How To Build A Real Relationship

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Relationships: A Pathway To Happiness

BY NICK LIM-HOWE

How real is your relationship?

How real is your relationship?

One of the clearest findings to emerge from research into happiness is that humans are inherently social creatures. We all need other people in order to thrive. Yet the very thing that brings so much happiness can often also cause us the most distress.

It can be hard to form and maintain meaningful and happy relationships, especially in the age of Facebook and Instagram, but it is possible. Use this acronym to keep your relationships ‘real’.

Realistic

All relationships experience their ups and downs. It’s important to share and work through the disagreements that come our way, as well as our success. Adopting realistic expectations for our relationships by accepting the good with the bad is important to having both happy and real relationships.

Empathetic

Being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and identify what they are feeling is an important part of being in a relationship. It’s hard to do when you’re struggling with your own problems, but it’s important to not only to take the time to listen to our friends/partners/children but to practice empathy while we listen.

Accepting

We often say, “no two people are exactly the same.” Indeed one of the amazing things about being human is that we are all unique individuals. So why do we expect the people around us to share our views and opinions? It can be difficult to manage differences, but it’s helpful to calmly discuss your differences or else agree to disagree.

Loving

It’s important to regularly communicate our love and affection to each other. Sometimes this can be done with a touch, a squeeze, a hug, a kiss or a smile. Other times expressing what we like and love about our relationships can help grow and strengthen them, making them more resilient. Take some time not only to reflect what about the relationships you cherish but also to communicate this to that person.

Maintaining meaningful and positive relationships is crucial to our overall happiness. Real relationships can be testing, but it’s worth putting in the work.

Nick is a dedicated and empathic clinical psychologist who enjoys working collaboratively with kids, teens, adults, families, and couples. He is trained in a variety of evidence-based therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing, Schema Therapy and Positive Coaching, and enjoys helping clients to achieve their goals and find a newfound quality and empowerment in their everyday lives.


 

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