Make your relationships stronger
Bring your best self to the party
When we get off track with our relationships, it can impact how we feel about ourselves and our ability to manage our emotions and interactions with others. This means we don’t always communicate well.
It is important to invest in yourself and in your relationships to make sure you can support one another in times of need. Consider learning some new skills, understand how to better talk to your children or your partner, or build your social network with like-minded people.
Don’t just wait for the other person to start talking. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much difference taking the first small step can make.
It's not just what you say,
it's how you say it
Take some time to have a play with some online tools to get you thinking about what makes you tick. Sometimes we get off track and we need time to take stock and remember who we are as people.
A good exercise is looking at your strengths and those of people around you. Understanding what is important to each person and how they function helps you to better connect.
Check out these useful tools from the comfort of your sofa:
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it
Look at how you communicate and what good communication looks like. It may not come naturally but the more you follow the steps, the easier it gets. There are plenty of resources to help you work on getting this right, whether this is to your partner, friends or family.
Useful tips to get you started:
Talking to kids and teenagers is a challenge in itself, but there are a lot of support services out there if you feel like you need some new strategies.
Raising Children Network provides information and advice for parents on communication. More importantly, they provide communication tips specific to different ages of children, from baby to teenage years.
Reachout.com is a great resource for parents of teenagers. Here is the link to some teenage specific communication tools.
Hitting a roadblock - get a third party to help
If you don’t feel like the conversation is going the way you had hoped, then consider getting a third party to help.
Family counselling, couples counselling, and parent counselling all exist to help you navigate these tricky conversations with trained professionals on hand.
Alternatively, consider attending a course to upskill and learn some new strategies to improve your relationships. Whether you choose a topic for personal improvement, communication, or parenting tips, there is something out there that can help you get new insights into your relationships. Getting a new perspective on things can help wipe the slate clean and rebuild your connection with those around you.
Anglicare WA offer a range of counselling and education services to assist with conflict, separation and supporting children so they don't get caught in the middle.
Relationships Australia also offer counselling services at a range of locations across WA. You can browse their catalogue of courses here.
Parenting Connection WA also provides child and parenting courses - find a group session here.
Payment for these services is often on a sliding scale depending on household income. There is no need for a referral – you can just call to make an appointment. Most branches offer evening and weekend appointments so you can fit it into your schedule without taking time out of work.
There is always someone you can talk to
If your relationship challenges move beyond disagreements and you are experiencing family and domestic violence or abuse, contact 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.
Trained counsellors will be able to provide you with confidential advice for how to stay safe.
If your relationship difficulties are linked to financial worries, contact the
National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to connect with a financial counsellor and
get tips for getting back on track.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about feeling overwhelmed or stressed
but worry about feeling judged then you contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 any time
of the day or night or Beyond Blue on 1800 512 348 and talk anonymously to
someone who can listen. Use your time to talk about whatever is important for you.
This is a conversation on your terms.