Social media was invented with the intention of bringing people closer (and making lots of cash, of course. Nothing wrong with that either). But we are all only human and like most people you are probably addicted to social media.
This addiction leaves you unprepared to form meaningful relationships with others in the real world. Your mental health suffers if you feel lonely over a long time, so it´s in your best interest to learn how to improve your personal relationships.
A relationship does not have to be romantic. This post can also help you to build better relationships with your friends, family and colleagues.
The kind of relationship you have with one another is roughly determined by how close you are – both mentally and physically.
The physical aspect is easy. If you feel comfortable sharing a bed with another person you are probably very close. Eating lunch together is less intimate, but still very close. Watching TV together is further down the scale. Working at the same company is even less close. You get the picture.
The physical proximity is a good indicator of how close you are with another person. Please keep in mind that everyone´s personal space is different. You may be fine with sharing a bed with your best friend, but maybe your best friend prefers to sleep alone.
That´s why proximity alone is not the only indicator you should use when measuring the quality of your relationship.
Here´s where the mental aspect of the relationship comes in.
Just because you eat dinner with someone else doesn´t mean you two are very close. Ask yourself how often and how long do you WANT to spend time with the other person.
If you would love to spend several hours every other day with someone, chances are you two have a great relationship. If you would rather watch your favorite show or do laundry than spending time with that person, you two are not as close.
The quality of your time spent together is important as well. If you make the effort to meet the other person, you should put away your phone, mute the TV and actually talk to each other. Accidentally being at the same place at the same time, but not interacting with each other does not count in terms of Frequency/Duration mentioned above.
If you love (or cry) a lot together your relationship will be better than if you just sit next to each other reading or watching TV. Everything that sparks strong emotions is great and leads to interesting conversations.
Listen closely and you will feel closer to the other person afterwards, effectively improving your relationship with them.
So, if you want to improve your relationships, increase how close you are to another person physically and mentally. Talk more often about emotional topics, hug frequently and spend quality time together.
Do this enough and you will find yourself surrounded by close friends in a relatively short amount of time.
Changing lifestyles in your group of friends often lead to decreasing time spend together or to less emotional conversations and therefore less physical intimacy. That´s why friendships may end at one point.
Relationships will naturally progress over time. You will develop more intimacy and more emotional bonds that will strengthen your relationship; or you will have less of the traits that make a great relationship and eventually continue on different paths.