How To Be A Better Friend This Year

With the dawn of a new year, everyone is thinking about ways to improve themselves and live their best life. Whether your ambitions run to overhauling your diet and starting your day with healthy smoothies, travelling and seeing more of the world, studying for a new qualification or even finally getting those killer abs, there's no end of articles, videos, podcasts and books instructing you on how to go about it. Some people are just constantly striving to better themselves, and that is a positive drive to have in life. But whichever areas of self-improvement we've chosen to focus on, relatively few will think about how they can become a better friend. And yet, focusing on this area of your life has real potential to improve your happiness and mental balance.

Friendships are the glue that bind together our days, and shared experiences have the biggest impact on our well-being. Human beings are fundamentally social animals, and when we develop solid bonds, it makes our lives feel more stable. If we choose to enhance what we give to others in our friendships, we will get so much more back in return. Making a conscious decision to enhance what you give, will mean you get so much. So focus on your friendships this year in order to enhance your life…


Improve Your Communication Skills

When was the last time you really listened? Social media and time pressures have gradually eroded our ability to deeply listen, and conditioned us to become much more superficial, with a reduced attention span. All the scrolling, swiping and expressing our thoughts in 140 characters has taken its toll, and we struggle with giving our friendships the deep dive that they need. Concentrating on non-verbal cues during conversations will give you a much clearer picture of how the other person actually is. There may be areas where they need extra support that you simply won't pick up on without meaningful conversation. Things like being trapped in a destructive relationship are often subtle and difficult to spot, as victims will often try to hide what's really going on out of misplaced shame and fear. A friend who listens can be absolutely invaluable in a situation like this, and a crucial part of the effort to stop violence against women. The impact of paying attention can be huge in areas such as this. Use kindness and sensitivity towards their feelings and you could make a life-changing connection.

Stand By Your Word

Making false promises is sure to damage your friendships. Sometimes we can do this without meaning to, but being able to trust your word is essential if you want your friends to trust you. The intentions you put out into the world must tally with your actions, or it creates a fundamental mistrust that can sour your friendships. If you've ever been guilty of not being true to your word, even without intending to do so, then this year you need to up your game. If you've arranged a coffee date, don't flake out. If you say you'll get those concert tickets, then do. Even if it's a really small thing, like promising to do a favor, then follow up on it. This will strengthen your social ties and build stronger reciprocal friendships.

Be Forgiving

We are all human, but sometimes we can be a bit judgmental and unforgiving when it comes to the failings of others. If you've chosen to give your loyalty to someone, then don't make it conditional. Building a support network doesn't happen overnight, so if your friends falter on occasion then try to be understanding. There is definitely a difference between those who consistently let you down and something happening on one occasion. Learn to be more forgiving, especially if a friend is coping with recently changed circumstances, like starting a new job or having a family. They may have a lot on their mind.

Understand Other Perspectives

Life is all about variety, and it would be very boring if we all held the same opinions. So don't make the mistake of assuming your take on a situation is the only way that's right. The beauty of life is the multitude of differing opinions. If you let go of the idea that there is a ‘right’ way to think about a given situation, it will open up your mind and enrich your life. You'll become an empathetic person and a much better friend. It's an important step to take for your own enrichment and that of your friendships.


LETS GET SOCIAL…

Taking A Relationship Slow Is When It's Serious

So many men and women want to rush into a relationship because they’re looking for security. In the modern day, even a 1 or 2-year relationship is still young and fresh. Several decades ago that’s all that was needed before marriage was put on the table. Not so now, because people live longer, we earn more money, we know what we want in life in terms of a career and life fulfillment, travelling etc. So things are now on the flip side, where relationships that take their time are the serious ones and those that only wait a couple of years before marriage and children are not. It's the polar opposite of every decade in the run-up to 2010. If you are still following the ABCs of relationships from way back when, you’re needlessly putting pressure on your partner. And in all honesty, it's our insecurities that make us want to push and push until we get an answer we like from them.

Taking it slow and letting things fall into place is much better.


Don’t have “the talk”

Both men and women do things in relationships that cause them to falter and eventually become unworkable. If your partner is not giving signs that they want the relationship to end, then don’t push them into a corner. If they aren’t cold toward you and showing less and less interest in your life, then why would you have ‘the talk’ with them? Far too often, we can feel like the relationship isn’t going anywhere, but if it's not going backwards it's always moving forwards. You can’t tie a man or woman down against their will, only when they are ready will they voluntarily want to take it to the next step. Marriage and having children is no walk in the park, and asking someone who you can one day see having both of those things with, “where is this going?” is only going to push them away. Commitment cannot be forced on someone, it has to be voluntarily given.


Signs of maturing

Most of the time, every couple wants their relationship to mature. This means both of you sort out the issues and challenges in your own lives before moving forward. This could mean figuring out what kind of career you want. It could mean paying off all your debt and becoming financially free. It could also mean your own emotional baggage. When these things have been taken care of, then we can move forward or at least show real signs that the relationship is maturing. But physical signs are often the most powerful, which is why promise rings are becoming more and more popular. They’re not quite an engagement ring, but it's a sign that you are on that path to eventually being proposed to and becoming a wife or husband. They come in both sexes as it's tradition to give each other the ring. Take it slow, and allow your relationship to mature naturally.



We all want to have some kind of security in our lives and sharing it with someone we love is even more desired. Just be careful to not push your partner into deciding to marry or have kids when they haven’t brought up the conversation themselves.


LETS GET SOCIAL…

How To Approach the Subject of Addiction with a Loved One

Have you noticed the tell-tale signs that someone is suffering from an addiction? Perhaps you have picked up on subtle yet worrying habits? Is a friend or family member being evasive? Other signs of a secret problem include frequent lies, major changes in energy levels, a loss of interest in the things they used to love, a change in appearance, memory loss, and stealing. If you have noticed any of these signs and you believe that someone you love is suffering from an addiction, it is important to get them the help they need. However, this is a lot easier said than done. Merely bringing up the subject is difficult, as you don’t want the person to react in a bad way. Plus, there is always the worry that you have got it wrong. So, how do you approach the subject of addiction with a loved one?

  • Get the timing right - One of the most important things when talking about any type of serious matter is getting the timing right. You could arrange a day out with the person so that you get to spend some quality time together, and then bring the subject up towards the end of the day. Don’t dive right in, as they will assume that is the only reason you invited them in the first place. It is also important to make sure the person is as clear-headed as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of them becoming defensive and angry, plus it is likely that they may not even remember the conversation.

  • Ease into the conversation - You need to approach a conversation like this gently. You can ask your friend or family member what they have been up to lately or what plans they have for the coming weekend. This enables you to set up the conversation.

  • Be careful with your suggestions - Don’t tell the person what they need to do; no one wants to be made to feel like a child. You need to leave the ball in their court, or at least make it feel like you are. For example, you could tell them that you know a clinic with really good suboxone doctors and leave them the details for it. This approach - that you are not judging them but you care about their health and well-being - will typically be better received. The person is likely to be in pain, both physically and emotionally, so this is something they may really think about. Once you feel the person is ready to address their issues, you can then suggest that they join a support group that is tailored to their specific addiction.

  • Avoid accusatory language - You need to tread very carefully when it comes to the language you use. If you are someone that doesn’t tend to think before they speak, give yourself a moment before you say anything. If you accuse the person of having a problem or you belittle them, they are only going to end up getting defensive. Don’t say things like “you have been really angry lately” or “you have missed a lot of work.” It will only make them feel small.

  • Set boundaries - It is really important to set boundaries, not only for your own protection, but also to let your loved one know that their addiction is impacting the relationship you have. For example, if you have children, you can tell the person that you love them very much, but you can’t have them around your kids while this addiction is on-going. After all, we all want to set good examples for our children, and you need to protect them first and foremost.

  • Don’t press the issue - It can be very frustrating is someone says they don’t have a problem, and you know that they do. However, if you keep hammering it home, they are only going to get more and more defensive. You have said what you needed to say, let it settle in, and then see what happens. It could be that the person goes home and reflects on the conversation and then comes back to you for help. If not, you will need to try and broad the subject again at a later date.

 

All in all, there is no denying that the subject of addiction is one of the most difficult ones to talk about with someone you love. However, if you suspect that someone is suffering from any type of addiction, it is important that they get the help they need. Use the tips mentioned above, and hopefully, you will be able to have a fruitful conversation with the person you care about and this will be the start of their recovery.


LET'S GET SOCIAL...

4 Steps To Help You Achieve Your Goals While Living In The Moment

Sometimes it can be easier to stay where you are in life, even if you aren't happy. This is because moving forward and changing things can be tough. Especially when the future is never totally guaranteed. But there are some things that can help you forge into your own future. Just keep reading to find out what they are.

 

Setting goals

First of all, a good session of goal setting can really help you forge into the future with some gusto. But be warned, any old goals will not do in this instance. In fact, your goals have to be right to allow you to get where you want to go.

For instance, if you want to lose weight this is fine as an overall aim. But it’s not something that tells you what you need to do and for how long, and that is what you need in a good goal.

 Therefore you need to make your goals specific. As in how much weight you want to lose. As well as timed, so when you want to lose it by. It can also help to keep you motivated when things get tough to remind yourself of the relevance of your goal in the first place.

 

Getting guidance

Next, a good way of making it easier to achieve the future that you want is to get some guidance about what you are doing. You may choose to get this advice from an expert in the field that you are focusing on. Such as a business entrepreneur, a teacher, or a life coach.

If you are someone who believes in those who may be able to "foresee the future," you could consult a psychic chat line, or friends to help you gain clarity on what decisions you should make to move forwards. Sometimes just talking things through with another person can help you clarify your aims in life.

 

Learning enjoy the now

The next thing that can make our future a little easier is learning to enjoy what you have right now at the moment. That’s right, sometimes we can be so focused on the things that we will get and achieve in the future that we forget totally to enjoy what we have now, which is pretty silly, because you could have lots of great things going on, but you end up missing them all because you are so concerned with meeting your goals.

However, learning meditation and gratitude practices can help with this. As they can assist you in pulling your attention back into the present and appreciating what you have right now.

 

Discussing your future with your significant other

Of course, whether you are in a new or well-established relationship, if you are part of a couple or a family it's not just your own future that you have to be concerned about, as whatever you do affects your loved ones as well. So you need to discuss your plans before embarking on them with your significant other.

Hopefully, they will be supportive of the things that you want in the future. But if there is some disagreement then it's best to get an understanding of where the other person is coming from and what they will compromise on. So then you have clear expectations of what your future together will look like.

How goals do you have in place to help you meet your goals?


LET'S GET SOCIAL...

New Relationship? Tips to Keep Yourself Healthy

Happy 2017!!

It's the time of year where we all try to start the year right with our new years resolutions, that hopefully this will be the year that we are consistent. For me, while I don't have any resolutions, I would hopefully like to start a relationship with someone special. 

When it comes to seeing someone new, there’s one awkward topic that most of us shy away from, and that’s our intimate health. It’s funny that it’s such as issue to discuss, as it’s just another part of being healthy, but even so, it’s one conversation that a lot of us dread having with our new partners. However, we shouldn’t, as if we want to ensure that we are able to keep ourselves healthy, we need to be brave and talk about our intimate health.

To make it an easier topic to discuss, below are some tips and ideas. Take note and implement these, and you can ensure that you stay healthy when seeing someone new.

 

Be direct and straight to the point

When it comes to talking to your partner about your intimate health and staying healthy, it’s important to be direct and straight to the point. Don’t beat around the bush and skirt around the issue, just be honest with your partner and tell them that you want to make sure that you both put your health first. It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but if you’re in a new relationship, it’s one that is a must!

 

Agree to both get tested

If you are going to take things any further, it’s a good idea to agree to both get tested to make sure that you’re both healthy and free of any STDs. As the last thing you want is for someone to have an STD and pass it onto the other person. If you're wondering what STD testing is and what’s involved, there’s no need to stress - you can find out everything that you need to know online. Take the time to read up about what’s involved in different STD tests, so that both you and your partner know what to expect.

 

Be open about the results

Before undergoing testing, agree to be open with each other about the results. If someone has a positive result for an STD, sharing it can be awkward and embarrassing, but it’s part of being in a relationship. So before undergoing testing, make a pact to tell each other your results, no matter what they might be. The good news is that most STD are treatable, and those that aren’t treatable are manageable, so no matter what the results show, knowing that could provide ease. 

 

Consider your birth control options

Once you’ve both been tested for STDs, the next step is to talk about your birth control options (if applicable). There are plenty of options to choose from; it’s just a case of determining what is best for you. If you’re someone who tends to be forgetful, the contraceptive pill may not be suitable, but the implant may be a good option. If you’re unsure about what the best option is for you, take the time to speak to your doctor to get the advice that you need.


LET'S GET SOCIAL...

 

 

 

 

 

Be A Friend For A Friend In Need

I’m sure you and your best friend will have already been through thick and thin together. You will know exactly how to cheer each other up, and will have dished out plenty of life advice to one another. So what happens when your friend is going through a difficult period that will take a lot more than a girly chat to fix? You will no doubt want to be there for her and support her through this tough time. However, things are slightly more serious this time. So you will need to be extra sensitive and understand that your friend needs a lot of support from you right now. As everyone says, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed.’ So here is how you can be there for your bestie during her time of need.

Touch Base With Them

First of all, be sure to give them a quick call as soon as you hear the news that they aren’t coping so well at the minute. This is especially important if you don’t hear the news from them directly. Just letting them know that you are thinking of them could be enough to cheer them up, even if it is just momentarily. This will stop them from feeling alone or alienated. You should also let them know that they can get in touch with you whenever they feel like talking to anyone.

 

Listen To Them

When your friend does decide it is the time to talk about their issues, you should be a good listener. Make sure that you do not interrupt them when they are telling you their story. You should give your friend as much time as they need to get everything out. However, if they don’t want to tell you everything just yet, do not press them for more information. They will let you know more when they are ready. Right now, it’s important to be there to listen to your friend while they get things off their chest.

Help Them Make Decisions

When going through testing times, we all often find it hard to make up our minds. This is usually because we are not thinking straight. So when you are chatting with your friend, you should help her to make any decisions that she is struggling with. This is especially important if your friend appears to be confused. These could be small decisions, such as deciding what to eat for dinner. But they may also be life-changing decisions, like whether to stay in a relationship. In this case, don’t sway your friend too much in her decisions. Just make sure she can see both sides of the argument very clearly before she makes up her mind.

 

Get Them Help

There might be some situations in which your friend needs professional help. For example, maybe she is suffering from mental health issues or is fighting an addiction. If you think that your friend could benefit from seeking professional help, let her know. Your friend may need to be persuaded before she agrees to see a doctor or other health professional. But just let her know that it is for her own good. In some cases, it may be necessary to find them a rehab center, such as the Beachway Therapy Center.

 

Understand That Emotions Can Change

Our emotions and moods are just like waves. We may be feeling one thing only for that feeling to completely change the next minute. One feeling could be replaced with a completely different one. So you need to expect your friend to experience a whole range of emotions and feelings. Be prepared for everything. You need to be supportive when the tears come and comforting during the times she gets angry.

Patience Is Key

Your friend won’t feel better instantly. This is a process that takes a lot of time. But, if you follow all the advice in this blog, you can be sure that you are giving your friend the best possible chance to get better. Remember that everyone’s healing process is unique to them, and your friend’s might take a prolonged period of time.

 

Encourage Everyday Activities

The easiest way for your friend to get over her current situation is to continue with her everyday routine whenever possible. Just remember that they may need your help to continue their routine in the beginning.


This is going to be a very hard time for your friend. But if you are always there for them, they will find it a lot easier to cope.


LET'S GET SOCIAL...

Girl Talk: Accepting Love Before Marriage

DISCLAIMER: So let me say before we start, that I am NO expert on marriage, etc. I do however how many girlfriends who have been in and out of relationships or married and divorced and you know how us woman can be when it's girls night and the wine starts pouring. This is to offer you some info from someone who has been in and out of love before. 


If you’ve been married before, I'm pretty sure the pain of such a breakup can stay with you for a very long time. Even as you move on to new relationships and new loves, the baggage that comes from past marriages can be pretty tough to shake at first. If you know you’re with someone now that could be that forever, you need to make moves now to put your past behind you.

Some marriages fail. In fact, a lot of marriages fail. But as we get older and form new relationships, we become wiser to what didn’t work. These past experiences are important to help us avoid making mistakes in the future. That doesn’t mean you should keep revisiting past relationships. Single life is indeed simpler, but it can be lonely. If you’re in a new relationship now, it’s time to move on. Look ahead to the future.

Your new partner may be shopping at Tacori for your engagement ring, while you’re still looking back at your former marriage. It’s important you let go of the past and treat this new relationship as a completely different entity. Your new partner is a completely different person and so are you. You’ve grown, you’ve evolved, you’ve experienced new things, and learned from every one of them. This relationship has very different ingredients than the last one.

If marriage for the second time is on the cards, don’t shy away from it. Instead, embrace the commitment your partner is willing to make to you. If you love your partner, then why deprive yourself of that? Accepting new love in your life may feel like you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to hurt again. But there’s no sign that will happen, is there?

Speak to a life coach, a counselor , or a friend about your fears. Sometimes when we haven’t fully let go of past relationships, it is because we haven’t truly explored those feelings it left us with. But speak as a way to move on, not look back. There’s no need to assign blame or identify causes of your feelings. Just acknowledging them and overcoming them could be all you need to let go of the past for good.

My Line Sister & her Husband💕💕

Photo Credit: www.weddingsbyroland.com

whiterussian is the source of the photo

If you don’t trust your new partner not to hurt you, then don’t proceed with the relationship. True love encompasses trust, respect, acceptance and nurturing of each other. If you feel you can offer that to your partner, then it could be time to say yes to that stunning engagement ring! Accepting love means accepting that person and everything they may be. Trust the love your partner has for you.

Relationships are never easy, but the best relationships aren’t hard either. Past marriages that may have produced children can bring difficulty and complication into the mix. How you both manage that and accept it will speak volumes about your suitability for each other. Kids can find it tough to accept new partners. But if your new relationship is strong and you are happy, your children will find it much easier to be accepting of it. 

Celebrate your love and commitment for each other.


STAY UP TO DATE WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA....

Ways To Show Your Friends They're Appreciated

 

You may remember I did an article on relationship goals a little while ago. While I hope you all enjoyed it, it led me on to thinking about how little we can see our circle of friends sometimes. Obviously it’s great to be in a relationship that makes you happy, but sometimes you might feel you’ve been neglecting some of your good mates for it. It may be time to blow away the cobwebs, and remind those certain special people that they’re appreciated. Here, I’ve put together a few ideas to bring a smile to your friends’ faces.

It’s very common to feel like you’ve drifted apart from a friend you used to spend all your time with. As we grow up, work, relationships and new friends all keep us busy. But a day out with them a little outside your usual experience could be just the trick to rekindle the friendship. If you really want to pull the stops out, try something adrenaline-filled like paintballing or abseiling. These kinds of activities make for hours of fun and give you something you’ll reminisce and laugh about. The experience is even better if you’re both terrible at the activity! If that’s not your thing, there’s always museums, meals out, or even a simple walk while you catch up with each other.

No one likes ending a friendship on a down note, but we all make mistakes here and there. You’ll agree that a stupid little argument is no reason to completely cut a good friend out of your life! If you feel you’ve made a mistake, and want to rekindle your friendship through a kind gesture, there are all sorts of things you can do. Most people go with a gift, and if you’re good enough with your hands you may be able to make a really personal one that will really show you care. Of course, we can’t all be crafty goddesses, but luckily there are many fantastic gift sites out there like www.whositfor.co.uk.

As time goes on, we figure out who our real friends are. You might be focussing on a certain someone, but there are many things you can do to reunite an entire group, usually without spending much money. You may want to organize a picnic, and get everyone to prepare and bring one dish (proceed with caution if some in your group are really competitive!) Or, if the weather doesn’t permit that, no one can argue with a nice glass of wine and movies night. But the possibilities here are endless; check out the article on www.enkivillage.com for some more pointers.

 

As always, I hope my little ramble has given you some good ideas. There are all kinds of methods you could use to rekindle and strengthen your friendships, so why wait? I know how long some people can go without contact, and obviously it may feel a little strange at first. After a good laugh to break the tension, you’ll be absolutely astounded by how naturally things return to normal!


STAY UP TO DATE WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA...