“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.” ~Unknown In the past, whenever I heard someone say that relationships take effort, I assumed it was a person who wasn’t in a happy one. When it’s right, it shouldn’t feel like work; it should be effortless—or so I thought, ironically, in a time when I had few relationships. What I didn’t realize then is that things change over time—we change over time—and that we need to choose each day to see the people we love with new eyes. I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years now, and although my feelings for him have only grown deeper, there are times when I let our familiarity create a wall between us. It’s not conflict, or mistrust, or disappointment—it’s the subtle knowing that he’s always there. If I’m not mindful, I can use that as an excuse to not be there with him. To be physically present, but not really—not aware and connected. When the newness is gone and you’re part of each other’s routine, especially if you live together, it’s easy to shift the dynamic from fun, excitement, and spontaneity to habit, necessity, and responsibility. But it’s not just a matter of taking each other for granted. Sometimes when we’ve gotten comfortable with each other, we forget to focus on everything we appreciate about each other, and fixate instead on the little things that we might find bothersome. It can be instinctive to hone in on the small things that aren’t working instead of realizing just how many big things are. Psychologists suggest that healthy relationships have a five to one ratio of positive to negative interactions. I suspect the ratio holds true for positive to neutral interactions, as well. In other words: We need to enjoy other more often than we simply share space. We need to make it a priority to be silly, playful, spontaneous, generous, thoughtful, and affectionate. Sometimes we may not fully see the people we love because we’re too caught up in our own worries. Other times, it might be because we’re too comfortable to fully appreciate what comfort means. Either way, we can make a little time to smile with the people we love. It might take effort to come into the moment, but once we let ourselves enjoy each other, it rarely feels like work. https://tinybuddha.com This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.
“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. The world turns out to be more competitive than one can ever imagine. People will do anything to ensure that they emerge at the top. Some people will even go as far as sabotaging and threatening others in pursuit of self-improvement. These people are toxic, and they are never happy with one’s success despite their close relationship to the person. They may include family, friends, or mates; and they may express their dissatisfaction differently. The most important thing is how to identify them and manage them for the sake of your success and happiness. First, we have to recognize toxic people in our lives. We should avoid most of the people who have undesirable traits or are unpleasant. For example, a manipulative boyfriend or girlfriend who compromises with your plans so that you can attend his or hers. These kinds of people would use different means to make up for their desperation. Secondly, such people lack respect for boundaries. They would do anything that pleases them, even when it hurts you. True friendship is a two-way process. Friends that take from you and never give back when you are in need are toxic, and you should avoid them. Thirdly, toxic people pretend to know everything. They present as a friend who thinks they are right about everything. They never acknowledge their mistakes and would even lie to get out of trouble. These people like to be viewed as victims of any problem and provide excuses and blame others for their failures. Lastly, toxic people are lazy and lack a sense of responsibility. They are, therefore, unreliable. One should devise ways to handle such people. I truly believe it is best to tell your toxic friends and family the truth. First, you should approach them kindly and tell them that you do not need them in your life anymore. I would prefer you not to debate with that person on the subject and suggest that you keep the conversation simple. I also suggest that you do it in a public place where their chance of raging and exposing anger are minimal. Secondly, I propose that you cut contacts with them, which includes blocking them on social media and direct lines. This breaks any chances of them insulting or trying to reconnect with you. Thirdly, I propose that you do not in any instance argue with the toxic person after breaking up with him/her. Toxic people are more likely to be violent, and in case of an argument, you might fall into being a victim of toxicity. I prefer that you restate your boundaries and explain nothing less. Otherwise, you could push them away and ignore them whenever they call for negotiation. Lastly, you can write a letter to the person and express all your emotions and feelings about the relationship. The good thing about a note is that [...]
Although you can’t choose your family, you CAN choose your friends. In many ways your friends are your CHOSEN family, so with friendships it should be about quality and not quantity. While positive quality friendships can contribute to your emotional well-being, negative, draining relationships can hurt your emotional health. Your time is precious. Share it with those who make you happy and contribute positively to your life and lift your spirits. With one son in college and another who’s driving now and no longer needs Mom to drop him off at a party or take him to the game, I have more time for my friends and even the opportunity to make some new ones. Although the idea of new friendships can be exciting, the unfortunate reality is, not everyone is genuine and honest. So whether you’re reconnecting with old friends or making new ones, it’s important to be selective. Here are the signs of having (and being) a good friend: *Makes time to be truly PRESENT: A great friend is truly PRESENT. They listen with empathy when you are communicating and aren’t distracted and checking their phone while you’re talking. They ask follow-up questions which show that they were really listening. If they think your concerns are much ado about nothing, then they should express that. But they should be engaged, and not waiting to change the topic of conversation to focus on them. *Accepts you UNCONDITIONALly: Good friends have love for who you really are. A great friend doesn't only share what's great in his or her life, but is also willing to share their struggles. You never have to put on a brave face for them because they accept you unconditionally. If things aren’t going well, your relationship doesn’t change. If your professional, financial or relationship status changes – to be more ideal or troubled - your friendship should not. *Support each other’s SUCCESS: A great friend should be one of your best cheerleaders. A true friend gets excited - not jealous - when something good happens. If your friend gets a job promotion, take her out to celebrate. Take genuine pleasure in your friend’s successes, even if you aren’t at the place where you want to be in life. And they should do the same for you. *Is positive and ENTHUSIASTIC: No one wants an invitation to a pity party. Positive people are attractive because their enthusiasm is contagious, and you always have more fun when they’re around. They encourage you to be the best you can be. Even if they’re not hating on you, you don’t want someone who basks in the negative. *They're honest, but SUPPORTIVE: Friends are one of the very best sources of information about yourself because they know you so well. They find ways to be honest and supportive during difficult times without being too negative or harsh. Only a good friend can tell you when it’s time for a new hairdo or to do away [...]