I recently read an online article: Lasting Relationships… and what it revealed/reminded me of seemed very sound. The author discusses some of the clinical research completed with couples of all ages, and concludes that what leads to long term, healthy relationships is kindness and generosity. What got me thinking, though, was the latter half of the article where a 2006 study breaks down responses of adult couples when their partner receives good news:
“In general, couples responded to each other’s good news in four different ways that they called: passive destructive, active destructive, passive constructive, and active constructive.”
Only one of those four responses continues to promote positive momentum. “Active Constructive” responses are key to maintaining a relationship, otherwise you’ll be sullied in neutral, negative, and/or destructive behaviors.
Consider this approach with any relationship you have. The relationships we often bring to mind include the ones you have with your spouse, a family member, or even a close friend. How do you react to each other’s news? Do you promptly promote and bolster that individual, showing support, or are you quick to respond with something less substantial?
What is forgotten, though, is the most simple relationship: the one you have with yourself. Do you constantly beat up yourself over misgivings, or do you take a more positive approach to even the small “wins” in your life? Can you accept good things in your life without over analyzing them, looking for something to eventually fail? As noted in the first half of the article, constant cynicism creates stress in our lives, impacting our nervous system, which can prohibit us from healing not just our body, but our mind and spirit.
So the next time something good happens in your life or another’s, bring some awareness to the reactions, and ask yourself if this is healthy for you. Routine awareness will help to make wiser decisions, and hopefully guide you towards more fruitful habits.