Renewing Relationships that Matter
I happened upon this article which echoes work I am doing with many clients. The question is, would it be worthwhile to reconnect with friends or family that are no longer active parts of their life? I find this to be relevant in my personal life as well. For many of us, myself included, the pandemic has been an opportunity to reassess who matters most in our lives. I have had to sit with the realization that some of the people I have felt the deepest, most meaningful connections with are individuals with whom I don’t have regular contact. In a few cases, I have not spoken to them in years. Realizing this makes me long for closeness with them. As a result, it has sparked a desire to have those people in my day-to-day life.
This concept extends to our work relationships, too. Even when we are not in the middle of a global pandemic, private practice therapists, like myself, have limited exposure to our colleagues. In fact, there are lots of professions out there in the same boat. Even those that do get to have an “office bestie” have experienced some version of colleague isolation recently. Now, we are needing to work harder to connect with others. For many, this mean focusing on renewing past relationships.
The next challenge is how to prioritize these renewed relationships. We need to be proactive about choosing to connect with purpose. Above all, put in effort to foster relationships, new and old, that are truly worthwhile. Being able to take stock of where we are dedicating our energy is crucial. Focusing on the people that bring us joy, help reduce our stress, and challenge us to be better versions of ourselves is imperative to feeling fulfilled in life.
Research backs the benefits of reconnecting with once close friends and family members. Stop second guessing the value in rekindling a past relationship. If you are still unsure about reaching out, it is likely you are playing into a false narrative. Narratives are those stories we tell ourselves that are frequently products of our own insecurities. So what are you waiting for? Take action and reach out! In short, there is no time like the present to get lost in the lovely memories of the past. Not to mention, this is a great opportunity to make some wonderful new memories moving forward. Even if just over text or Zoom.
“Reactivating these dormant ties is a terrific response to stress. We have a deep well of trust and love built up in these relationships and it doesn’t take much to release that again. It’s a great deal of fun to revisit old times and bathe in nostalgia.”