Do you want to feel happy?

Of course you do. But there is probably something getting in the way. Life can be challenging in so many ways.

Undeniably, the quality of our relationships defines the quality of our lives. The attachment style we ‘adopt’ is linked to the initial relationship we established with our caregivers. Some of us have fearful attachment styles or avoidant ones, because of this early connection. That means, we could be intentionally avoiding or be afraid of getting emotionally close to other people.  We wonder sometimes why some people stay in abusive or unhealthy relationships; why we allow toxic individuals to use us, or colleagues at work to manipulate us for personal interests. Why do we pretend? Why are we afraid of being single? Why do we repeat the same mistakes over and over again? Why have we given up relationships altogether?

Who we spend time with is of crucial importance. No matter how powerful our personality is, there is no way to avoid being affected by the beliefs and behaviors of the people who are closest to us. Now, in the case of a person who has low self-esteem then vulnerability and indecisiveness could contribute to that person living a life chosen by others or to accept loneliness. In order to decide consciously about anything in our life we have to be clear on what we truly want. We must also be able to understand what other people want and their motives. Self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation and social skills are the keys to intrapersonal and interpersonal well-being. Social and emotional intelligence can help us acquire success and happiness.

Emotion includes motion, meaning that it is constantly changing and that every interaction we have plays a role. People who have worked a lot with themselves in a spiritual sense can delineate their own emotional state. For example, if someone comments ‘you’ve gained some pounds’ or ‘didn’t you sleep well last night, you look very tired’ then this affects us and makes us feel sad. No matter whether what we heard is true or not our emotional state will change. Now, the same will happen if someone tells us that we look very beautiful today. Imagine how much someone who we spend a lot of time with can affect us. We can also be influenced by non-verbal communication. The way they  look or smile at us, or the way they touch us or don’t touch us. A person who has explored the self, is very hard to be affected by any comment or gesture. That person knows exactly who he/she is, knows exactly how he/she looks and knows exactly the elements of any interaction. Not only does he/she know how to interact with others, but chooses the timeframe, the boundaries and the depth in any relationship. Building or breaking relationships when it’s time needs the proper insight and skills.

Personal experience

When I was at school I was a victim of bullying. My parents had no idea because I never wanted to make them worry about me. As I grew older I understood a lot about how many people can become complicit or instigators to bullies. Bullying can happen in any environment, school, university, the work place, playgrounds, and intimate relationships, and at any age. What few people know is that bullies are also victims because this verbal or physical aggression comes from somewhere and most often from home; maybe an abusive parent. Now, people around the bully who might remain silent are equally responsible. So, what I started realizing is that as I grew stronger, whenever I saw any kind of incident that was about injustice, abuse, or bullying I would do anything in my power to speak up, help, support, protect and create awareness. This is the result of a learned behavior from a close friend of mine. This is what I learned spending time with a good person, with principles and values. I will never get tired of saying: Choose wisely each and every person you spend time with. We cannot choose our caregivers but we can choose all the other people we decide to interact with, have a romantic relationship with, associate with, to hang out with, to go clubbing or just to talk with for a minute on the street.

Together

Human connections are powerful and most of us just need to feel heard, seen and valued. There is only one path that helps to engage in healthy relationships and that is; to be authentic; to be genuine; to be yourself.

Trust yourself and your instincts. Together we will understand what it means to be honest, to respect and be respected and to communicate effectively. You will decide for yourself who will be a part of your life.