Spring cleaning is good for the home — and, it turns out, the soul.
A sprucing up can clear away cobwebs in the corners, not just in our living rooms, but also in many aspects of our lives. The ritual of starting anew, which lies at the heart of spring cleaning, benefits our health and well-being.
The same could be said for the health and well-being of our relationships.
Healthy relationships contribute to our overall satisfaction and success. While some basic interactions with others bump along on their own without much input on our part, other types of relationships require effort to sustain, especially those that have the potential to provide more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
Dust Off and Declutter
In the spirit of the season’s renewal, take time to inventory your relationships. Dust off those that you have neglected; and make it a point to clear away any clutter, such as lingering misunderstandings or communication challenges, that gets in the way of connecting well with others.
Follow this spring cleaning checklist to transform your relationships into connections that cultivate the trust of others and promote your growth and development — and that you’d be proud to have at any time of year:
Does my relationship have a purpose?
Relationships are intentional, and they gain meaning through shared purpose. Avoid assumptions; be certain you and other parties in a relationship share a clear understanding of mutual goals or aspirations.
Do I listen?
Check whether you’re focused more on what you want to say than what others are saying or trying to say. Bonds are strengthened when people feel they’re heard and understood.
Am I authentic?
Few things breed trust in a relationship more than honesty. Put your integrity on full display by being genuine, transparent, and truthful, even when sharing unwelcome information.
Do I keep my promises?
Your credibility will take a hit if you routinely fail to deliver on the promises you make. Do what you say you will; and if for some reason you can’t deliver, be forthcoming about it (see No. 3!).
Do I welcome feedback?
Criticism can be tough to take, but learn to accept it in the spirit of self-improvement. Be open to and respectful of the ideas and values of others.
Am I accountable?
Don’t cling to unattainable perfection. Everyone makes mistakes — and everyone knows that. Own your mistakes, learn from them, make every effort to correct them, and move on.
Am I committed to the relationship?
Healthy relationships are resilient. They can withstand friction or even outright conflict, but they can falter under even a hint of apathy. Stay mindful of the importance of the relationship and freely give others the benefit of the doubt when uncomfortable or otherwise tough situations invariably pop up.
Here's to celebrating your Unique Genius and building relationships!