Renew Fading Friendships

A function of maturing and making your way through life is that you’ll occasionally leave behind someone you really care about. It might be your best friend from high school, your old neighborhood buddy, a college dorm roommate, or even a past co-worker you connected with.

Over time, you may find yourself yearning for another conversation, a lunch out or evening spent with a long-lost friend. But after so much time has passed, how can you renew fading friendships before they disappear completely?

Consider these suggestions to re-connect with a friend from your past:

  1. Give your friend a call. You might freeze up at the thought of calling because, after all, it has been so long. However, the only way of renewing your friendship is to make contact. Just do it.
    • Tell her you’ve missed her. Mention you’ve been thinking about the fun you had shopping and playing tennis together and that you want to maintain your friendship. Listen to how she feels about the relationship. Inquire about what’s going on in her life.
  2. Persevere. If you don’t have your friend’s telephone number, call his parents or drive by the last residence where he lived. Knock on the door and inquire of the residents if they know what happened to him. Contact a mutual friend and ask where your old friend is living now or how you might get in contact.
  3. Set up a rotating commitment. Once you contact your friend and discover he wants to continue your friendship, suggest the two of you get together on an ongoing basis to keep your relationship going.
    • For example, meet for dinner every other Wednesday evening. Get together one Saturday a month for lunch. A standing appointment keeps you both looking forward to spending time with one another.
  4. Be willing to make the extra effort. If your friend lives 90 minutes away by car, when you call, say you’d love to drive over and spend some time with him. Show you’re willing to do what’s necessary to see your friend occasionally. Hopefully, your friend will eventually be willing to drive over to see you as well.
  5. Write a letter and send it by snail mail. A hand-written letter shows you put some time and thought into what you wanted to say. Plus, your friend will have a tangible representation of your attempt to contact him, which means he’ll notice your efforts to get in touch.
    • This method is particularly helpful when you don’t have the person’s telephone or cell numbers.
    • Send a letter every other month for 6 months or so and include all your contact information, such as your cell phone number, home phone number, e-mail address, and home address. Doing so will make it easier for your friend to contact you using whatever method he prefers.
  6. Once you’ve established initial contact, use technology to stay connected. Find out from your friend if he uses e-mail and texting. If so, send him an e-mail every few days. If your friend prefers a quick text, use texting to stay in touch.
  7. Consider Facebook. After you’ve made your initial contact, find out if your friend is on Facebook. If so, “friend” him and use Facebook to keep in touch.

It’s a great feeling to discover an old friend wants to renew your relationship. Go ahead and be the one who takes the first steps to rekindle an old friendship. Use these methods to re-connect with that wonderful friend from your past.

Co-Worker Relationships That Work

Unless you’re living in a cave, you’ll probably work with other people at some point in your life. Workplace interactions can be interesting and enjoyable. Or they can be disappointing and frustrating. Your experience of them is entirely up to you.

Practicing particular behaviors and applying certain techniques in the workplace will help you manage work relationships successfully. Read on to discover the tenets of colleague relationships that work.

1. Strive to love your work. Make a conscious decision every morning to love what you do. Whether you’re a customer service representative, IT technician or a small business owner, learn to love your work. Your associates will notice you have a true passion for what you do, and they’ll develop great respect for you.

2. Vow to be optimistic when discussing work situations with your colleagues. You’ve probably worked with a negative co-worker in the past and seen the impact of such attitudes. Rather than allow yourself to be pulled down into negativity, keep your positivity high. If you’re consistently optimistic, your colleagues will follow suit.

3. Set a motivating example for your co-workers. Show interest in work projects. Ask questions. Demonstrate a strong work ethic.

4. Be proactive in addressing any difficult issues with your associates. Work in conjunction with them to solve any troublesome situations early in their development.

5. Step up to meet work challenges. Show confidence that your colleagues will do the same. It never hurts to have a “we’re all in this together” attitude at work.

6. Negotiate work differences cheerfully and honestly. Speak from your genuine feelings and use tact in your communication. Those you work with will see your honesty, recognize your integrity, and strive to interact with you the same way.

7. Keep it “short and sweet.” If you’re succinct and clear in your questions and responses, your co-workers will appreciate your efficiency.

8. Listen intently when someone is talking to you. Training yourself to be a good listener is integral to effective relationships, whether at home or work. Avoid interrupting others at all costs. Recognizing your co-workers’ feelings is an important step to strengthening your relationships.

9. Although you may be extremely motivated, allow other co-workers to shine, too. Give credit where credit is due. Compliment your colleagues openly within earshot of others. Remind yourself that praising them doesn’t threaten your work persona in any way. In fact, positivity about others only enhances how people see you.

10. Avoid joining in with co-workers who show negativity. There’s no benefit to anyone if you engage in negative comments or give credibility to such discussions. Spend your precious time elsewhere!

11. Learn to let go of past hurts and struggles with your associates. No real accomplishments can be achieved through holding onto old baggage. Letting go will bring you great relief. Plus, your relationships with those individuals will be on the road to recovery when you decide to let go.

12. Be supportive of others. Demonstrate true interest and involvement in what they’re doing. Keep in mind that everyone thirsts for recognition. Being supportive shows you care about your co-workers and enhances your relationships.

Having work relationships that actually work is within your reach. Apply the above strategies to establish and maintain positive relationships with your fellow workers. Developing effective co-worker relationships leads you down the path to true personal and professional growth.

8 Strategies to Strengthen Your Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience is what enables people to bounce back after difficult experiences. Fortunately, this is a skill that you can develop to get through stressful times with greater ease.

Methods for Becoming More Emotionally Resilient:

1. Know your purpose in life. It’s a big endeavor, but discovering your purpose in life is fundamental to your ability to navigate challenges. Some people find meaning in their faith traditions and others define it in secular terms. Whatever approach you take, being on a mission keeps you motivated.
2. Set realistic goals and make specific plans. Some things are beyond your control, but smart planning can enhance your stability. Set goals you can achieve and break them down into manageable steps.
3. Be aware of your emotions. It’s easy to get swept away by strong emotions. If you can be mindful of what you’re feeling, you can give yourself room to evaluate the situation before reacting. Rather than exchanging angry remarks, acknowledge that a co-worker’s criticism in front of colleagues embarrassed you and look for a constructive solution.
4. Practice patience and persistence. Make a commitment to yourself to see things through even when difficulties arise. For example, if you get declined after one job interview, transfer your energies to the next opportunity.
5. Slow down. Sometimes you get more done by slowing down. Lack of sleep or perpetual multi-tasking can cause stress to build up. Give yourself a break to refresh your mind.
6. Act happy. Just trying to appear happy can often help you lift your mood after a setback. Treat yourself to a funny movie or call a friend who always makes you laugh.
7. Learn to ask for help. Make it easier for your loved ones to support you. Practice asking for help in a respectful manner while being specific about what you need.
8. Be generous. The more you give to others, the more likely they are to reciprocate in your time of need and the better you’ll feel about yourself.

Emotional resilience is a powerful asset for accomplishing more in life and experiencing greater contentment. Protect your physical and emotional health by learning how to adapt to challenges.