How Positivity Affects Your Relationships
For the conclusion of our series on how positivity impacts us, we’re taking a look at the way positivity changes our relationships. From our family, to our friends, to our partners, our relationships are an important cornerstone of our lives-- and positivity can change each of these relationships in remarkable ways.
1. Positive Thinking Is The Key To Being Happier In Your Relationships
If you recall from the previous article on positivity and mental health, a focus of positive thinking is shifting blame for negative events away from oneself. This is also a beneficial mindset to have in relationships-- for example, if a friend is late for lunch, instead of blaming it on ourselves (“They don’t care about me, and that’s why they were late!”), positive thinking encourages us to frame those events in a fairer light (“They probably ran into traffic and are just as frustrated as I am!”). This leads to fonder memories of shared events-- in the example of the late lunch meeting, positive thinking ensures that we don’t start off the encounter with negative thoughts, and are able to enjoy the meal despite the rocky start.
It also makes us more secure in our relationships; instead of constantly fretting over whether our friends harbour secret negative feelings towards us, positive thinking allows us to take a breath and assure ourselves that those thoughts are irrational. In all, practicing positive thinking in our relationships allows us to feel more content, and frees us to make happy memories with our loved ones.
2. We Can Make Each Other Happier By Staying Positive
Last week, we touched on the ways that positivity impacts our physical health. But did you know that our positive actions can impact others in the same way? When people who are sick or injured are surrounded by positivity, they recover quicker and with fewer complications.
Radiating positivity doesn’t mean that we alone reap health benefits, but that our friends and family can become healthier as well. By being kind in your relationships, you’re making your loved ones stronger emotionally, mentally, and physically.
3. Kindness Creates Longer Marriages
Emily Esfanahi Smith-- whose article, ‘The Secret to Love is Just Kindness’, we also quoted week one-- summarizes the key factors that create lasting relationships as being merely kindness and generosity. She describes what she calls “bids” for affection between people in relationships, where one partner seeks out connection by trying to initiate conversation, or sharing an anecdote, or pointing out something in the environment. In a study of the longevity of relationships, those who remained together longest were those who responded positively to those bids 87% of the time. It’s kindness, Smith writes, “that glues couples together.”
4. Observing Kindness Creates A Chain of "Paying It Forward"
In that same article, Smith observes that, “the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.” This thought is echoed by studies that show a “cascade effect” of kindness, generosity, and cooperation. Overall, by observing the kind actions of others, we’re inspired to be kind ourselves. And the more we get into the habit of practicing kindness, the more we want to perform kind actions.
By being kind to our loved ones, we’re starting a ripple effect of them also being kind to themselves and everyone around them. This makes us all healthier, happier, and more secure.
The number one thing you can do to strengthen your relationships is to be kind. Not only will you be happier in your relationships, but your loved ones will be, too. In the end, creating lasting, meaningful relationships isn’t very complicated-- it comes down to practicing positivity whenever the chance presents itself.
We hope you enjoyed our three-part series on the personal impacts of positivity. If you’d like to take a step towards incorporating positivity in your life or your workplace, consider signing up with Hylite today for a simple way to show kindness to those around you!