I’ve known my parents for 41 years now.
I’ve known my brother for 37 years.
I’ve known my boss for 9 1/2 years.
I’ve known my husband for 5 years.
These collectively are my most important relationships (ranked by time) and the most important thing about maintaining them has been communication.
Recently, this has been first and foremost in my mind because of a variety of issues and when I boil them all down, they all come back to communication. The issues and disagreements I’ve had recently with friends and family may have been preventable with better communication and less attempts to “control” on my part. My attempts to control led to getting stressed out with worry, which let to lashing out (in my own way).
Communication has also been important with my dad’s illness. Keeping in touch on the surface just so I know what’s going on, but also communicating the important part he has played in my life. He’s not going anywhere soon, but it’s never to soon to say “I love you” again.
My brother posted an alarming status on Facebook so I had to get in touch with him and get the details. Had I kept in touch more previously, I probably would have been less alarmed.
Talk to the people who are important to you. It doesn’t have to be a 7 page hand-written letter, a simple 2 line email might be enough. Or maybe a heart-felt handmade card is more your style. A trip to visit them after a long absence? or even a 5 minute phone call.
Only you can gauge the size of response needed, but I encourage you to communicate well, and often with anyone who’s important to you.