Relationship Inventory — The Practical Side

We are constantly taking inventory of different things in our lives. How much food is in the refrigerator, how many clean outfits we have left to wear before taking a trip to the dry cleaner, how much money is in our bank accounts. But, do we stop often enough to take inventory of the relationships in our lives? 

Authentic, meaningful relationships are one of life’s greatest gifts. So, it makes sense to evaluate our most important life relationships from time-to-time to see if we are progressing towards knowing others and being known in the best and most meaningful kinds of ways.   

All types of relationships should be regularly inventoried—family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  To start, simply make a list of the most important people in your life with whom you interact on a regular basis. Second, next to each person’s name jot down some thoughts as to what is going well in the relationship and what could be better. Third, brainstorm practical things you can do to improve the relationship. 

Here is a concrete example:

Person:  Boss

Pros:  Praises me and seems pleased with me for taking on extra tasks.

Cons:  Usually asks me to take on extra projects at the last minute and then I feel stressed. 

Ideas for Improvement:  Buy boss coffee or lunch. Tell her that I love being able to help out by taking on extra projects and would really appreciate knowing about the projects as soon as possible so that I can do my best work on them.

You may find in doing this exercise that there are some people you want to work harder to forge a healthier relationship with and others you need to distance yourself from for a while for your own mental health. And, you may even realize there is someone you need to end your relationship with because no matter what you try (or have tried) it isn’t working.

In the personal blog on this topic I will give a practical example of a relationship inventory exercise you can do with close friends or family members. Until then, I challenge you to think about the quality of your current relationships and whether or not they are contributing to your mental, emotional and physical health or just creating more stress in your life.

All relationships, even the good ones, require much time, skill and devotion in order to grow and flourish. If you are having a difficult time in any of your relationships a licensed mental health counselor can help you. She has the experience and expertise to help you learn how to foster and maintain the most genuine and rewarding type of relationships possible in all areas of your life.  Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey