Posts tagged ‘loneliness’

February 14, 2013

Show Gratitude For Your Relationships

by Dave P.

LaughingCoupleOur relationships are what make us happy. People who have good, healthy, close, personal relationships are generally happy people. Have you ever met a lonely person who was happy? I don’t think one exists. When you’re lonely, you’re in pain. When you have people in your life you can count on and who provide unconditional love, you feel like you can do anything. Or you’re willing to at least try to accomplish great things.

We can enhance our existing relationships simply by showing gratitude. Focus on the good aspects of the people in your life and discount the negative. Of course, if you’re in an abusive relationship, get the hell away from that person. When we first start dating someone or become friends, we see that person through rose colored glasses. We filter out the bad and show appreciation for the good. But over time, we start taking people for granted. We go through tough times, have fights, and develop a past — sometimes negative and hurtful.

We can be happier by living in the present. We can learn from the past and plan for the future, but our well being depends on our ability to live in the present. That especially applies to our relationships. If you continuously bring up the negative and complain about things that aren’t so perfect, you’re not going to be happy and the person you’re complaining to isn’t going to be happy. Find common interests. Have fun together. Remember why the two of you got together in the first place.

There is a common misconception that healthy relationships are about compromise. While compromise is necessary in politics, it’s not so good in relationships because when you compromise, nobody really wins. Have you ever compromised on a movie? One person wants to see an action-adventure while the other wants to see a romantic comedy, so you settle on a mediocre movie that has both?

Healthy relationships depend on taking turns getting what you want. If you’re lucky, you both want the same things. This time, watch what your wife wants to watch. Enjoy it, simply because she enjoys it. Doing so demonstrates that she is important in your life and that you want her to be happy. Next time, she should watch what you want to watch. Take turns getting your way. That is how everyone wins.

So on this Valentine’s day, show gratitude for the people in your life. Let them know that they are important to you. Have fun together. Let the other person win.

January 20, 2012

Happiness Workshop: Relationships

by Dave P.

Our next workshop will be on February 11th, 2012. This time we’ll continue with positive psychology theories on relationships.

Humans have an inherent need to love and be loved; it’s something that aided us in survival as a species. Those of us who suffer from social anxiety often have difficulties forming and maintaining personal relationships, which results in loneliness, more anxiety, and sometimes depression.

We talked a little about the importance of social support networks in our stress management workshop. For this workshop, we’ll be working from the research conducted mainly by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. She explains several methods for acquiring and maintaining healthy relationships in her book The How of Happiness.

You’ll also have the opportunity to engage in some CBT exercises such as introducing yourself to the group and participating in the discussions. Participation is always voluntary in our groups; you’re never under any pressure to say or do anything. But you will get more out of the group if you do participate. Exposure therapy is one of the most effective treatments for social anxiety and is usually the behavioral component of CBT.

Also, if anyone ever wants to work on something one-on-one, feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help. I’m available via email, Skype, or we could meet in a restaurant or coffee house.