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I’ve finally concluded what it takes to live a balanced and happy life in our relationships.
A life in which one can feel satisfied, fulfilled, and heart-happy. It boils down to simply choosing the feelings you want to feel yourself and making those your priority in every situation—giving those feelings to others, reflecting them onto those around you, and emitting them in everything you do.
Not just asking for them to be given to you as a means to your own happiness, but also giving them selflessly to others and loving them unconditionally.
Like all things in life, this doesn’t mean that some situations are not going to feel crappy now and then. But if all situations are viewed from the internal looking glass of happy, and we work to maintain that positive headspace, we will receive what we’re reflecting outward.
We won’t find ourselves in the place where we’re judging someone else or are dissatisfied with the way someone else is treating us. It simply won’t matter.
When you choose happiness, other people’s unhappiness cannot affect you. Ideally, your choice of the positive will be the inspiration to them, changing how they feel.
Sound tough? Maybe. But the only time it becomes difficult to look at life this way is when we’re looking at it from an ego point of view.
“What am I getting out of this situation?”
“Look what they are doing to me.”
Our ego is asking these questions and will ultimately drive us to a negative place. We might believe there’s been some wrongdoing toward us from the other person or that we have some control over how others treat us and their opinions.
We all should know by now that we don’t.
We have no control over others’ thoughts and feelings. Zero! But we do have control over ourselves, our perceptions, and the energy we put into our relationships. We can absolutely affect how others view themselves in their relationship with us, which can have a significant impact on the quality of that relationship.
Only by being a positive source—by being the one who doesn’t think of the me in the situation but thinks of the us—can we possibly change someone else’s headspace from a combative one to that of a cooperative and caring one.
Think about it: if you feel someone is listening and caring about what you have to say, aren’t you more likely to reflect the same on them? Are you not likely to be far less combative, more cooperative in your reactions? I believe, yes!
Let’s say my partner and I have differing opinions on a particular topic. The subject matter is irrelevant, but let’s just say the issue is an emotional one. It could easily be something that derails us and possibly changes our dynamic.
The discussions surrounding it could be challenging, awkward, and unenjoyable. But our relationship is super solid. Although we have disagreements, possibly even arguments, we always manage to do so in a constructive and supportive manner. One in which we show the other that we’re listening to them; we hear them and we support them.
We show one another that we are on each other’s side; we’ve got each other’s back. As Jay Shetty says,
“In relationships, you’re not fighting against one another; you’re a team. You’re fighting for one another.”
This positive way of thinking changes the way you view “arguing” and hold the importance of another human being you respect. Our discussions get presented in a safe manner—a loving manner—and we both work to understand the other’s side. A methodology or way of being that truly changes one’s mindset in something. You get to see and feel the importance of the subject from your partner’s point of view. It causes you to wonder, “Is being bullheaded on my point really that beneficial to me? To us?”
The answer may be yes or no. But what tends to happen is that you both move forward (without getting stuck in the ego) because you are both working as a team for the relationship. Together you find a new place where you can both be happy and satisfied with the outcome.
When you fight for each other, it naturally comes from a positive, happy place. Anything you do for another person is a gift—a positive presence that is then returned.
Have you ever experienced how it feels to cheer someone on in a race and how exciting it is when they cross that finish line and are beaming with pride? You take on some of that excitement and pride and actually feel it.
This is how we should view all of our situations in a relationship. We should be excited about our partner crossing the finish line and wanting that success for them more than needing to tell them how we might have done it differently. They may have raced unconventionally, a way that we wouldn’t have done ourselves, but it’s not up to us. It’s their race to run; it’s up to us to support them in their methods and ideas. They are striving to achieve their own success, not our success.
In this scenario, the positive feed the positive. If you’ve ever been in an inspiring situation, you know that positive plus positive can ignite such incredible feelings of love, value, and worth. It can fuel you for a long time and inspire you to do things you might otherwise have never considered.
Imagine if we did that all day long—fed positive in others. The impact on us can be nothing but positive because we’re not getting caught in the weeds of negativity. The effect on them will be feeling valued, listened to, and important.
If you have a point of view and your partner differs, it can turn into an emotionally fueled situation. It helps to take a few steps back and see their struggles and reasons for their decisions. Put yourself in their shoes is an ancient adage, but crucial in a relationship. It places you in a position of empathy to see past your self-focused views.
If we are always fighting for our own beliefs, how can we consider ourselves a partner? If we only ever think that our ways are the right ways, is that a partnership?
When one continually looks to satisfy their ego in a relationship, they are coming from a place of insecurity and fear. And an ego-driven and insecure partner is not a true partner. It takes confidence to be able to consider someone else’s point of view.
It also takes love. But one thing I’ve learned in my life is that love is confidence. Confidence in your belief system; confidence in your ability to prosper without fear; confidence in your bond with your partner. And the courage to put all your sh*t aside and fight for them. Ultimately, that’s fighting for both of you.
Every now and then, we find ourselves in a place where we feel so passionately about our own opinion but feel like we’re not being heard—we want to fight for it. Realistically, how many times have you successfully come out of that “fighting to be heard” scenario and felt like you achieved something? How often have you felt good about the result? Chances are, few.
More often than not, I would estimate that people come out of these situations feeling angry, dissatisfied, and frustrated (even if they’ve “won”).
I can also guess that their partner did not feel loved, supported, and positive about themselves either. There’s no winning in having a partner feel like that.
Remember, it’s a team—everyone should come out on top and together.
No person on the planet doesn’t feel loved when someone chooses to fight alongside them. Never consider it a “win” when a partner feels beaten-down, deflated, or anything but elevated and loved.
Relationships aren’t about the “I,” they are about the “us.” We are all going to have disagreements in life. We’re human.
Walking into those situations, fully loaded with frustration and anger, isn’t going to solve anything. But walking into them knowing that you are choosing the happy, choosing the other person and supporting them, and choosing to be a team, will have an entirely different ending.
When your team has positive results—multiple wins, over and over—that’s what changes the mindset. Repetition can change the neuropathways in our brains to view things more positively. It trains our minds to choose happiness.
Happiness then becomes less of a conscious choice; it becomes an automatic, subconscious decision. Choosing happiness then becomes a regular part of who you are and the beautiful looking glass you see life through.