How to Have Intentional Relationships

May 20, 2014 by



My friend, Sheila, was telling me about growing up in England. She was the daughter of a coal miner and lived in a small village. One of the cultural traditions of the time was to always have cake in the house. In our calorie-conscious society today that sounds horrible. Many hours of time in the gym would be the only way to countermand the “cake-effect.” But there was a very particular reason for having cake in the house.

You see, those were the days when family and friends would pop over for a visit — uninvited and unannounced. There weren’t text messages to see if you were free. People would just show up to have a chat. And you, as the host, would provide tea and cake. What a beautiful gesture of hospitality, and community.

There are times I long for a simpler day where we could drop everything for tea and cake and a pleasant conversation. Today is a new time. And we have to work in different ways to be sure we make connections with the people in our circle.

How do we get past the bustle of our 21st century lives and build relationships?

Be Purposeful:

Our time is filled with so many distractions, but we must take the time to pour into our relationships. (Pun absolutely intended.) There is nothing more important to do. People are the foundation to a purposeful life. Our homes, our jobs, our things could all be gone tomorrow. But the people we connect with will continue on if not in person, then in our hearts and the impact they have had on our lives. We must prioritize our time to include those special people.

two men drinking teaBe Creative:

So we may not have the time or inclination for tea and cake, but there are a hundred other ways to connect with people.  We just have to get creative – think outside the box – and use what opportunities are available to us today to stay connected.

  • Phone
  • Text
  • Social media
  • Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout
  • Go out for coffee or tea (You could include cake here.)
  • Invite a couple/family over for pizza once a month. ($5 pizzas are the best.)
  • Invite a few couples over for a potluck dinner. So much fun to see what people bring to pool together. Remember, it’s not about the food or how immaculately decorated or clean your house is. It’s about the connection.
  • Join a club to regularly meet with others.
  • Take longer to close the garage door and get the mail so you have time to have a conversation with your neighbors.
  • Have a neighborhood block party.

Your life right now may not have time for tea and cake, but you do have time for people. Work as hard in connecting with them as you do in advancing in your job. The rewards are ten times greater when you invest in relationships.

What other creative ways do you connect with people?

Who do you need to be in touch with this week? Make it a priority!





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