Living, Loving and Playing

Posted by M ws On Thursday, September 6, 2012 2 comments
The following article "Lessons For Living - Five surprising principles for living, loving, and playing well with others" written by Elizabeth Svoboda was published on the September 2012 issue of Psychology Today.

Impressing others, managing money, advancing your career: No matter what your aspiration, there's a wealth of accumulated knowledge to help you reach it. But if your highest goal is to lead a satisfying life, your best shot is to seek out wisdom that helps you cultivate strong relationships of all kinds. Studies show that people who enjoy close ties with friends and family are happier, have fewer health problems, and are more resilient to the stresses of our times. "Good social connections aren't just important to living a fulfilling life—they're vital to any type of healthy life at all," says Will Meek, a psychologist at Washington State University. "When we lack stable and supportive relationships, we can become depressed and anxious."

Moreover, our connections provide some of the best opportunities to grow in meaningful ways, says psychologist Harriet Lerner: "Any relationship can be a laboratory where we experiment with bold acts of change and learn something about ourselves, the other person, and the possibilities between us."

When it comes to seeking out bona fide relationship advice, don't limit yourself to self-help books—hard-won real-life wisdom can be more valuable than anything you'd find at Barnes & Noble. It's also wise to approach conventional relationship truisms with a critical eye. We've culled the data, consulted the experts, and arrived at some essential lessons that depart from hand-me-down norms.

Lesson #1 THE ROLE OF RADICAL ACCEPTANCE

You can't fix the ones you love, so focus on fixing yourself.

Decades ago, the musical Guys and Dolls lampooned our universal urge to change others with the lyrics "Marry the man today, and change his ways tomorrow." The idea that we can fix perceived flaws in our partners, friends, parents, and grown children, making them behave the way we want, remains tantalizing.

A healthy dose of ego often convinces us that our way of looking at things is right, but the truth is that trying to "correct" someone else's flaws usually backfires, says psychologist Paul Coleman, author of "We Need To Talk": Tough Conversations With Your Spouse. "It implies that we're coming from a more enlightened place, that we have a deeper knowledge of what's best," he says. The other person may get the message that he or she isn't good enough, and turn resentful—creating an atmosphere that smothers affection and creates distance.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

2 comments to Living, Loving and Playing

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