In the era of Netflix & Chill complacency is responsible for the death of joy in more situations than we even realise. Although it may seem that complacency only matters in (romantic) relationships it’s not the case. Relationships, friendships, and professional partnerships all thrive via connection and flounder with negligence. The ease of accessibility that technology provides might grant us ease of connection but it also perpetuates complacency. It might make staying in touch easy but it can also facilitate a surface level connection that lacks the depth of being present and engaged.
In relationships, complacency is challenging to diagnose as it blurs shapelessly into other frustrations. Complacency can stem from any combination of comfort, monotony, companionship and routine, yet these are all hallmarks of the intimacy that we so deeply crave. Confusing huh?
So, how do you keep complacency from murdering the connection in your relationships?
Celebrate everything (even the small things) and C’est La Vie – This should be included in the manual to life, if ever there was such an illustrious document. Celebrating makes us all happy, (especially when it includes champagne) and even more so when we can share this celebration with another person to whom it means something. There’s plenty of celebratory occasions in life; friendship anniversaries, days ending in Y, housewarmings, farewells, summer, end of fitness challenges and personal achievements so make sure use them wisely; as a chance to (re)connect.
Plan – Plans are important because they require thoughtfulness and consideration. To be thoughtful is, in my opinion one of the easiest ways to make another person feel special. Thoughtfulness does not need to be masqueraded in grandeur it just means you have actually put some thought into your actions BEFORE the time comes to execute. Planning (even a few days ahead) makes all the details fall into place and gives you the chance to actually focus on being present and engaged.
Get on the same page as each other – This is made easier through shared goals, common dates of achievement or celebrations that you can look forward to together. For a couple building a future it’s ideal to have the same general (long term) outlook so that you’re both working towards some shared goals. Shared goals means shared successes and celebrations (see point 1) and striving towards a goal together can strengthen your connection and appreciation of one another’s skill set and personality attributes. You’ll also learn to work well as a team.
Plan a trip or try something new – Learning a new skill with someone has the capacity to bring you closer through shared memories and can reignite your interest in one another. It also sparks new personal jokes and potential for adventures. Think about learning a language, trying a new sport, yoga, floristry, pottery, styling, cheese making, or dancing. Even if you suck you'll have fun together.
Reinstate dates – Whether you’re in a long term friendship or long term relationship asking someone on a date and showing that you’re willing to make the effort to plan something (see point 2) can reignite a spark of excitement that reminds you of all the positive attributes of your relationship and your friend or partner. A purposely (and thoughtfully) crafted date is the shortcut to making someone feel special and loved, and to reconnect if you’ve had less of a chance to spend quality time together recently. It doesn’t need to be a regular occurrence (if that’s not possible) but bridging the gap of time that life forces upon us is important to maintain any relationship.
Sense of satisfaction – making an effort for a treasured relationship or friendship should always bring you a sense of joy, or satisfaction. This happiness is reciprocal and will help to strengthen the relationship both now and in the future.
Complacency sucks, kill it or it will kill you.