We all know how difficult entering the adult world can be. As Taylor Swift said, being in your 20’s is all about feeling “miserable and magical” at the same time. The twenties are a time for many things. Coffee dates with friends, irregular sleeping schedules, dating, and nights spent with pals. Sharing clothes and partying and drinking heavily until someone passes out. Of course, your 20s are also a time of significant ups and downs in your romantic and platonic relationships. And, these relationship lessons are like receiving a hug from your mother and an ice cream all at once if you’ve recently had your heart completely broken or lost some friends.
I learned these in 2022 and hopefully, it can help you improve your relationships in 2023:
Self-love is a must.
According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. It means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness.
Self-love can mean having ice cream when you’re feeling down, getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and treating yourself to something like a new pair of shoes as a reward for your hard work. Self-love entails looking after oneself and taking steps to improve and enhance one’s happiness.
Relationships with others benefit immensely from self-love. Regardless of whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, the quality of our relationships will always be influenced by how we treat ourselves.
Self-love motivates us to make healthy choices in life. When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. We must thoroughly understand ourselves in order to know how we desired to be loved and the maximum amount of love we are capable of giving in order to have a successful relationship.
How others treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself.
People treat us the way they believe we should be treated. When we don’t respect or love ourselves, we basically give others permission to do the same. That is why it is important to love ourselves first. Otherwise, you’re not going to have any standards as to how others should treat you.
When you have that unwavering self-love, it is easier to see when others are giving you less than you deserve. Set high standards for yourself and love yourself. Be able to defend oneself, and never put up with mistreatment or disrespect from others. Always keep in mind that your relationship with yourself sets the tone for all of your other relationships.
Set boundaries in a relationship.
Once I was that person who struggled to set healthy boundaries. It was because I came from a household where I was not given the freedom to express myself and say no to anything imposed on me. I became a people pleaser as I grew older, and saying no to other people became challenging for me.
Eventually, I became exhausted by it, and I had to set a boundary to protect myself. At first, I felt guilty and sad for letting others down and for distancing myself from them. But after a while it felt great, my life became more peaceful. I stood firm in my conviction that I must set boundaries in my life, even though it threw a few people off.
You should keep in mind that your personal boundaries matter. These are your standards for how you want to be treated, how you expect to be treated, and what you will and will not accept. They are based on your own needs and desires. It involves knowing your worth, and your priorities, and ensuring that everyone else does as well.
Take nothing personally.
Other people’s actions aren’t about us, so take nothing personally. My 2022 was full of failed relationships. I’ve had my fair share of being fooled and misled. I used to believe that I was to blame, that something was wrong with me, that anything I did or didn’t do must be to blame, and that I wasn’t good enough.
Since then, I’ve come to realize that other people’s actions are not about me; rather, they are about them. I discovered that I am not responsible for the negative behavior of others, it is likely to be a reflection of their own issues. The fact that we are only accountable for our own thoughts, feelings, and actions relieves us from having to waste time and energy cleaning up other people’s problems.
Choose your circle wisely.
Choose your friends wisely. They will either make or break you.J. Willard Marriott
The people we choose to be in our lives will eventually make or break us. Our success or failure is greatly influenced by the kind of people we surround ourselves with. They have a significant impact on how far we get in our lives and in achieving our goals. Our growth and dreams are like seeds, and as such, they require the correct combination of individuals to become reality.
When I was a teenager, I recall how big a deal having lots of friends was. The more you have friends the cooler you are. But as I grow older, I learned that when it comes to friendships, quality matters more than quantity. Counting friends isn’t the point anymore, it is the quality of friendship that matter most. I realized how vital it was for me to be surrounded by good people who share my principles and values and who genuinely care about our friendship.
However, as we age, our personalities evolve and change, and our friends do too. Sometimes in various directions. Therefore, we must come to terms with the fact that certain friendships are destined to fail. Friends come in and out of our lives to teach us something. We should learn to let go of those that drain us or have otherwise had their season. Thank them in our hearts and move on. And let’s love and appreciate the friendship that is reciprocal, true, and dear to us. These are quality friendships to cherish.
Keep working on yourself.
Self-improvement is essential for the health of a relationship because it is essential for the health of the individual. People are not supposed to remain stagnant. We should constantly be gaining knowledge, getting better, and growing. If we remain stagnant, we get bland and bored, making us and our relationships suffer.
Making the most of your time here on earth means developing your values and utilizing your abilities to ensure the well-being of you as well as the people in your life.
A passionate and goal-oriented writer who communicates better in writing than in conversation. She is more of a logical writer and prefers to tell true stories—or at least stories that the reader can relate with. She uses words to unearth the truth, liberate the people with the information, and to promote causes such as mental health, youth empowerment, and LGBTQIA+ rights.