The time to improve your relationships might be upon you - whether you like it or not!
If you are in lockdown with others its a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of each other - before someone commits murder! Only joking.
Spending lots of time together can test even the strongest relationship, but it can also strengthen even the weakest if you use the time wisely.
Before you even begin to think about the other person you have in mind for this relationship makeover - or tweak - you need to start with old mate you! Yes! You!
Of course, there is nothing wrong with you. You are the perfect partner/son/parent - aren't you? Are you? Before you approach someone else with the idea of improving your relationship, take some serious time out for some honest self evaluation.
So how did you shape up to your evaluation?
Are you well-adjusted, happy in your skin and ready to share that with those around you? Or did you uncover an issue or two that may make a great relationship difficult? Don't worry if you did - it's great that you have realized and that is the first step in fixing an issue. But DO fix it asap - all your relationships may magically improve.
After you have reflected on yourself, evaluate your role in your relationships. How are you doing as a partner/parent/friend/housemate etc? Would you like to be your offspring/grandparent/whoever?
Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and see how you would measure up. You might find there are some improvements you can make to your attitude or approach that would make a world of difference to your relationship without the other person ever being consulted.
To improve your relationships as a team, different measures will be needed depending on your starting point. If your relationship is in pretty good shape, you will most likely both be on the same page as far as making it even better and that's half the battle. But if things are really bad, the right attitude and a few tweaks could see some vast improvements. Let's tackle the "right attitude" part first:
You need to be willing and open to improving the relationship. This doesn't mean having everything go your way - are you willing to compromise in order to improve your relationship?
Imagine you and the other party are standing on opposite sides of a huge river (and sometimes relationships can feel as though there is a gulf separating us). Neither one of you can build a bridge to the other side alone. Bridges need to be built from both sides and meet somewhere in the middle. No matter how much one of you wants that bridge built - if there's nothing coming from the other side your effort could be futile.
So you need to establish where you both stand - do you both want the relationship to improve? Are you both willing to compromise? This can be tricky territory if you are dealing with an angry teenager...no matter how much they sincerely want the relationship to improve - admitting that fact to themselves can be extremely difficult. Admitting it to you might never happen.
Assuming your relationship in question is with someone who wants the improvement as much as you do, and is willing to compromise, the next step is to communicate - openly, honestly, respectfully. In any relationship, business or personal, you need first to seek to understand the other person - this is where communication is vital. There will be no "meeting in the middle" if you don't understand where the other person is coming from. It wouldn't serve the bridge-building purpose if you started building on your side of the riverbank ten kilometers from where they are building their side, would it?
To understand, you need to listen with your whole attention. Practice active listening to ensure you each feel heard and understood. Working on your communication alone will improve your relationships immeasurably. Communication is everything!