Just Like a Car: Relationships Require Maintenance

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We all need to put effort in maintaining the relationships we have in our lives, that is if we want to do that. This statement goes for romantic relationships and friendships. Have you ever heard someone say you know, “I just don’t see that person that much anymore. We live in the same town and used to be so close, but we just don’t see each other anymore.” People do outgrow their friends and get new friends and that’s okay. Life happens. People grow, people change, people move, people start families. But, if two people are friends and want to remain friends and strengthen that friendship, as well as continue, then they have to both be making that effort in communicating and spending quality time with each other.

You probably have heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth, or quality over quantity” which I believe both to be true. The people you have relationships with are really going to determine many outcomes in your life. And the quality of your network and friends is way more important than quantity. They’re the people that support you when you’re going through a tough time personally or professionally. The people you can talk on the phone with for hours and it not feel like wasted time. The ones that have known you for years, and would stand up for you at any moment. You might only have a few close friends that you tell everything to, and that’s okay and completely normal. Trust me, you know the people in your life that you vibe with and feel like you can talk about anything imaginable. We crave that closeness, that connection, and that feeling of wontedness.

The relationships you have in your life require maintenance. I know for me personally I struggled with this for awhile. I felt like a friendship or someone in my network should just always be there, without me really giving any effort. It shifted when I began to ask myself, “How can I give more to the people in my life?” It began with a simple question of just asking “Can I support you in anyway or anything that you’re going through at the moment?” Ask that question to the people in your life, and I guarantee that will respond with a very shocked look on their face. Listen more, and just care really. Especially with family. I still struggle with this, but am getting better. I feel sometimes I’m not asking enough questions about what’s going on in my family members lives. You see, people love talking about themselves, and when you consistently ask questions and remember things that people tell you, it shows that you really care about them.

You might struggle with maintaining your relationships. You might be one of those persons who has a new friend group every year. I am not saying that is wrong or right, the choices you make with your life are all up to you. I think it’s good to make new friends. We constantly grow when we surround ourselves with new people who have different personalities and people we can learn from and also give our knowledge to them as well. I think it’s important to always openly communicate with the people closest to you in life as well. If you haven’t felt close to them lately or don’t see them making an effort, then tell them. Not in a demeaning manor, but let them know how you’re feeling. Openly communicate on a consistent basis. You may not see this person as much as you used to, but talk consistently. We are all busy and have things going on, but that shouldn’t be an excuse and in my opinion it’s the worst one to use and is just a cop out. Ask them if they’ve been struggling with anything lately, or what’s been on their mind. Conversation should always be a two way street. Listen and give feedback. Ask questions and respond. As you grow older you’ll see that you see less of people, not a bad thing. Life just happens, but with technology and how advanced it’s today, we can feel very close to people without the physical aspect. All relationships require maintenance, and the more maintenance you give them, the longer they will last!

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