What does it take to be happy?
Happiness means a wide variety of things and circumstances to most of us, but almost invariably there is a relationship involved. We want to share our lives.
Millions of dollars are spent by consumers who do what people do–seek the connection that makes them feel complete. Of course, this extends beyond romance. We also want friends and family in our lives. We want a “tribe” of fellow co-travellers to share our life journey. Our hearts and minds are better for it.
Not surprisingly, unhappiness often accompanies the wrong relationships. They exhaust us, worry us, depress us.
Relationships carry so much weight in our lives. It is important that we develop relationship skills that foster fulfillment. Unfortunately, most of us never really got a quality education on building better relationships. We could all benefit from a relationship primer.
Relationship expert Lena Aburdene Derhally of the Imago Center in Washington D.C. has a few ideas:
- Practice Empathy: Get in the habit of consciously considering how another person may feel. Then simply behave accordingly. Respect and thoughtfulness go a long way. Selfishness and entitlement kill relationships. Intimacy and closeness are built on loving consideration.
- Employ Generosity: Emotional, not financial, generosity is imperative in a relationship. Regularly showing appreciation. Let people in your life know you’re thinking of them. Tell them you care.
- Be Consistent and Reliable: Be there for the people you care about. Let them know your word is true. Follow through matters, “flaky” behavior should be avoided.
- Willingly Compromise and Seek Fairness: Relationships require reciprocity. Balance is important. Takers and users don’t make great partners or friends.
- “Don’t Ask People For Things Only When You Need Something:” Your needs should not be the driving force behind your relationships. Selfishness does not create trust or strong bonds.
- Set firm Boundaries: If your friendship or relationship consistently lacks empathy, emotional generosity, reliability, compromise, or reciprocity draw a line in the relationship sand. Distance or a break up may be in order. Look for happiness elsewhere.
Read the full article here: 6 Ways To Cultivate Better Relationships For More Happiness
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