What if the best thing you could do for your relationships is actually to look outward? In a world swamped by self-help and self-analysis, it can be easy to get so focused inward that we don’t reach beyond ourselves to make a difference. It might be surprising to hear, but helping others is actually a huge way to create a deeper connection with the people you care about! If that’s not a win-win, we don’t know what is.
Helping Others: Different Ways to Give Back
At The Adventure Challenge, we’re all about helping people have deeper relationships, so we’ve put together some ideas for ways your connection with your nearest and dearest can be boosted through, you guessed it, helping others. We’ve focused mainly on how helping others can benefit your romantic relationship, but the truth is that you could do any one of these with some friends or with your family and the effect will be the same!
Invest in People Together
Investing in individuals is a huge way to grow closer as a couple. Think back over your own life. There have probably been a few key moments with some crucial people who gave you the help you needed, right on time. Maybe it was a teacher who gave you some extra encouragement, an older couple whose wisdom got you out of a tangle in your own relationship, or someone who invited you for dinner when you’d just moved to a new city. Could you be that person for someone else?
Who could you and your partner invest in together? You could invite a newcomer to your house, take a younger person under your wing to mentor, or host a youth group activity. There are so many ways of helping others that you two can do! By choosing to care about someone outside of your normal orbit of friends and family, you and your partner are not only connecting in a fresh way, you are also creating a legacy together, and that draws you even closer.
Volunteer as a Team
Is there a cause you both believe in? Sign up to volunteer! Helping others to achieve big dreams is a great way to partner up with your loved ones. Start by volunteering together at a big one-off event: if you enjoy yourselves, consider finding somewhere to volunteer as a standing commitment.
When you volunteer with a loved one, you are creating a little patch of the world that you share. You’ll make new friends and have new experiences together, forming memories that weave you even closer, and see new sides of one another. Volunteering is different from the total focus on fun that you’d get on a date, or the purely self-absorbed hum-drum of daily life. You’ll see new sides of your loved ones, and you’ll grow and be challenged together.
If you’re looking for a way for your whole family to start helping others, volunteering as a group is a great way to make some amazing family memories and teach your kids crucial lessons about giving back and helping others. We couldn’t recommend it more!
Pursue Your Passions
You don’t have to be helping others shoulder-to-shoulder with your loved ones in order for it to boost your relationships. Even investing in your own passion to make a difference, without any involvement from anyone else, will help you to have more satisfying connections!
Studies have shown that serving others decreases stress and generates an overall feeling of positivity and calm, while helping others also creates a feeling of purpose and fulfillment in the lives of those who choose to give back to the people around them. The satisfaction of creating a real change in someone else’s life, big or small, will create a healthier, happier you! And when you are living out of a sense of purpose and joy, those qualities inevitably affect the loved ones in your life.
Create Goals to Give Back
Working towards a goal with another person, or a team of people, is a fabulous way to feel connected to them. So, agree on a set of goals or challenges for helping others that you are going to take on together! This could be as serious and significant as a certain amount or proportion of your income that you are going to donate to charity, or it could be as lighthearted as a competition to see who commits the most random acts of kindness each day.
Another fun goal for helping others is to come up with ways to fundraise for a cause you both care about! This could end up with you doing all kinds of challenges to meet your goal, from running a marathon (or, you know, maybe just a 5k) to selling tickets to a home-cooked, three-course dinner. Get creative and build fun into your fundraising, and when you hit your target, be sure to celebrate in style!
Dream about a Better World
The very act of helping others is a way to express the kind of world you want to live in. From hospitality to activism, and everything in between, any kind of selfless act is an expression of an inner ideal. What could the world look like?
Everyone has these dreams and desires for things to be different, even if they don’t realize it. So, if you really want to get to know the heart of a person, start to ask them about what they’d love to see change. What does a better world look like to them? How could you start helping others towards this better world? As you start to dream and brainstorm together, you will find yourselves not only knowing one another more than you did, but also getting excited for what you could achieve side-by-side.
Final Thoughts on Helping Others
If you’re looking for ways to unite your family, have fun with your friends, or go deeper with your partner, we hope you’ll consider helping others as a great way to do any of these wonderful things. Helping others is valuable for its own sake, but if it also brings you closer with the people you love, who’s complaining?
For more ideas about how to invest in your relationships, check out our blog!
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