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Psychology Today: 5 Proven Steps to Reconnect with Family and Friends

No matter who you are, maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family can be difficult. We tend to fall into reactive and negative interaction patterns, which often lead to disconnect. 

Positive, strong, and healthy relationships take work to maintain. Being analytical about your own and others’ emotions is a proven way to help get the most out of a relationship. Paying attention to, processing, and communicating emotions is key. These skills are certainly not easy to develop, but Emotion Focused Therapy can help one to learn these ever-important skills.

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) encourages individuals to become attuned to their emotions and those of others, and use emotional information to guide behavior and interactions in the context of important relationships. EFT can be useful in repairing relationships and negative patterns that may exist. It aims to help both people regulate emotions and communicate in an effective way.

Here are five steps to help reconnect disconnected relationships.

1. Identify the triggering effect of the other person’s behavior.

Is a friend consistently late to plans? Does your brother talk over you at family gatherings? Every relationship is unique, but when problems arise and reparation is necessary, it’s likely that some kind of negative interaction pattern has set in. Brainstorm and analyze what the other person is doing that is causing a reaction from you.

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