Navigating the Trump Era is no easy course, and it has definitely put a strain on the relationships we have with the people we encounter on a daily basis. We’ve addressed how we can build stronger relationships on a larger scale, starting with our communities. Now we’re getting a little closer to home by figuring out ways we can strengthen our relationships with our families, friends, and significant others. Here are three simple but not-so-easy ways to start developing a stronger relationship with the people closest to your heart.
Sharpen your listening skills
Listening is easy, but really hearing what someone else has to say is not. We’ve been told many times during our academic careers that active listening is what will help us succeed in passing the various classes on our course load. They were not wrong. However, active listening goes beyond academia. It is a skill that can be carried on throughout our lifetime. The problem is we often don’t make the time or effort to sharpen this skill. By training ourselves to actively listen to what someone has to say, we get the opportunity to open more discussions, ask more questions, and hear the concerns of those we care deeply about.
Invest in spending more time together
Quality time with our loved ones is something we often take for granted but always first on the list when it comes to relationship-building. We don’t realize how much time is lost when the demands of our daily lives overwhelm us until something major occurs. Our country has seen a lot of separation in the last few weeks due to some of the actions of the Trump administration. Families have either been separated or experienced unnecessary hardship thanks to the immigration executive order that was put in place. We’ve heard reports of people being detained at airports for hours, children being separated from their parents, and a couple whose wedding day was postponed indefinitely when they tried to come back to the United States. We encourage you to start investing more time with the ones you love now and not wait for a major event to make you realize what you could have been doing all along.
Let them know they have your support
Support systems may vary from person to person with a combination of relatives, friends, and significant others in the mix. Nevertheless, there are times where we need these people the most but don’t ask for help or support because we don’t want to be a burden. Life brings us our greatest challenges when we least expect, leading us to try to tackle the obstacle all on our own to the point that it’s out of our control. We want you to stop stressing because everyone needs to be taken care of at times, especially with all the commotion the Trump Era has brought us. It is vital that we remind our support systems that we’ve got their back. We have a long four years ahead of us, and somewhere along the way someone’s going to need it.
Building stronger relationships is never easy, but we shouldn’t let it discourage us from making the effort. We are in a presidency that has been testing the rights of our communities, including women, minorities, immigrants, and LGBTQ, for months. And chances are we fall into one of these categories or know someone who does. Take this opportunity to get closer to those you care about and strive for ways you can help support them during this time. Staying united with our communities will help us persevere in this point in history, but strengthening the bonds with our loved ones will keep us going in the long run.
By: Shanice Perriatt
This article is the second part of our Strengthening Relationships series. If you didn’t get the chance to read our first article, check it out here. Stay tuned for the third part of the series where we will be addressing how to build a stronger relationship with your toughest critic: yourself.