Can you remember a time when a friend, coworker, teacher, or parent said something encouraging that stuck with you?
Maybe you were prepping for a really important test or interview or even lost a big game in a sports tournament. Was there someone there to help boost your confidence?
Well, you see, the relationships we have with those around us are truly what makes life meaningful. And one of the biggest perks of cultivating strong relationships and friendships is having someone who's there to encourage you.
Encouragement is what makes the hard times easier and the good times better because it means that, no matter what happens, you have someone who believes in you.
And as you encourage your friends, encourage yourself too! We can often be our biggest critics, so when you’re feeling down, practice writing out things you’ve accomplished and qualities you like about yourself.
Now so often, we can forget to verbally express how we're feeling to those around us. And this can happen for several reasons, such as lack of confidence, feeling shy or embarrassed, or simply not knowing the right words to say.
But words of encouragement are meant to be shared to support one another and to strengthen our most beloved relationships.
So, here are some ways you can nurture meaningful relationships while also bringing out the best in yourself!
Acknowledge the little things
When it comes to any relationship, it’s usually the little things that matter most, so don’t be afraid to share! Praise is often most appreciated when someone notices something the average person doesn’t.
Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to friendship. And rather than only sharing what they may want to hear, it’s often what we need to hear from our friends that can help us grow.
It can often be easier to suppress a vulnerable thought or feeling, but allowing others to feel comfortable enough to share is what creates long-lasting relationships. When you can be vulnerable in front of your friends, this allows them to be vulnerable too. And it’s in our most vulnerable moments that we’re able to live authentically.
Ditch the high-maintenance act
Life will always have ups and downs, and demanding or expecting attention from your friends all of the time is something that can put a strain on the relationship. Being mindful and understanding of the fact that sometimes life gets busy and plans can change allows everyone to breathe a sigh of relief that, in the end, all is well.
Sometimes we need to vent to our friends or those closest to us, and we definitely should! Being there to listen is one of the best things you can do for someone else as it allows their feelings and opinions to be heard in a world where not everyone might want to listen.
Words of encouragement have a far broader reach when they are specific. So be intentional with the words you use, including details that would normally go unnoticed. For example, if a friend wrote a meaningful post on social media, in addition to simply liking it, you can be even more encouraging by commenting on how their post made you feel.
While we all may be on our unique journeys in life, making time for those we love is important. But the important thing to remember is quality over quantity. Maybe it’s a quick text exchange or catching up over coffee, or taking a weekend getaway. No matter what it is, being present with the time spent is what matters most.
Being an encouraging and supportive person, whether that’s to our friends our family members, or a stranger is an act of compassion that goes a long way. Whether there is a long line and only one person working at the register or being there for a friend who is going through a breakup, being patient is what allows others to feel comfortable in their skin. And it’s usually in these moments when people could use encouragement more than ever.
You see, to encourage others is to encourage ourselves. So try to encourage everyone around you and watch your relationships grow and how much better you feel overall. Because remember, what you put out in the world will always find its way back to you!
And while I have you here, I, too, have a little something for encouragement. It is instant access to my unique introspection exercise that allows you to uncover the hidden subconscious programming you may be harboring right now. Plus, it includes a little gift to help set your mornings up for success – a tool I use myself! So go here now to get free and instant access to the eye-opening mind exercise bound to free you from stress and self-doubt. Enjoy!