It’s Day 165 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m diving a little deeper into this series on resilience by providing some practical tips you can use to build your bounce through relationships. As I discussed in yesterday’s post, Reflecting on Resilience as I Recover & Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series Kickoff, relationships are one of the adult resiliency protective factors that enable us to bounce back from life’s ups and downs. They are the long-lasting, mutual, reciprocal interactions we have with others in our lives. According to Mary Mackrain and Nefertiti Bruce, the authors of the adult resiliency journal pictured below, relationships support us in laughing more, feeling healthy, nurturing hope, feeling supported, having fun, sharing our emotions, and being honest.
Being down with diverticulitis has given me a lot of time to not only think about the truth of the above but to experience how having supportive relationships contributes to a healthy life overall. That’s what prompted me to suggest you reflect on each of the protective factors, what they comprise, and whether they are areas of strength or opportunity for you. Now, considering that, I’d like to share some ways to build your bounce around relationships.
Building Your Relationships Bounce
1. Having good friends who support you. – By surrounding yourself with positive people, you create your own safety net. It’s important to know what you need from another person, which requires reconnecting with what you want and need from the relationships in your life.
Strategy: Be Intentional About Your Relationship Needs, Wants and Expectations. Answer below.
In a relationship I need a person who is:
I want a person in my life who accepts me when I:
When I am with the person I expect to:
From time to time reflect on this and determine whether you need more of this in your life and how you can go about getting it.
2. Having a mentor who helps guide you. Mentors offer support and encouragement in specific areas of your life such as your career. They improve your self-confidence, increase your motivation, and encourage you to be optimistic about the future and its opportunities.
Strategy: Coffee and Connect. Imagine meeting with someone who has achieved what you want to achieve and who inspires you.
My mentor looks like:
My mentor and I can have meaningful conversations about:
My mentor has already achieved ____________________, and I am hopeful they will play a role in helping me to do the same.
Now invite that person to coffee, meet and plan to meet again.
3. Being able to provide support to others. Helping others not only benefits them, it’s beneficial to you as well. By being supportive and listening, you can experience enhanced energy, self-worth, hopefulness and happiness.
Strategy: Show Some Love. Demonstrate your appreciation for a mentor or someone who has been influential in a positive way. Update them on how you are doing and let them know what role they’ve played in your life.
4. Being able to empathize with others. Unlike sympathy where you feel the same as someone, empathy is when you understand and are accurate about what another person feels. This creates a strong connection and deeper relationships.
Strategy: Relate vs. Debate. When listening to a friend tell a story about something that happened to them, instead of debating how you are different, make an effort to let them know how you can relate to them. This will bring you closer.
5. Trusting close friends. Trust is a cornerstone of healthy relationships because it allows us to be ourselves. Though we can’t control how others respond to us, their reactions affect us. Having “safe” people who treat us well and give us positive feedback ensures us their love will not waver when we have a bad day.
Strategy: Circle of Trust. Reflect on the people in your life you feel safe telling anything. They listen when you’ve had a hard day and don’t offer excessive unsolicited advice. They are consistently there for you. Draw a large circle and jot down their names inside it. This is your Circle of Trust.
Remember that these are very special people who will be there through thick and thin. Reciprocate that by listening to and supporting them. Reach out.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach, I hope you’ll not only read this information but apply it to build your relationship bounce. Thank you!
All information was adapted from the above. You can also visit http://www.devereuxearlychildhood.com for more strategies.
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach