It’s the New Year and, if you’re like many, you’re ready to make a fresh start. While you might be resolved to exercise, go on a diet, or maybe even launch a new career in 2022, you may be missing out on the most important resolution of all: Ensuring that the relationships in your life are truly serving you well.
Unfortunately, we don’t always value and work to improve good relationships or recognize the unhealthy relationships in our lives until they have taken a profound toll on our physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. So when you’re starting over in the New Year, why not make a new resolution and commit to enjoying healthier, happier relationships in the year ahead? What better way to begin 2022, after all, than by cultivating a social support network that actually works for you.
Your Support Network
We often prioritize happiness in our romantic relationships. Before making the decision to commit to a partner, we deliberate on whether that person truly makes us happy. When choosing to remain, or to sever, a romantic partnership or a marriage, we consider whether the good times and the prospect for the future with that person actually outweigh a few bad patches.
In other relationships, however, few of us take much time to assess or intentionally try to improve. They simply are what they are, we reason, with little thought to the impact of that person’s continuing presence in our lives.
Healthy relationships are among life’s greatest gifts. As humans, we’re meant to build nurturing, supportive relationships that help us grow and evolve. When they’re working well, we reap the rewards, including enhanced physical and mental health, a heightened sense of purpose and fulfillment, and an overall improvement in one’s quality of life.
Recognizing the Signs
Toxic relationships, even if you haven’t yet recognized them as such, have the opposite effect. But the problem is that recognizing toxic people isn’t always easy. In fact, whether you’re talking about an old friend, a close relative, or a long-time work spouse, the signs of dysfunction can be pretty subtle.
The good news is that once you recognize the pattern for what it is, you can stop denying the truth. It really all boils down to asking yourself one question: On the whole, how do I feel when I am around this person? If your honest answer is anywhere in the domain of “not good,” if the person makes you feel worse about yourself, then that’s a pretty good indication you need to distance yourself or, if possible, cut ties completely.
Don’t Mistake A Challenge for Toxicity
As you’re inventorying the relationships in your life, a caveat: Just because someone challenges you does not mean they’re toxic. In fact, some of the strongest, healthiest, and most beneficial relationships are those you cultivate with people who care enough about you to tell some hard truths when needed. Indeed, that’s often a great sign they love you enough to risk your disappointment when it is for your own good.
The difference between a toxic relationship and one that challenges and enriches you is simple. A toxic relationship undermines you. A challenging and enriching relationship helps you to become a better version of yourself.
It’s not just in your personal relationships that you can benefit from being challenged. Your professional life can also benefit from a bit of healthy, respectful feedback as well. In fact, there can be few things more detrimental to your business success than to be constantly surrounded by an army of sycophants and yes men (and women).
I Get By (With a Little Help From My Friends)
Of course, your friends aren’t your friends only because they challenge you. The best friendships are built from a delicate balance of unflagging support with a dash of tough love thrown in as needed. Above all, your friends should be your safe place, a place where you will always find acceptance, even if you don’t always find agreement.
When it comes to the business world, having such a reliable support network in place can do wonders for your professional life. If you are surrounded by people who believe in you, recognize your talents even when you are in doubt, and share your vision, there is very little you can’t do. Indeed, when challenges come, as they inevitably will (COVID taught us that), a strong support network can provide both clarity and motivation to push through.
The key is choosing the right people and putting in the time and commitment to cultivate the kinds of bonds that combine honesty with caring, understanding with encouragement, and a little fun and distraction when the days are hard and times are tough!
That’s why, at Casa Alternavida, we offer an array of corporate retreat packages that help you and your team to build the kinds of relationships which challenge you while also nurturing, inspiring, and supporting every team member to excellence! Contact us today to discuss how we can put our expertise to work for you!
Casa Alternavida was founded on the principle that there are healthier, “alternative” ways to balance life and work. This alternative is to stop the unconscious addiction to stress, overwhelm, and struggle to focus on a healthy, balanced lifestyle that yields better results. Our practitioners are trained to support you with unraveling those unconscious commitments so you can actively create the lifestyle you want to be living, take charge of your well-being, and reset bad habits. We are experts at creating playful experiences in nature that inspire deep personal insight and long-term positive behavior change. Teams walk away from our facility with new excitement for their projects, practices to work smarter, and a deep appreciation of their companies. If you are a business that cares about your employees and wants to enhance your workplace culture, we are dedicated to providing alternative ways of building resilient leaders and teams.