In the past couple of months, we’ve had a number of clients describe the deterioration of their relationships with people that they love because of their work stress. For some, it’s with a spouse or partner, others with children, a few with parents, and some with friends.
All described similar themes:
- Work is consuming and highly stressful
- They get home and have nothing left to give
- They are cranky and short-tempered when asked to give
- They don’t enjoy their connections because it feels like one more demand
It’s important to us that you do what you can so that the people you love most don’t become “one more demand” in your life.
We know that it’s the people you love most who add fuel to your life, help you through difficult times, and who make some of the hard edges of life a little softer.
So, what can you do? Here are three small actions you can take that will help you protect these key relationships:
- Pause. We talk a lot about pausing, but truly it’s a game changer. We call it the Fundamental Pause because it’s a business fundamental, but in actuality it’s a life fundamental.
As you’re about to talk with one of your important people, pause and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say or do in alignment with my goals for nourishing this relationship?” Don’t say or do anything until you’re clear that you’re in alignment with your goal to nourish the relationship.
- Name it. Talk with the people you love (when you’re not feeling super stressed) and let them know what’s going on. How much detail you share is up to you, but be sure to tell them you’re under considerable strain and your time and energy is stretched to a point of breaking.
Let them know that they matter to you and that if they feel you’re pulling away or being snarky, you’d like their feedback. Ask them to refer to this conversation so that their feedback is actually something you want vs. something they feel anxious about doing.
- Buffer it. You may find that before you get home what you really need is a few minutes to yourself. Consider giving yourself time after work for a 5 or 10 minute walk, take a slightly longer way home, play a game of solitaire on your phone, or take a quick nap once you get home before you engage. The goal here is to give yourself a buffer when you’re going from one thing to the next.
We want you to be fully connected and nourished by important relationships in your life! Take some time this week to evaluate how well you’re able to get home and be present to those you love. If you aren’t as present as you’d like, implement some of the steps above and as always, let us know how it goes.
Until next week,
Your coaches at Carpenter Smith Consulting
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