Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The joy of relationships

You are 12 times more likely to feel happy, rather than stressed, on days when you spend six to seven hours a day with family and friends. That's according to a Gallup poll, which also learned that you're happier on weekends. That one is no surprise—and no doubt, there's a connection since it's on weekends that you likely spend more time with family and friends.

So, how are your relationships faring? Are they what you want them to be? If not, do you want to do something to change that?

It can be helpful to reflect on your part of the relationship "dance." Relationships really are a sort of dance. Over time, each partner (whether it's a marriage, a friendship or a coworker relationship) knows her own part in the dance—and can likely predict with pretty good accuracy how the other person will respond. In a marriage, for example, one may be the pursuer—the one who always tries to solve problems and deal with the conflict, the one who tends the fires of the relationship. When pursued, the other then runs away, either physically or emotionally. That, of course, makes the pursuer do his thing even more frantically. There are other dances, of course. But it might be helpful to examine what yours are in the various relationships of your life—at least, if you want something to change.

In all cases, when you want a relationship to be better, ask whether there's something you can do to change it to something more life-giving and nurturing. Take action—and add more happiness and joy to your life and the lives of others.

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