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Renovating Relationships

We all know that people are the most valuable asset in life – family, friends and co-workers. Although life gets so busy, we sometimes forget how much time has gone by since we last talked with an out-of-town relative, invited our parents over for dinner, or spent quality time with an old friend. We’ve kept in touch with emails, updated our Facebook page status, and sent the occasional YouTube that amused us or even a photo. But that’s not enough.

Maybe it’s time to do some real “renovation” work on your personal relationships with family and friends. It takes some time and effort, but in the end, both of you will benefit from the results. Your friendship will be stronger, and your relationship deeper.

Here’s some tips for “renovating” personal relationships:

  • Pick up the telephone. You may not have time to meet or the resources to travel and visit, but hearing the other person’s voice is a great way to re-connect.
  • Book a date. The holidays are busy, but in January, many find that life gets too quiet. By booking a time to meet now, perhaps for dinner or lunch in the New Year, you’ll both have something to look forward  to after the bustle of the season is over.
  • Take a moment together. Even when you’re busy shopping or preparing for the holidays, everyone needs a break. Suggest to a friend or relative that you meet for a short stroll or a cup of coffee – it will give you both a break and time for a little catching up.
  • Ask and listen. Whatever you decide, when you do sit down together (or connect by telephone), remember that relationships are two-way. Ask the other person how they are, and really mean it. Then listen intently to their answer. If you find the conversation centres too much around yourself, stop and say, “Enough about me. Now, tell me, what’s going on in your life?”
  • Follow up. After you’ve gone your separate ways again, this is a good time to send a quick email or note to say, “So happy we caught up”, or “Sorry to hear …..I’m thinking about you,” or, “So good to see you, let’s get together again soon.”