Challenges and trials are part of relationships. Couples, families, friends, and coworkers all go through some form of testing in their connections. If they come out of it together, they often come out stronger and with a renewed dedication for each other. No year has tested our relationships the way 2020 has.
With the pandemic and sheltering-in-place orders, friendships fizzled down, coworkers found it awkward to communicate, and marriages struggled to survive. People reported losing friends who they often saw in social settings. Studies say that friendships can die down as short as three months of not seeing each other in person.
Coworkers shared that zoom socials were not capturing the real watercooler experience.
Many experts feared that a spike in divorces would follow the sudden lockdowns happening all over the world. There were news reports that when the lockdown was lifted in China, divorce filings rose dramatically.
Maya Luetke, a researcher from Indiana University Bloomington, spoke to WebMD saying, "When partners are together for an extended time in the same household, they can get tired of each other. Plus, they are stressed about health and safety and negotiating new responsibilities about work and family life."
However, a recent statistical study showed that divorce rates did not spike last year. Both marriages and divorces plummeted in rates for 2020. Bloomberg comments that: "The sharp decline in divorce doesn't mean couples are necessarily happier together in lockdown. Instead, the pandemic may be forcing dissatisfied spouses to stay together for practical reasons."
All these facts point to one thing, our relationships have been through a lot the past year. Admittedly, it is difficult to maintain strong connections when we also have personal challenges to face. But there are doable ways to nurture the ties we have.
Make Certainties in Your Home
Most issues for people who share a home involve boundaries. Irritation often stems from who uses which part of the house, who does which chores, or who looks after the children.
Some people have found that creating a schedule around spaces helps. They plan their day so they can alternate rooms with the other person's needs in mind. If you haven't had a sit-down about household tasks, now is a good time as any.
Go outside together
Walks alone to get some fresh air is definitely therapeutic. But it will also benefit the relationship if you spend time going outside together. Partners can take a walk together, bike around the neighborhood, or just sit on a park bench.
Build your Support System
You and your partner may be the best of friends and in sync on everything, but it isn't fair to lean on a single individual for all your emotional needs. Build a support system that is healthy and encouraging. You may have already discovered which of your friends can you hold you accountable. Stay connected with people who help you grow and are not afraid to call you out.
Achieve Relationship Goals with DISC
Whether in professional or personal relationships, the DISC is designed to help us understand people's inclinations. Learning this tool can help you manage how you respond to your friends and loved ones, especially in moments of severe stress.
Your relationships can also be suffering because you aren't yet fully aware of yourself. DISC brings to light your motivations and stressors. Perhaps you are responding to conflict in a way that brings more agitation to your parents. You may have been wondering why your wife's spontaneous decisions irritate you more than it should.
If you and your partner take the DISC, you can compare each other's results. You will be reminded of the positive traits they possess and bring more focus into that. You may find insight into where you differ in motivators and priorities. From here, you can align and compromise.
Understanding others also brings changes to your paradigm about others. You'll learn why emotions aren't always the best response for some people, and which of your family members prefer facts over feelings.
With DISC, you will find concrete tips on how to work with the other person, how to avoid potential hiccups, and how to collaborate styles.
These are some of the DISC tips I've covered in the past. You can review them, and my hope is that it brings clarity into your relationships.
· Your Disc Personality Style Under Stress
· DISCovering Five Ways To Make Friends At Work
· 10 Ways to Appreciate Employees
· Relationships Matter At Work
· The I Style's Guide to Managing Stress
· Stability In a Changing World
· How DISC can Strengthen Parent-Child Relationships
· Lose Control: Navigating Life as a D-Style Personality
Relationships are hard - making lasting and authentic connections are never easy. But with the right tools, loads of patience, and a heap of understanding, you come closer every day to your relationship goals.
Anna D. Banks is the CEO and Founder of Thrive Leadership Institute, a leading training & consulting company. With her leadership, the company coaches professionals to achieve growth in work and in their personal lives. In more than 20 years, she has served as Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team, a Certified Career Coach, and Certified Human Behavior (DISC) Consultant. You can achieve all your goals and thrive. Take the first step and click here to download this Free eBook "Discover Your Purpose and Thrive In Your Life" from Anna Banks.
Anna D. Banks, MAS, CHBC, Copyright ©February 19, 2021. All rights reserved
Anna D. Banks, MAS, CHBC