When the whole world seems to be in chaos and people do not know what is going to happen next, what is keeping us uplifted and charged are relationships, healthy ones with healthy boundaries.
These days in uncertain Covid-19 situation are really verifying how strong we are and how much we can support each other and at the same time stay calm and healthy. Now is the time when you see who is supportive and caring within their limits and who has (ever or never) been interested in a relationship with you, whether it is your colleague, friend or family member. Especially in these days when we long for connection naturally as our primary human need, people who care would go that extra mile and call you or send you a message even though they “don’t feel like it”. Or when you proactively approach them first, they are responsive and show their interest. You may have noticed that these days it is for some people more difficult to keep their word, being late or changing plans at the last minute or even not replying as quickly as they would normally do. I believe it is ok if it happens from time to time. However in case this is happening on a regular basis and the person does not show any interest in maintaining the connection, I would recommend using these days to verify your relationship with this person by asking yourself: “What are my assumptions that this person wants to keep being in contact with me or be in any relationship?” After you answer this question you will have a clearer picture whether you want to continue pouring your resources, money, time, energy into maintaining a connection with this person.
It is highly possible that people who we decide not to continue contact with will come back after a certain period of the time however we at this point we do not know that this will happen and so spending too much time on such a scenario does not really help.
You see, it is important these days that we look after selfs, keep regular routines and maintain good relationships and, at the end of the day, have a feeling that we matter and our life has a meaning.
Here is a little exercise that you can do to analyse your current relationships. Hopefully it will help you feel more grounded and make me realise what and who matters in my life and who I will support.
So I would like you to take a piece of paper and a pen and use these simple steps:
1. Write down a list of your colleagues, friends, family members so that you create a column with names.
2. Next to each name write notes like “plus”, “minus” or “contact” (or in symbols “+”,”-”, “c”) where “plus” means that these are relationships you want to keep, “minus” are relationships that you consider not keeping (see the question above) and “contact” means that you will be proactive and you will contact this person to see how they have been. You can list as many people as you want and remember to include people from social media too.
As a next step, first, contact people where you put “plus” , show interest, thank them for being who they are and even how much you value relationships with them and second, send a text or call people where you marked “contact” and be curious about what's new in their life.
Ok, I can hear some people saying that this is too complicated or that you are not sure what note to put next to this or that name, then let me explain something. If you think that you do not have 30-60 min of your time to make the list how much do you think these relations matter to you?
By making this exercise first of all you make yourself aware of who is important in your life and how you matter in their life and secondly you focus your time, money, energy and other resources on those relationships that are meaningful to you.
This is your life and I assume that you want to be happy and healthy, especially in order to support those that matter to you, including yourself. So be bold and continue maintaining those healthy relationships that matter.