We thrive in every aspect of our lives when we feel connected to others in positive relationships. We are social beings who depend on each other for inspiration, feeling secure, feeling confident, positive reinforcement, help, collaboration and expanding all feelings and behaviors related to love.
The basis of positive relationships is love – compassion, kindness, service, inspiration and generosity.
Positive connection in positive relationships affect our confidence in our choices, confidence to try new things and take risks, confidence in identifying our purpose and being purposeful. They cause us to feel confident during uncertainty, hopeful, supported, a sense of belonging, and loved.
All of our systems respond to positively when surrounded by positive relationships. Rather than shallow breathing we breathe deep, healthy breaths. Our energy soars, our thoughts are positive and choices are bold with expectation of positive outcomes.
A deficiency of positive social connection is a source of insecurity, while challenging and toxic relationships infect us with negative behaviors, feelings, thoughts, responses and choices.
Quality of relationships
Think of a challenging relationship you have. Recall a conversation you have had with that person. You may have started the interaction in a positive mood, but once the interaction and communication becomes negative, how did you feel? Negative relationships infect our emotions, thoughts and energy negatively. They drag us down and weigh us down. Not only does our mood suffer, our productivity, performance and creativity suffer negatively. The conversation trigged negative emotions, followed by you having a series of negative experiences such as you making a mistake, not being able to focus to get your work done or drop in energy and productivity? You seem to become a magnet to negative experiences. The quality of our relationships impacts our emotions and the experiences we have.
Challenging and toxic relationships cause loneliness and feelings of isolation. They are harmful to health, for example causing depression, high blood pressure, exaggeration of health problems, and increased susceptibility during the cold and flu season. They negatively impact our energy, thoughts and peace (causing anxiety). They cause us to struggle creatively and with productivity.
We become a magnet to negative relationships and negative experiences, for example bad performance reviews, we struggle to gain promotions, jobs or contracts, we struggle to grow our business and we attract negative or uncooperative relationships. But, just as you have negative experiences when your emotions, mood and perspective are tainted by negative interactions in challenging relationships you will experience positive experiences when you surround yourself with positive and inspiring relationships.
Negative relationships are not intended for us. For each of us our primary purpose is to be a source of love – to be helpful, to inspire, to collaborate and to be a source of compassion, generosity and kindness. You should engage with others, and others should engage with you, with that intention for every interaction. The question that should always be consider is, “How can I enhance this person’s life?”, “How can I make this person feel valued, understood, and seen?” and “How can I make their day better?” whether a small gesture or extremely helpful gesture.
Specifically with regard to partners think about how you can make their life better, easier or more comfortable. When engaging your colleagues think about how you can collaborate with them, support them to achieve goals or mentor them. When interacting with family think about what you can do to cause them to feel a stronger sense of belonging, security, comfort and encouragement.
When others respond negatively
Some people are still trapped by habitual negative behaviors to engage others. When your kindness is returned with negative or toxic behavior establish boundaries. You have read Get Ego What it Wants and understand that ego is the starting point of offenses and emotional responses to triggers. You have also read Don’t Allow Emotional Triggers to Derail You. Once you have understood the principles you will find it easier to avoid allowing others to trigger you to respond negatively to their negative behaviors, but you must also establish boundaries so that your relationship with them is not a derailer of your emotions, productivity, energy or creativity.
Other people’s behavior toward you is a reflection of their character and says nothing at all about you. It lets you know who they are. You have the choice to determine how you want them to impact and influence your life.
Our physical rewards us for positive connections
We tend to take relationships for granted. We must be more intentional about how we connect with others, how we allow others to connect with us, whether we establish boundaries, who we are attracting into our lives, and even how we are repelling positive relationships.
If we want to live our best life, we must be deliberate about whom we are attracting into our life and influence our energy, productivity, choices, goals and values. We must make conscious decisions about how we connect, unlearn unconscious habitual behaviors that may cause us to attract negative relationships or repel positive relations. We must create space for connection, adopt the art of positively connecting, establish boundaries (love those who must be in our lives with boundaries), and be intentional about being a source of positive experiences for others. In the busyness we have woven into our lives connection can fray if we do not make powerful connection a priority.
“Our deepest natural desire is to feel positive connection.” – Leanna Butterfield Cruz