When you have a few days between Christmas and New Year's together it can be either the perfect time to recharge relationships. All relationships have ups and downs, and need attention to keep them vibrant and fulfilling. Try these across all your relationships:
Start listening - It's a common mistake to assume you know someone like a family member or partner inside-out so you second guess what they're saying. You interrupt them as they speak giving the subconscious message that you don't really have to listen. Research shows this negatively impacts communication so listen to them as if you were getting to know them again.
Use your eyes - How often do you find yourself talking to your partner or friend with one eye on the newspaper, TV, a text you've received, etc. This chips away at your relationship when instead you can enhance communication by looking at them when they speak.
Shake things up - You've probably slipped into a dull routine doing the same old things. This takes the gloss off any relationship. Ask your partner, friend or sibling to suggest new things to try as well as offering your own suggestions. You'll find a new sparkle to your relationship by doing them.
The feelgood factor - Research shows that being taken for granted’s one of the frequent reasons for break-ups. Let your partner know they’re important. Compliment them and boost them with TLC when they feel down. Drop a text or e-mail so they know you're thinking of them. You'll get back as good as you give!
Be clear - Beating around the bush never solves any relationship issue. Use "I statements" when making a point, e.g., "I think we should...". Studies show this simple technique demonstrates that you accept responsibility for your share of the relationship.
Be realistic - Is a relationship damaging or destructive? Whether it's a partner or a friend, you should ask yourself why you're sticking with it. It may be time to face this reality and move on.
A similar article was published in the Times newspaper