Resolution with a Purpose - Week 8 - Relationships

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Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-Albert Camus

Personal relationships are an often overlooked component of our wellbeing. There is compelling evidence that strong relationships contribute to a long, healthy, and happy life. Conversely, the health risks from being alone or isolated in one's life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Many of us are playing the role of a juggler as we try to maintain a balance between family, work, and individual needs. One wrong move, and the whole thing could come tumbling down on us!




Each family is different, but we do know that people thrive on feelings of belonging and affection that come from having caring and supportive families. While caring and offering support comes easy for some people, for many it takes a lot of practice.

One way to show we care is by listening to what other family members have to say with interest and enthusiasm. When we tune in we are able to find better connections that will help us bond and show each other that we really care.

Family rituals can also build connection and belonging. This includes annual celebrations and everyday activities like playing with your kids, cooking special meals together or spending time in nature.



A few ways to maintain positive relations while at work.

  • Practice common courtesy - Don't be the one who left the fish sandwich in the fridge or didn't refill the copy machine when it ran out.
  • Use effective communications - Learn who works best through email, phone, IM, or personal visits and try to utilize these preferences when interacting with coworkers.
  • Respect other people's time - Conduct business operations with others at times that are convenient for both parties. Don't hand off work requests in the hall, kitchen, bathroom or outside the office.
  • Help yourself - If you need assistance from someone else at work or have a question, see if you can look up the information/try the task before seeking help. Even if you can only get part of it done. People will know you've done the legwork and will appreciate that.
  • Proceed with caution on social media - If you connect with coworkers through social media, don't engage in inappropriate relationships and don't present an unprofessional side of yourself.
  • Stay on the level - Treat everyone the same. Office politics can be deadly and sometimes even unavoidable, but reduce your involvement in them wherever possible.



When you are trying to strengthen your relationship with your boss, it is often beneficial to put yourself in their shoes. Consider what their expectations are and what expectations are placed on them. We also need to remember that there's a lot about their job that we do not know about or see.

As was mentioned with coworkers, it is important to know how to best communicate with your boss. Not just how, but also know when is best. Is there a better time of day or a better day of the week to talk with them?

Don't be afraid to ask your boss for feedback. Don't assume that your work isn't valued because your manager is juggling multiple tasks and not spending as much time with you as you'd like.

In addition to asking for feedback, ask your boss for help and advice. They will likely warm up to you if they see you respect them and their advice.

Lastly, be authentic. Don't be the person that is perceived to be kissing up to the boss. Your coworkers are sure to see that, as well as your boss.

Tips for Healthy Relationships

  • Regular time for talking and listening to one another helps strengthen relationships and build mutual understanding.
  • Sharing common values strengthens belonging and helps people work together. Demonstrate through your behavior values like respect, care, compassion, and responsibility. Remember that people are all influenced by what we do even more than by what we say.
  • Everybody doesn't have to be the same or always do the same things. It helps to appreciate that everyone is different, and to value and respect each others unique needs, wants, and talents. Avoiding negative comparisons, and affirming what each individual has to offer, creates strong personal bonds.
  • Life can get out of balance when one person feels they have the burden of responsibilities, or when one person makes all the decisions.
  • Life has many challenges as well as rewards. Getting support when you need it - from family, friends or professionals - is important for managing the challenges. Professional counseling is a particularly valuable strategy for helping many of us who experience relationship problems.