How to Create Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Relationships
Sometimes the people you love the most can also hurt you the most. Why? Because you love them! We want to trust the people closest to us with our most vulnerable aspects of self. Friends, lovers, siblings, relatives, and even parents or your own children. We can’t imagine being rejected by them, or worse! – Us rejecting them.
But if you find that someone in your inner circle continues to say things that put you down, or you feel bad more often than you feel good around them, that the happiness is being sucked out of you in their presence, it’s time to consider what’s best for you.
• Know you have a choice. The great thing with friends is that you can choose them. If your friends put you down more often than lift you up, it will make you miserable. You can change this by letting them know. They may not realize that the things they are doing are making you feel so bad. If they stop, great! If not, then you have a choice to make. I hope you choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.
• Speak up. It’s a bit harder with family, probably because of cultural rules around family loyalty. Allow yourself to put these rules aside for a while, and dream into what you would do with ______ if he or she were an acquaintance. You can love from a distance, choosing to spend less time and energy on the plight of that loved one. Again, I hope you would choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.
If you dread being around someone you’re close to in your family because of the hurtful things they say, try talking to them and telling them how you feel. If the response isn’t what you were hoping and they aren’t willing to change, then accept this and keep your distance. It doesn’t mean you never speak to them again, it just means you have to put yourself first. You need to choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow. Instead of seeing them so regularly just because they’re family, you can choose to see them as much as you can manage. It’s ok to do this.
My father was such a relative. Whenever I was around him, he would inevitably blow up at me, tell me off, and leave me devastated. I stopped visiting him; I made sure that we were never alone together (He was nicer around strangers); yet, when he was dying, I could still show compassion.
• Let go of the fear. Fear will come up when making these changes. You care for these people so worrying what they will think or if you will hurt them is natural. There will be uncomfortable feelings in the beginning, but it’ll pass. The person will eventually accept your choice. Remind yourself that you are doing what’s best for you and that you have a right to choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow. Take small steps.
• Be open to new relationships. We worry that we won’t find fulfilling relationships, so we stay stuck in unhealthy ones. I was one of these people. As I gained the strength to change – I chose to surround myself with people who inspired me to grow. I learned that healthy relationships do exist. You have a choice. This is your precious life. Don’t waste it with who people who bring you down. You deserve the best. Take a small step today by spending more time with the people who believe in you and appreciate you. Keep taking small steps and eventually you’ll be surrounded with great people who make you feel that you, too, can become great.
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