I write a lot about self-love and the importance of making sure to take time to take care of yourself, as most of you will be aware. After all, as the adage goes, it’s hard to love someone else without first loving yourself. When life gets hectic and we start to prioritize one thing or another, we can sometimes forget about the people that we love and that love us back. It’s easy to focus on our own issues, and sometimes we need to do that to keep from falling behind or feeling overwhelmed. We are all blessed with people in our lives that we can turn to to help get through tough times and work through our own issues with. It can sometimes feel like those people are there for that sole reason, which can feel comforting and safe.
But it’s important to remember that we are also support systems for them; our personal relationships should be mutualistically symbiotic. Remember that they are facing their own daily issues too. Maybe they had a bad day too. Maybe they had a wonderful day, and are reluctant to share. Or maybe they’re not reluctant but we’re not asking. It can be really hard to keep up with the people in our lives if we don’t make a conscious effort to do so.
Something as simple as a genuine “How was your day?” or a more in-depth follow-up inquiry regarding something they had told you before- those kinds of things really can make a difference in someone’s day. I’m hurt when someone forgets something important that I told them about, or does something that indirectly neglects me. Conversely, I know that it feels great when someone remembers something I told them, even if it didn’t necessarily concern them, so I’m trying to make a better effort to do the less of the former, and more of the latter. It’s tough to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and empathize with how they may be affected by the world, but most people don’t expect others to go that far; they just want to be acknowledged and remembered.
It’s also important to note that what they need might be very different from what you need. That doesn’t mean that one need should be ignored in favour of the other. Give and take is part of every relationship. Often, if the different need is not immediately apparent or logical to you, figuring out a way to help is as simple as asking. People are complicated, but at our cores, we’re not that different.
At the end of the day, I want to spend time with people I love. My loved ones feel the same. Making time for one another is as critical as making time for yourself. In my experience, a healthy balance of both is a recipe for a happy life. Whether you are partners in life, partners in crime, or just plain pals, you should value one another enough to take an interest in their life, feelings, and personal triumphs and tribulations. Be there for one another. Show each other the respect you’d expect. Value your people and appreciate the love they bring to your life. Reciprocate that love to the best of your ability.
Happy Monday, loves. Reach out to a loved one this week. See how they are. Ask if they need anything. Be open. Love them like you love yourself.