Searching for Happiness

Searching for Happiness – Part 3: Healthy Relationships

Welcome back, and to part three of this new series.

Today I will be talking about healthy relationships. Because basically, I am an expert on those matters.

Kidding.

I am but a normal gal who is trying to find what works. So I wrote out this master list, a nonexpert normal person list about how to have healthy relationships.

I hope you can find some honest and useful takeaways from this post. Cheers!

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  1. Make date night a priority: Even if you can only squeeze it in once a month, it is important to spend quality time with your sweetums. Check out this post for some ideas. 17 Cheap Fall Date Ideas
  2. Share your true feelings: If someone has done something to upset you, hurt you or even make you feel happy and loved, don’t wait for the perfect time to tell them, tell them right away. You may not get another chance.
  3. Spend time with your parents: That’s right. Even if they drive you crazy sometimes, spend time with them doing things that you all enjoy togeather with no expectations.
  4. Say thank you: To everyone! Your friends, co-workers, parents, your spouse, the random person holding the door for you, even say it to yourself.
  5. Get it on: For obvious reasons. Know what I mean?
  6. Let it go: Holding onto pointless crap only further depletes you. I write more about that in Searching for Happiness- The Poison of Resentment.
  7. Call your mom, just because: My mom and I are so different, but every now and again we end up having the longest chats and it is really nice to have that. I think even just calling and asking how your mom’s day went means so much.
  8. Give a compliment, just because: There is a reason people are so uncomfortable with compliments. It’s because we don’t give enough of them.
  9. Change your expectations: Another post to check out Three Ways to Establish Realistic Expectations
  10. Learn to be a good listener: To really listen is to be fully present without formulating a response or thinking inwardly. I did a listening exercise on a meditation retreat this spring and it was a  huge eye opener to me about how I truly “listen”. Take turns talking about a topic for 5 minutes and while the other person is speaking do not respond at all. You may be shocked about what you learn about the other person and your own vulnerabilities.
  11. Ask a friend on a date: Brunch, shopping, coffee? I love going on girl dates with my best bud, it is so refreshing. Check out 8 Ways Best Friends Enrich our Lives in case you have forgotten why they are so important!
  12. Stop gossiping: When you take gossip out of your life you make room for new trains of thought that previously had no room to live. Additionally, without gossip, you will become more empathetic and less judgmental. The next time you feel like gossiping, decide not to after awhile it will become a new habit.
  13. Be supportive sometimes even if you don’t agree: Sometimes the kindest and most loving thing you can do for your relationships is to support the other person, even if you don’t completely agree. Respecting the path of others will create more loving relationships.
  14. Don’t be a know it all: Sharing your opinion is ok, just remember that people need to make their own mistakes and learn from their own experiences.
  15. Don’t put people down, including yourself: This is a struggle for me as I often think I am just poking fun and then later realize that I may have been poking a little too hard. Be mindful of put downs, you never know what that is doing to your relationships and yourself.
  16. Teach people how to treat you: If you conduct yourself as being judgmental, gossipy and rude then others will treat you that way. It is that simple.
  17. Own your actions: When you do slip up and do or say something you shouldn’t have, don’t pretend it didn’t happen, apologize and take ownership for how you acted. Seems like something you would say to a child, and it is. Adults seem to forget all too often though.
  18. Forgive people: Learning how to forgive is one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationships. It does not always mean you need to be a doormat to bad behaviors. Forgiving can also mean forgive and walk away.
  19. Spend less time with negative people: This is probably the biggest lesson on this list for me. Have you ever left spending time with someone only to feel drained and stressed? Yea, time to put a little distance there. Check out this post if you need a little help to spot that kind of situation… 5 Ways to Spot a Toxic Friendship
  20. Identify the problem and the positive action you can take to solve it: This is important. There is always something YOU can do to take control of the situation. There is ALWAYS a positive way out. Even if it is a small one being able to identify the light at the end of the tunnel is so important for you and your relationships.
  21. Be your own best friend: How can you truly enjoy healthy relationships if the one you have with yourself isn’t that great? Where is the self-love? 7 Self Love Tips for 2017
  22. Go easier on yourself and others: Lighten up just a little.
  23. Try new things with your spouse: Take a class, learn a language, travel somewhere different. Trying new things builds memories and your bond.
  24. Help out: Being a part of the big moments in your friend’s lives is what life is all about. Make time to help the people you care about to move, get married, attend baby showers, birthdays. You can’t make it to everything but it is important to make an effort.
  25. Show that you care: There doesn’t have to be a reason to send a card, a funny meme or a quote to brighten someone you care about’s day.
  26. Stop projecting: Check out this post to find out what I mean Is Projection Ruining your Relationships?

Be sure to check out Part 1: Body Gentleness and Part 2: Nourishing your Mind

Up next week is Supporting your Spirit!

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39 thoughts on “Searching for Happiness – Part 3: Healthy Relationships

    1. That is so true and something I have been guilty of at certain points in my life. I am just getting to know myself and I cant wait to be a super confident best bud to me as I grow.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Absolutely loved this post! So many fantastic ideas that I totally agree will lead to happiness. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what is really important in our lives. I love how you mention spending time with your parents. We can get so busy that we can forget they won’t always be there. I am planning to try really hard to stop the gossiping, it isn’t good for anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gossip is such an easy thing to do, and it really helps vent emotions. But when you stop you will see that it just further feeds those exact emotions you are trying to vent. It is a nasty cycle and a hard one to break because everyone does it. Good luck! 🙂

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  2. Being a good listener is SO important! Seriously I wish I could tell more people that without sounding totally rude hahah!! It’s so crucial! This is a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This list is excellent and I agree with all your points. No.19 has been a very important life lesson for me. I’m getting better at no.12. I’m exactly the same as you with no.7. And hell yes! to no.16!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good post Steph and most of that advice I’ve come across during CBT, Mindfulness and my own thoughts on negative thinking. As Debbie mentions above toxic people are often the hardest to expunge too. Often long term friends that may not like you moving on, or move on while you are not and then use you to validate how brilliant things are now for them. The latter one tends to hit you with negativity all the time. “Look how well I’m doing, shame you are wasting your life.” Might be an extreme example, but I have encountered it through a person I really helped in a bad place. Another friend told me that was often how toxic people self validate and make themselves feel better; even more so if they have been depressed at some point and are using you as a crutch! hmm… rambling again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gary. It is refreshing to know that I am not alone in my thinking. There are so many people with the same experiences. I love hearing how others deal with those situations in positive ways. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, in reality, nobody on these roads is as alone as they might think. We often don’t communicate out or have an inner fear of labelling if we do. Often throws barriers up and creates the very isolation we don’t want! If that crops up against a toxic person then it kind of validates the isolation even more. Speaking out and doing posts like this ensures readers that are in similar positions can see its not just them! Kudos Steph x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great list! I especially love your points of enjoying friend dates (I love inviting friends to go on a long walk or hike as a way to catch up…usually followed by food!), not putting anyone down (not doing this to myself is the hardest part) and supporting others even if you don’t agree with their decision. If everyone followed these tips, we’d definitely be a happier bunch!

    Liked by 1 person

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