In 2015, my husband and I bought a house on a beautiful piece of property. Actually, we bought a wreck on a beautiful piece of property!! What we thought was going to be a remodel on an older house turned out to be a complete gut on a house that had to be at least 150 years old. It wasn’t a pretty process, but we love the finished product. Our home!
Earlier this week, I shared some thoughts on the importance of having a group of friends and family in your life that truly support YOU. (Read here)
Today, I would like to give you 5 tips on building your support team.
For some of you, the action of creating a healthy support team in your life is going to get messy. Like our house that we gutted and remodeled, things will get worse before they gets better. So if you know in your heart that the people closest to you are not that great for you then start your “remodel” challenge today. No sense in throwing new paint up on cracked, falling down walls.
Others of you may just need that slight remodel I had been hoping for when we bought our dream property. If so, think about the areas in your life where you feel the most encouraged versus the few relationships that seem to chip away at you.
5 Tips on Building Your Support Team
You need to dump those relationships that are sucking the life out of you.
This is going to hurt a little…OK a lot!!
What relationships are currently in your life? Which ones do you seem to give and give to but there is no return of affection, support or appreciation? Now, I’m not talking about the fact that your 3 year old or 13 year old doesn’t seem to come close to comprehending all you do for them. I’m talking about reasonable expectations.
If you have relationships in your life that you give your time and energy to and yet you walk away from interacting with that person feeling deeply criticized, hurt or less than, 90% of the time, it may be time to review the relationship. Are those relationship worth continuing to pour your heart and soul into? You may need to either A). Remove yourself from the relationship totally or B). Severely limit the time you are around this person.
2. Change your expectations.
So far we took a hard look at the people we allow close to us and decided if we needed to give them the heave ho out of our precious inner circle. Now, we are going to tweak our list of “hopes” from our relationships.
We all have hopes and expectations from our relationships. We hope our boss will be encouraging of our ideas, we hope our mother will be nurturing and caring or that our spouse will be romantic. We can expend so much energy focusing on trying to get a need met from a specific person that we miss the other wonderful things and people in our life.
As hard as it can be to let go of our expectations it is way better in the long run to stop banging our head against that same wall trying to get a need met from someone who can’t or won’t meet it. It can be so freeing to release that person!
And a funny thing happens when you set free those expectations of one person. Often, there is someone else right there in your life who wants to be friends with you, to encourage you.
3. Be a friend.
Healthy relationship are all about give and take. As you learn how to be a better friend you will draw healthy people to you.
Are you willing to give to others, to help others?
Maybe, you are in a place in life, where all you can see is your needs and hurts. And sometimes that is where we are. However, even during a low place in your life you should be able to find small ways to reach out and be a comfort or friend to others.
Check in with yourself about your true motives. I can remember a time when a friend called me out on a relationship that I was whining about. I saw for the first time that I was not giving to that person because I genuinely cared about them. I was just giving hoping to receive…right then!
Practice being a true friend to others not just so you can get an emotional need met but so you can benefit them also.
Be authentic and honest.
Spend some of your leisure time doing the things you love. Growth loves growth. Healthy people enjoy being around other people who are trying new things, developing their hobbies and exploring their dreams.
Share a little about yourself. If you want a support team, you will have to learn to be open. Start small and with someone who has been supportive in the past.
Be OK with being alone.
Remember that major remodel that I was referring to earlier? Well, if most of your relationships fell into that category then be prepared to be a alone for a short time.
Don’t panic…this is only temporary. Sometimes when we make major changes in our lives, we say goodbye to old relationships. There is a waiting period before other, healthier relationships, come into our life.
Being alone can give you the freedom to focus on yourself and your goals. Use the time wisely! Because soon your life will become busy again, filled with relationships that support and pull you toward the goals you are truly meant to fulfill.
Heather B. says
“As hard as it can be to let go of our expectations it is way better in the long run to stop banging our head against that same wall trying to get a need met from someone who can’t or won’t meet it. It can be so freeing to release that person!” Thank you for sharing this, friend! It’s a reminder that I need more often than I am willing to admit as I tend to get stuck in relationships that aren’t the most beneficial. It’s so incredibly difficult to do this though, but better in the long run. Wonderful first post:)
Thank you for the encouragement. And I agree, it is still hard to release some relationships!