Love & Family

70 STASHED IDEAS

Conflict in relationships

When one or both partners are not well-rested, tiny quarrels may end up in major rifts. 

Sleep loss triggers the many relationship behaviors and communication styles we know are most toxic to relationships such as silent treatment or berating your partner.

The importance of sleep in relationships shows how severe our attitude gets when deprived of it and in order to have a healthy level of conflict, we must be well-rested enough to engage properly during the conflict.

Nathaniel N. (@nat_nn28) - Profile Photo

@nat_nn28

Love & Family

Sleep-deprived partners

Chronic sleep loss may trigger a series of negative emotions that may cause us to act out relationship-damaging behaviors.

The more we miss out on decent sleep the more we become irritable, emotionally labile, our frustration tolerance is lowered, and we show up negatively.

Empathic Accuracy

When we are sleep deprived our empathic accuracy drops. The words we use to communicate are colored by our sleep or the lack thereof.

It's been proven by numerous studies that under sleep-deprived conditions, there is a significant decrease in the use of positive emotion words. Furthermore, the results also show that there is a lower positive emotional expression and higher negative emotional expression.

Sleep deprivation and loneliness

Having poor sleep heightens our feelings of loneliness which results in us wanting to steer away from people and a rise in anxiety levels.

In addition to that, having poor sleep amplifies the parts of the brain that signals our threat responses and fear.

Sleep-induced loneliness is contagious and may lead to a greater emotional distancing between partners, so if you want a solid relationship, get good sleep!

Important skills to maintain healthy relationships

In order to cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship both partners must have or are developing the following skills:

  • To be able to make sound decisions
  • The ability to put themselves in a good mood
  • To be able to rein in their bad mood or irritability
  • The ability to solve problems
  • The ability to effectively communicate with their partner
  • They must be able to tolerate frustration; and
  • They must be able to practice empathy

Acceptance is not about being okay with what happened, rather it is about acknowledging the loss and learning to live with it, and readjusting our lives accordingly.

Depending on your experience, it is quite understandable if ever you do not feel this way. Sometimes you will find yourself stationed at this feeling and then later feel another stage of grief. This back-and-forth is a natural part of the healing process.

  1. It is important to express your needs to trusted people such as your friends or family members. Allow them to help you in the ways you feel will best suit your needs;
  2. There are support groups that have gone through the same thing as you have and these are safe spaces where you can freely express your grief without the feeling of pressure; and
  3. Grief counsellors are professionals that can support your grieving process; this applies to therapists as wll.
The Kübler-Ross Model of Grieving

Grief comes in many forms and everyone has experienced it in many different ways, but this model theory is only a reference, not a rule. The five stages of grief are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance.

The five stages of grief were once known as the five stages of death, however, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the Swiss American psychiatrist that invented this theory extended her model to many different kinds of losses.

We're not referring to clinical depression in this instance when talking about depression, but as a natural and appropriate response to grief.

When we begin to face the reality of our situation, it is not inevitable to feel instense sadness and despair. We could also experience fatigue, unwillingness to move on, loss of appetite, or not being able to enjoy the things you once did. This is also a part of our healing journey.

  1. The best support comes from just being there and making it clear that you’re available to listen to the things they want to share with you;
  2. It can be frigthening to message someone who is grieving and check up on them, but don't let fear stop you from showing empathy;
  3. Try to lift some of the weight off of their shoulders. Explore the areas they might need help managing while they process their loss.
  4. Wait for them to express how they feel instead of assuming that they're ready to talk about it.

Many people believe that there is a right and wrong way to grieve, but in reality, there isn't. Grieving isn't about following a list of steps and then getting over the situation right after. It's a unique journey and is experienced differently by everyone, some might go through every phase while others don't.

There is no specific order to grieve and if ever that you find yourself falling into the deep end and developing clinical depression, it's time to reach out to a professional.

This is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock felt during unexpected situations. We may often fantasize about the untruths and hope that the news we've received isn't real.

After the first reaction of shock and denial, you may go numb for a while. You could feel like nothing matters to you anymore and life as you once knew it has changed. It may be difficult to feel you can move on, but once you've gained enough courage to face the truth, your healing journey will begin.

This is the stage of grieving where you try to find a way to hold on to hope in order to cope with intense pain; where we are willing to do anything and sacrifice everything just so that things could go back to the way they were.

Often in this situation we also tend to think about the things we could have done differently, but what's happened has happened, and that will not remove the guilt we feel. It's also a part of healing where we confront the reality of our losses.

Pain takes shape in many different forms and often redirected or expressed as anger. A lot of people reject this feeling because of its intensity and sometimes because of their culture.

During this stage of grief, there is a possibility that you may lash out at other people, objects, yourself, or life in general. However, try to remind yourself that underneath the anger that you're feeling is pain and is a part of the healing process.

Relationships are a predictor of the quality of life

Your social relationships are actually a strong predictor of the quality of life, both psychological and physical. Invest in your relationships; material possessions don't generally bring lasting happiness.

Your intimate and platonic relationships need to be nurtured with love and care in order for them to thrive and produce healthy relationship habits. With good social relations, we end up happier, less stressed, more resilient to pain, and lowered cognitive decline.

We all have baggage we carry around, big or small. However, just because we do does not mean that we are incapable of finding and being in lovingly sustainable relationships and friendships.

We are imperfect beings thus we must find a good group of people that celebrates our strengths and tolerates our vulnerabilities—to some, endearing. Sure, personal healing and growth can and will improve our relationships and overall quality of life, but we can also do that activity within relationships.

Many people grow up with unreliable and untrustworthy people around them. This has made them develop traits and characteristics which could have been prevented had they received proper care and guidance.

Regardless, our childhood experiences do not determine the quality of our adult lives. From an earned secure attachment—a secure attachment style that comes from our positive experiences later in life—we are able to have securely attached relationships and friendships.

The life-long commitment that is asked for while proposing requires humility, devotion and steadfastness.

Bending on one knee has been a well-known way to propose a lover from medieval times to the scenes of modern-day engagement ceremonies.

Proposing On One Knee
  • Kneeling on one knee while proposing has its roots in an ancient practise, originated in the Persian Empire.
  • This was part of a rank-based greeting ritual, called proskynesis, adopted by Alexander The Great.
  • The 11th century Knights used this gesture towards the ladies, something called ‘courtly love’, a romantic commitment that was done even to married ladies.
  • The Knights pledged to serve and honour the lady they love.
Modern Love

Modern love is harder than ever, as commitment becomes synonymous with the loss of self. The western world has always cherished a sense of individualism, and each person is to be a complete package, being able to provide compassion, sexual excitement, financial freedom and even self worth.

The result: Love is commodified

  • In the old days, the institute of marriage was rarely about love and passion, but about safety, respect and security. The husband or the wife had reasons to stray from their bond, due to the lack of mystery, love, passion and excitement that they craved.
  • Modern love is further complicating the phenomenon of marriage, where it almost always fails to live up to the promised ideals of love, passion, undivided attention and purity.

Marriage would ideally mean that our chosen one would offer us stability, safety, dependability and predictability. Apart from the laundry list of perfection, it is also an expectation to provide mystery, adventure, awe and wonder.

The wedding band comes with the weight of anticipations, of being ten different people and keeping the show going, juggling the various balls of expectations. If one ball falls, the marriage breaks down.

  1. Studies show that people with more social resources, who can talk to a wide range of friends about the issues they face, are better in their marriage.
  2. One need not think of love as a disposable commodity, and has to work on a relationship by investing time and energy.
  3. One has to be patient and work towards making the expectations become reality, together.

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