Learning how to nurture your relationships like a gardener cares for a plant, two hands protecting a fragile young plant as it grows in fertile soil

Wondering how to nurture your relationships in the New Year? As 2019 kicks off, this is a great time to remember that the most priceless gifts we have are each other.

Those closest to you are far more valuable than your house, car or any other material possession.

We’re already programmed to focus on accomplishing our own dreams in the New Year. But what about the dreams of others?

Whether those around you feel empowered or powerless will partly depend on your attitude and actions towards them. We all need a lot of nurturing but, too often, we wind up getting bulldozed instead.

Here’s a little more about nurturing relationships.

What It Means to Nurture Your Relationships

Nurturing your relationships is much like gardening. This process takes a lot of planning, work and care in order to be successful.

Imagine planting seeds but never watering or tilling or weeding your garden. Despite your good intentions, you’d fail to create a healthy environment for the plants you were hoping to grow. You’d also get very little if any produce to show for your efforts.

The same goes for our relationships. We’re all more fragile than we care to admit. We all need to be handled with care to reach our fullest potential. In light of this, here are some things to keep in mind.

How to Nurture Your Relationships with Kind Words

Did you know that you have an incredible power to heal others and encourage their growth? Much of this can be done by the words you choose.

Without talking, your relationship will not survive. The more you communicate, the closer you will be,” says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. in his Psychology Today article, “10 Ways to Nurture Your Relationship (And Get Some Back).”

Kind words are key when it comes to nurturing our relationships. You can brighten the day of a stranger in the airport terminal this way. The same goes for your significant other, child, grandchild, friend or coworker.

Here are some specific ways you can do that:

·         Encourage someone who’s lost hope

·         Compliment someone on their smile

·         Keep your small talk positive

·         Talk well of others instead of running them down

·         Maintain a calm tone of voice

·         Let others know when you see potential in them

·         Give wise advice about life

·         Comfort someone who is grieving

Make Time for Those Who Matter to You

In order to nurture your relationships in the New Year, be sure to spend time with those you care most about.

Although the saying, “time is money” has some truth to it, time will still always be far more valuable than money.

We can use time to gain more money. However, at a certain point, all the money in the world cannot buy more time.

Ask someone who’s dying if they’d rather have more time or more money. They would want more time to spend with those they care about.

One of the most common deathbed regrets is not having spent more time with loved ones.

In light of this, give the priceless gift of time to your family and friends this year. Invest in them and make them stronger. This is something you’ll never regret doing. In return, they’ll do the same for you.

Get Some Help with Nurturing Your Relationships

Learning how to nurture your relationships doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes, you need some extra help to get there.

That’s where counseling can make a big difference. You’re able to learn evidence-based ways to nurture those you care about most. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than that.

As you seek to nurture your relationships this year, the Valencia Relationship Institute is here for you. You can schedule an appointment with us and take your relationships to the next level.