of love; gift-giving is one of them. Gift giving is bound again by context and culture. Keep those cues in mind but consider changing how you give gifts. A thoughtful gift does not have to be the most expensive luxury item on their want list (although there are moments for that). Your gift could be to fulfill a gap in their needs. It does not even have to be a tangible item, that can be bought or made. Introducing them to someone important, recommending their business, supporting them in any shape or form can be a gift.
These three actions are not new to anyone, but they are often forgotten. Value other people the way you want to be valued, and your relationship will be meaningful and relevant.