Placing energy on relationships - both friendships and primary relationships - is an investment. Worldwide studies over several decades reveal that the quality of our relationships is one of the most reliable predictors of our overall well-being.
The grass isn’t greener on the “other side.” It’s greener where you water it.
Unless it’s a revelation for you that “communication is the key” to relationships of any kind, it’s not useful without context on how to communicate in a healthy way.
Here are details on just a few things I’ve learned from my personal communication failures:
- Fear of consequences or aversion to uncomfortable conversations has led to worse consequences than the discomfort I thought I was protecting (one of my most glaring deficiencies).
- Body language, tone, and attitude (HOW you say what you say) are as important as the message itself (WHAT you say).
- A conversation at a time when one or both parties are not the best versions of themselves could be the difference between understanding/growth and a relationship-damaging outcome
- l must be able to articulate your argument or feelings in a way that makes you feel heard. If I don’t, you’re not ready to hear what I have to say. The reverse is also true.
We are wired for safety, not success or happiness. Our lizard brains know that we must protect our “selves” (bodies) from harm. Our loved ones may, with the best intentions, persuade us to stick with safe paths to stick with what seems to be tested and safe.
Fortunately, we’ve evolved enough to be conscious of how we optimize our lives. We can choose to optimize to get the most from every investment, the most important of which are time and attention.
It’s a nebulous word, so it’s harder than it seems to know what would make you “happy truly.” One hack to help you determine this is to explore the percentage of your time you spend doing things out of obligation rather than desire or excitement. Desire and excitement are more useful proxies for “happy.”