Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Everywhere we look, we see people. In fact, (before quarantine, of course) you can’t walk 20 meters outside without seeing a fellow human being. With as much as 7.8 billion people on Earth, it’s normal that you wouldn’t personally know at least even a tenth of them. Sure, you might have a ton of friends and acquaintances, but not all of them might matter as much as a lucky few. As human beings, we are all social creatures, whether you’re shy or outgoing, introverted or extroverted. We want to be surrounded by friends and family, sharing details of our lives. This can go from the little things, like what we ate for breakfast, to the more significant things in our lives. These details that we share could be quite personal and sometimes, we want to tell them to only the closest people we have. This is why (especially during this pandemic) we need to build and maintain healthy and close relationships with the few people we are most comfortable with. So, read on and we’ll explore how to do just that.
First off, we need to clarify a few things. One, maintaining close relationships does not mean that you have to push everyone else in your life away. This just means that the people you should be comfortable with the people you are closest to. Two, don’t pressure yourself to get to know more (or less!) people. Pushing yourself beyond your limits is also unhealthy, so just be mindful.
Now that we’re clear with things, let’s start.
The first thing that you want to determine in a relationship before building it is whether you can be yourself with that person. The entire point of building good relationships is having a safe place where you can share your deepest thoughts and feelings. This is extremely important in these times, as when we feel scared, anxious, or lonely, we need someone to talk to and be comforted by. A relationship is two-way, not one. So, if a) you can’t be yourself around them and b) they can’t accept you for the way that you are, don’t worry! It isn’t your fault at all, and it just means that they aren’t the best fit for you.
After knowing which people you are comfy with, you need to make sure that you both trust and respect. This sounds obvious, but sometimes you need to figure this out in more ways than one. If you don’t mutually trust each other, there could be a lot of awkward and uncomfortable situations along the way. On the other hand, if you don’t respect each other (in terms of personal space, sensitive matters, etc.), there could be many misunderstandings. Just because you’re close with that person, it doesn’t mean that you can just intrude into even their most private spaces, especially without their permission.
Another thing you should check for is whether they are a positive or negative influence on you. This means that they don’t harm you in any way, whether it’s through habits, mentally, or physically. If you realise that you’ve picked up negative habits from that person, you might want to rethink your relationship with them. Instead, you should surround yourself with positivity and good people that can affect you in a fruitful way.
When you already know that you’re comfortable with that person, build your relationship! There are many ways to do this, such as doing different activities that you both enjoy, like baking or watching movies together (whether it be online or in real life). Even just having a conversation can really help both of you get to know each other!
If you’ve found the precious people in your life that deserve to share these moments with you, then that’s great! But even if you haven’t, that’s okay, too! Good friends are like a pair of jeans. If you’ve found the perfect fit, you’ll wear them forever. But if you haven’t, they will eventually come to you after some more searching. So, don’t give up and always remember to surround yourself with the right people.
1. Cohen, Jennifer. “Surrounding Yourself With The Right People Changes Everything.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 21 May 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2018/12/04/surrounding-yourself-with-the-right-people-changes-everything/?sh=2d320d037d09.