Minimalism can be a powerful tool in our lives. It can support our mental health, create order in our homes, and make your vacations easier than ever. There’s one more area of your life that could benefit from a more minimalistic approach – your relationships.
When you embrace a minimalist lifestyle, you quickly come to realize that quality trumps quantity. Keeping fewer things in your life encourages you to be more mindful in your choices. Similarly, focusing your time and energy on your closest relationships, instead of spreading it thin across acquaintances and fair-weather friends, will help you prioritize those relationships and truly realize their importance in your life.
Ready to take a more minimalistic approach in your relationships but aren’t sure how to start? Here are a handful of ways you can embrace minimalism within your relationships, starting today!
How to Apply Minimalism to Your Relationships
Cut out the fluff.
Are there people in your life you find absolutely draining? Do you find yourself avoiding a particular friend’s phone calls or struggling to reply to their texts? If so, it may be time to cut those people loose and focus instead on the people who give you energy and propel you forward.
Don’t allow yourself to waste time and energy on people you don’t truly care about. Don’t spend unnecessary effort pleasing people who don’t fulfill you. You’ll find yourself absolutely exhausted, and you won’t have very much to show for it.
Instead, allow your friendships to come easily. Surround yourself with people who drive you toward your goals, encourage you to grow, and bring you joy. If you find yourself constantly blowing off plans with a particular person or struggling to enjoy your time together, it might be a relationship better left behind.
Build bonds that count.
Again, for many, a large part of minimalism involves cutting through the clutter and fluff and narrowing our focus to the important things in life. While there’s certainly a time and place for small talk and carefree banter, you shouldn’t settle for surface-level friendships. Instead, you should focus your time and energy on nourishing the relationships you’ve chosen for yourself.
Aim to connect with friends and family on a deeper, more meaningful level. Stop spending your time together on your cell phone – instead, try having some good old-fashioned conversation in person. Ask some thoughtful questions. Get to know the people you care about, and you’ll find a lot more value in the relationships you keep. You’ll find your friendships are stronger than ever after a little extra effort.
Share experiences – not stuff.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a friend an actual present, especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion or a big achievement. Putting a little thought into the perfect gift when the time is right can be a really meaningful way to show you care. However, as a general rule, it’s best to surround yourself with people who cherish making memories over spending money on physical things.
You’ll have a lot more fun taking trips, trying new activities, and checking out local events together than you will trying to figure out what present your friends would prefer. Spend time outdoors hiking, running, or challenging one another, or bond over shared experiences like volunteering at a local food bank. As a bonus, you’ll be left with lots to talk about long after you’re done.
The thought of embracing minimalism in your relationships might be a pretty big departure from your status quo, but if you give it a try, you might find yourself feeling freer than ever. When you surround yourself exclusively with people who are positive forces in your life, you’ll be happier than ever and able to achieve more than you dreamed possible.
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