A study on longevity found that it was not weight, eating habits, exercise, air pollution, etc. that affected how long someone lives.
Only two things made a huge difference:
Most studies show that natural human communities and personal social networks have a typical size of about 150.
Friendships are fragile. If you don't take care of those relationships, they will disappear.
Friendships are more fragile than family and need more care. While nobody likes to lose friends, you can expect to lose a good friend about every two years.
You have to be deliberate with your friendships. Friendships need regular face-to-face contact if you want to keep them.
Studies show that people said thanks 5.5% of the time to friends and family. We simply expect family and friends to accept our request as a matter of course. We show more gratitude to strangers.
A little gratitude can go a long way in maintaining relationships. If you messed up, apologize.
The depth of friendships is more important than frequency. Sharing emotional experiences and events with one another is a critical element.
When people share intense ups and downs, it creates a bond that cannot be easily broken. So, be vulnerable. Open up. Ask for advice. Share what you're going through emotionally.
We have something like a fixed "friendship budget." Extroverts may have more friends, but their friendships are not as close as those of introverts. We spend about 3,5 hours a day on social interaction. Your closest 5 friends get 40%, the other 10 in the group of 15 get the next 20%. And the last 135 friends get about 37 seconds a day.
The lesson is that you can't add time; you can only distribute it differently. Know who is important to you and prioritise them.
Research indicates the common factors that predict how satisfied people are with the gathering:
The biggest point to note is to limit the small talk and open up and communicate meaningful stuff.
A study showed that our behaviour is most influenced by those we are close to.
If you improve, it is likely that you both will improve. So help them become a better person by working on yourself.
People often find themselves involved with an emotionally unavailable person at some point. The person with deficits in emotional intelligence turn things around on others, avoid taking personal responsibility, and defends their position at all cost.
A person who cannot sustain closeness in a relationship often mistake control for closeness, inflicts guilt and makes unfair accusations to manage the other person.
A person who possesses emotional intelligence regularly shows empathy, self-awareness and social awareness.
Due to the partner's hardships accessing empathy, he or she could consider incorporating cognitive empathy.
Intellectualisation, a defence mechanism, may allow the person to think logically about another person's experience and analytically show this understanding. Although not ideal, it can communicate a basic understanding of someone's experience.
Feeling pity for someone is doable for an emotionally shortsighted partner. However, the partner needs to avoid the temptation to save and rescue. For example, "I'm sorry your dog died. I bought you a puppy so that you can feel better. You'll thank me later."
It is better to sympathise and encourage instead. "I am sorry your dog died. I feel bad for you. I hope you feel better tomorrow." It may sound hollows, but it provides support.
Assist a partner in recognising when to offer cognitive empathy and sympathy. Remind them that when a person shows they are upset, the focus needs to remain on that person until they feel understood.
That means fully listening to the person and only providing an opinion or advice when they ask for it.
One of the most important techniques to calm down is having the power to hold on, even in demanding and hard situations, to a distinction between what someone does and what they meant to do.
Part of the reason for our pattern of imagining negative plots and thinking that all people want is to cause us harm is the psychological phenomenon called self-hatred.
The less we like ourselves, the more we appear in our own eyes as possible targets for disrespect and harm.
When we carry a baggage of self-hatred around with us (that operates outside of our awareness) we'll constantly seek confirmation from the outside world that we really are the worthless people we consider us to be.
This process starts in our childhood, when someone close to us left us feeling dirty and guilty. As a result, we are traveling through society and living our lives assuming the worst.
We would be much calmer around adults if we could act around them in the way we naturally act around children.
Small kids sometimes behave in really annoying ways, but we rarely feel personally wounded by their behavior, because we don't assign a negative intention to the way they act (quite the opposite, we find the most benevolent interpretations).
Motives are crucial, but sadly we are very bad at perceiving and interpreting the motives that happened to be involved in the events that most frustrate us.
We usually feel that other adults have something against us, that all the actions they are taking and that frustrate us have the intention to cause us distress, to take advantage of us.
He developed a formula for calming himself and his pupils down in the face of irritating people.
He said to never see people as evil; just try to identify what is driving a person to behave in negative ways. It is a calming thought to imagine that they’re suffering in a way we can’t see. Being mature means learning to imagine this area of pain even if you don't have enough evidence about it.
It is a mathematical theory stating that we are bound to be less popular than the people in our network of friends, especially the online one. This hypothesis is easily checked in social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.
The people that we follow on Twitter, for example, aren't always following us back and therefore end up having more followers than us.
The ones more popular than us aren't better off, and their life is usually not as good as is depicted in their Instagram profile.
The constant pressure to have a 'cool' online presence is making the popular people more anxious, and pushing them in a network where they are the least popular, due to the friendship paradox.
Author Gary Chapman developed the theory that there are five basic ways romantic partners give and receive love.
The five love languages are:
The majority of us have one or two dominant love languages, but each of us speaks all five languages to some degree. By learning how to 'speak' each other's preferred love language, you're ensuring both of you feel supported and seen.
We often speak the love language to our partners that we ourselves want to receive.
If your partner's love language is gifts, they'll put the item on display or wear it every day, But the surest way to find out if your partner's love language is gifts is to ask them.
If the gifts love language doesn't come naturally to you, you should still learn the language if your partner speaks it.
Look at things in your daily life from a gift-giving perspective. It doesn't have to be expensive, just little reminders that they're always on your mind. If you know someone who speaks gifts as their love language, then not getting them a gift on a special occasion would be very hurtful to them, as would approaching the gift-giving as more a chore than an opportunity.
Our own partner preferences may not be fully understood by us.
People may not be communicating well about what they want in their partners or may have a lack of awareness, or even a myopic view of their life. Experiencing it for themselves is a better bet to find out what works.
The dreamy idols that make up our early stages of attractions, especially at a young age, do not translate into someone one can spend the entire life with, where mundane activities like picking up groceries and taking care of the kids take precedence over being handsome or inspiring.
The first time we meet somebody is actually the time we make an impression of them, impression which usually tends to last until our very last interaction with that person.
Well, first dates are no exceptions and that is why they are so important when getting to know another individual.
Research has identified seven functions of dating among which the below:
Research has highlighted that there are different reasons people date, reasons which can be split into two main categories: first-date goals and partner-focused.
It is quite important to know why the other chose to date you, as you might end up discovering that you two do not share a viewpoint on this topic.
Sometimes our closest and most important relationships are also the most difficult. Our relationships are both cooperative and competitive. We work together with the ones we love but also have a bit of rivalry going on at times. That is why friends and loved ones can have such a positive influence; these relationships can also lead to envy.
We can get close to the people we love while making sure they feel like we’re on their side, and not a rival to be outdone.
Doing everything to make your life seems perfect may make you a target for resentment.
People who inspire the most trust are those who show warmth and competence. While we may be competent, warmth may be lacking. To ensure you don't inspire envy, screw up a little. It will make you seem more approachable. Embarrassing yourself makes you a lot more human.
Just asking people, "Is this a good time to talk?" increases compliance with requests.
Show that you care by doing little things, even if they're ridiculous.
Perspective-taking (thinking about the other side's interests) will help to meet the needs of both parties. Mimicry helps with perspective-taking. Sit as they do, fold your hands as they do, etc. It helps us truly understand what another person is experiencing.
Happy couples that have been married for many years tend to look alike due to perspective-taking and mimicry.
The way to get others to see your perspective is to ask them for advice. When we ask them for advice, they put themselves in our shoes and look at the world from our point of view.
A common fear is that we may seem less competent, but when we ask for advice, as long as the request is not completely obvious, we appear more competent. Advice signals respect and deference.
To stop a difficult relationship from getting even worse, apologize in the right way: Promise to change. It is one of the most important components of an apology.
When you're reluctant to apologize, try focusing on the results you might achieve as opposed to who is right or wrong.
When children witness a parent in a state of anxiety, they can become unsettled, because they take information about how to interpret situations from the parent.
If you notice your child shows anxious behaviors, don't punish yourself for it. Implement strategies to help ensure you do not pass your anxiety on to your kids.
A big part of treatment for children with anxiety is to teach parents stress tolerance.
A mental health professional can help you work through methods of stress management for your specific needs.
You might learn strategies in therapy that you can impart to your child when she is feeling anxious.
Try to maintain a calm, neutral demeanor in front of your child, even if you are still trying to manage your anxiety. Children are quick to read facial expressions.
It's okay not to suppress your emotions constantly. Your children need to see how you cope with stress every now and then. Explain to your children why you behaved the way you did.
Come up with ways to manage specific situations that trigger your stress. You may even speak to your child about it, but don't put the responsibility on your child to manage your anxiety. However, seeing you implement a plan to curb an anxious moment shows him how stress can be managed.
If you know that a situation might cause you to stress, plan ahead to disengage from that situation so your children will not interpret it as unsafe.
If you feel you are becoming overwhelmed with anxiety in the presence of your child, try and take a break.
Extraordinary couples are like everyone else. Except they make their love intentional.
In business, fitness, or even your hobby, you don't passively wait for things to get better. The same is true for your relationship. Don't take your partner for granted. Take action.
Most mornings, commit to spending five minutes with your partner. Think of a relationship intention, then share it. "Today, I intend to be careful with my tone of voice when I feel impatient."
Commit spending two minutes at the end of the day reviewing your progress and ways to improve it.