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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How of Happiness: Post#8--Nuture Relationships

Nurture Relationships: Building bonds between friends and family.
a.    Happier people have stronger bonds with their friends and family. Their social lives are rich and deep. Bonded pairs/mates have a distinct advantage in nature. They’re more likely to survive the elements of life. Social support, especially during stress periods, helps people live longer and happier.
b.    Strategy for Strong Relationships at Home:
i.    Invest time (strong partners talk 5 hours more per week according to marriage researcher Gottman). Express thanks even for mundane things like paying the bills. Have departure conversations in the morning (talk about at least one thing you’ll be doing that day). Have reunion conversations (both partners talk and listen at the end of each day).
ii.    Express admiration, appreciation and affection. Research shows that to have a successful mate relationship we need a 5:1 positive to negative ratio of comments. Tell people why you admire them, that you appreciate things they do, and that you love them. Be specific and sincere and watch the relationship grow.
iii.    Manage conflict. Harsh start-ups to disagreements (accusation and sarcasm); personalizing criticism (“what’s wrong with you?”); contempt (disgust, eye rolling, name calling); defensiveness (“it’s YOU, not me”); and stonewalling  (disengaging)—all can lead to unhappy marriages/relationships. Note: experiments on people who like to hug show that they ultimately are happier.

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