About Relationships in 2024

Howdy folks! 😊

Happy New Year and welcome to day 2 of 2024! I actually meant to post this yesterday, but an extended power outage in my area would not let me be great. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Nonetheless, it’s still early enough, and the year is still new, so I will go ahead and post this 😊.

The week leading up to the ‘New Year’ is always interesting as people tend to be more reflective in anticipation of what is to come. Hopes, dreams, plans, goals, etc etc. And scrolling through my social media timelines, I couldn’t help but notice the many posts talking about what folks were leaving behind in 2023. And even more pronounced, were the posts about ‘Who’ too was being left behind. 🙈 ‘Toxic people’, ‘enemies of progress’, ‘Fake friends’, ‘Users and abusers’ and so on and so forth.

I always get the impression that the authors of these posts usually have one intended target in mind already, and the hope is that that person would read the post, and be duly notified via social media, without a word being exchanged. 🤭

I certainly agree with the concept of reviewing our relationships, like every other area of our lives, and making adjustments, including pruning off the branches that do not bear the desired fruit. However, I wish that same deliberateness we apply to ‘cutting people off’ could be applied to who we bring in, and who we keep on board.

Relationships are not just critical to our daily, mental and social wellbeing, but they are also key to many of our outcomes in life.

Many of our successes can be attributed to great relationships, both romantic – and otherwise. A great relationship with your boss or employer for example can make the difference between promotion and stagnation. A great relationship between friends can mean a lifetime of fun, emotional support and encouragement when needed. A great relationship with family members can mean unconditional love and a strong foundation upon which one can thrive, and so on and so forth.

But I am also cognisant of the reverse side of this, that relationships can also be a source of great pain and anguish. Which is usually why folks cut people off in the first place. This coupled with the lack of reciprocity. When givers are unequally yoked with receivers.

It is only normal to get tired of sowing endlessly, and making all the sacrifices, and doing all the heavy lifting in a relationship, and reaping no harvest.

When this happens for a season, (for one reason or the other), it is easy to extend the necessary grace in that situation. But when it is an actual, permanent character trait, then the ‘cutting-off’ may eventually prove necessary. This may or may not necessarily involve literally, cutting someone off, but it will certainly mean these individuals are no longer your go-to people, occupying the innermost chambers of your heart. 💙

If this shoe happens to fit you, and YOU ARE one of these unsavoury people, here’s a suggested New Year’s resolution for you. Please stop being this person. Stop being a user 🫢. Stop being selfish, and a taker or receiver only. The person that calls only when you want something, or when its in your best interest. Please stop being there only when it’s convenient for you. And start loving people genuinely, and going above, and beyond.

Great relationships take work, they take sacrifice and they take deliberate investment. Reciprocate the love and investment of others in you. And start being a great friend, sibling, etc, etc

That is a personal determination I have made this year. And I hope it will be yours too. 😊

Because of the small matter of reciprocity and value, Are there some relationships I will be scaling back on? Absolutely. But I am more focused and determined to nurture the ones that I am taking with me into the year, and beyond. And being fully present in those. ✊🏽

If you’ve read all this and are wondering how to determine the keepers in the front row, versus the ones who should hang out in your back office, here’s a few characteristics to consider, and why :

1. Individuals who have Integrity

These are people who have a strong moral compass. People who live by clearly defined principles, and their ‘walk and talk’ are consistent. It is clear where, and what they stand for, and you can rely on their word. This is important because, believe it or not, who we spend time with influences who we become over the entire course of our lifetime. And not just in our teenage years. Because integrity, or the lack thereof, does rub off.

2. Individuals who are Honest and Trustworthy

An honest person speaks from the heart, with good intentions. They will tell you the truth, even when that truth is difficult for you to hear, because it is in your best interest. They speak the truth in love. Individuals who are trustworthy have earned your trust, such that you can be vulnerable with them without worry that your confidence will be betrayed.

3. Individuals who are Loyal and Dependable 

These are people that try their best to show up, keep promises, and do what they say they’ll do, when required. You know they will pick up the phone when you call. They will show up for the wedding or the funeral. They may occasionally be late, but they will show up. A loyal friend sticks by you through your highs and lows, they will listen to your story and give you the benefit of the doubt. They will defend you when you’re not present, and also when you deserve it.

4. Individuals who are Secure and Supportive

These are people who are self assured and confident in themselves and their abilities, and have embraced their unique position and journey in the world. They are not in competition with anyone, especially not you. And because they view the world through this lens, they are never threatened by the success of others, but support it instead. If anything, they will push you towards your goals and hold you accountable to meeting them. Individuals who can support you in the bad times, and celebrate you in the good (without experiencing envy or bitterness), are definitely keepers.

5. Individuals who are Generous and show Empathy.

Generosity is often associated with money or material possessions, and it is my personal belief that capacity-allowing, these are generously exchanged in healthy relationships. However, I believe this also extends to non-material things. Like time, help, forgiveness. Yes, we do disappoint and offend sometimes, and what a relief when we can be forgiven. Another area is Empathy. The ability to recognize and understand what is going on with a friend, anticipate how they are feeling, and responding accordingly. People who embody and show empathy are such a gift.

6. Individuals who are Positive and have a Sense of humor

I truly do enjoy a good, hearty laugh and I will be the first to say people who are positive and have a sense of humor are better company than those who walk around with a dark cloud hanging over their head. Positive people handle challenges in proactive ways, and help you keep negative experiences in perspective. A sense of humor also helps us deal with the curveballs that life throws us, and keeps us from taking life too seriously. And maybe even falling into depression 🤦🏽‍♀️. They lift our spirits. And it really is just more fun to laugh! 😂

I truly hope you have people that embody these characteristics in your life. But if you don’t, then pause and ask God for them, so that you don’t go another year missing out on the huge blessing that having genuine, authentic relationships in your life, truly is. Your life will be so much richer.

If you do have them, however, don’t take them for granted. In fact, as I was writing this, names and faces of people in my life were coming to mind.

Because these people are few and far between, genuinely appreciate them, and reciprocate their efforts, (before they give up🙈).

As you focus on your finances, your career, your building projects and everything else you want to do and achieve in 2024, be deliberate about making room and cultivating your relationships, in every area of your life. Make it a priority and see the rewards you will reap.

I agreed with John Maxwell when he said, ‘Everything rises and falls on Leadership.’ And to that, I added my own lesson in a broader context, which is ‘Everything rises and falls on Relationships.’

Alone, we can go faster. But together, we can go much further.

What will you be doing differently this year, and what other characteristics would you add to the list?

Would love to hear from you. Feel free to write or comment…


Lubaya ❤️


  1. This is truly insightful and exactly what I needed to clarify my intentions & goals for this year. Relationships are truly hard work but the reward is beautiful when both parties in the said relationship are equally yoked. I believe strong relationships are the foundation of all that is (& can be) good in this world.
    Thankyou for sharing this! ♥️

    • Thanks for the feedback,Julianne. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. May we indeed make better relationship decisions in 2024.

  2. One of my resolutions for 2023 was to be a better friend, sister, and mother. I’m carrying this resolution into 2024 because I want the people I care about to feel loved and appreciated by me. This lovely write up is a timely reminder that we need to constantly audit the quality of our own input into the lives of the people around us, especially those we love and care for pantu sometimes the ‘fake friend’ is the one in the mirror………….

    • Thanks for the feedback, Sonile . And I’m glad you have been on this path already. Meaning there’s people already in your life benefitting from your awareness. We really do need to look in the mirror more. I agree 100% #FakeFriends ‍♀️

  3. Thank you Lubaya very insightful article and happy New Year to you.

  4. Thanks for sharing Lubz, this is very insightful and certainly so many points for reflection right there. This perfectly resonates with my experiences in the past year and how relationships played a big role in sustaining my spiritual and physical wellbeing. I constantly ask myself what would have become of me if I didn’t have the support from my family and my close friends? It is when you have certain experiences that you realise the importance of building good relationships that will hold your hands both in the highs and lows. Like you, I think I’ll make it a point to value the good relationships I have and also work towards building others. Also, I’ll do my best to be of value to the current and relationships.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Nandi. Indeed this is an area that we must be deliberate about. The journey of life is long and so much happens along the way. We must never take for granted the ones that make a difference for us and truly strive also be the same for them. We are indeed stronger together

After reading to the end...what do you think? :-)