Nurturing close family and friendships puts you in the best position to grow on your committed journey to creating The One.
Friends and family are not only important for your relationship journey. They’re also important for our experience of ourselves. Accepting other people’s contribution takes strength of character and certainty about what we want. The other side is that in giving to others we discover so much about ourselves.
As much as our family and friends want to help us in our endeavours; as helpful as it is to be clear with them about how they can help us – there is joy and love in giving to others. Taking the time to call your mum, or listen to a friend over coffee – not because we want something in return – but just because we care – allows us to directly experience the power of connecting with another. Those moments are wonderful – because they give us a sense of what’s possible in a relationship.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
It also keeps adding to the foundation for your own relationship. Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” discusses the “Emotional Bank Account” as a metaphor for creating authentic relationships. It might sound a little businesslike and transactional, but the concept makes sense. Taking the time to listen to someone – really get them – is making a deposit into your emotional bank account with them. Other simple acts such as a phone call just to talk, or a compliment authentically given, or even something as simple as saying thank you – are deposits.
This is explained in “Habit 5 – Seek First to understand, then to be understood”.
Of course the opposite is true too – a negative word, a piece of gossip, not listening – they are withdrawals from the emotional bank account.
If we actively surround ourselves with people with whom we are depositing into the emotional bank account; if we develop the habit of seeking first to understand, then to be understood, consider that your relationship journey becomes exponentially easier and more effective.
How full is your bucket?
Gallup’s research provides evidence for Covey’s concept. They use the metaphor of a bucket and a dipper (it is an American book) as a way to build positive relationships around us. In a similar way, Gallup suggest that our interactions are either filling someone else’s bucket of positive emotions, or depleting it.
Their research also suggests that the way we fill another person’s bucket needs to be individualised to be even more powerful. Just because I like public praise, doesn’t mean someone else does. Not only that, it needs to be real. Bucket filling can’t be done to achieve an outcome.
“Sincere and meaningful bucket filling increases the morale of any organizational. Managers and employees who actively spread positive emotions, even in small doses, will see the difference immediately.” – How Full Is Your Bucket?, Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
This might seem a far cry from your committment to create an extraordinary relationship. But maybe it isn’t. If you’re consistently uplifting those people who mean most to you – the family and friends around you – consider this will have a positive effect on your relationship journey. When you share what you’re creating; when you describe your Be-Do-Have elevator-pitch-style; when others are inspired by what you’re doing – your whole world begins to shift.
Taking the time to build the close relationships with family and friends gives you the foundation for exponentially greater opportunities. Don’t be surprised then, if opportunities to meet great people, or quality men start to show up around you spontaneously.
- Take one action today with a family member or friend that would “fill their bucket” or “make a deposit in the emotional bank account”
- Write down three ways you could keep doing this with a family member and close friend
- Have a real discussion with family member or friend about your relationship journey. Ask them for their opinion – then seek to understand where they are coming from
Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why can’t I meet good men?’ Discover your ‘Natural Dating Strategy’ and find out the answer.