Now that we’re moving in a slower gear with the resolutions and some of the New Year dust has settled, we can take a different type of look toward what we’re looking to realize in the year ahead.
I know that in my own head, I am resolving to be happier. And my first step on this trail is to make more of an effort and put more energy into nurturing the relationships in my life that are loving relationships. For the purpose of this accomplishment, I’m defining a loving relationship as one in which there is a predominance of good feelings and wishes and these ultra positive feelings and wishes flow both ways.
These relationships are not separated by gender; that is not the type of loving relationship I’m referring to here. I have a handful of very near and dear friends spread out throughout the world and my relationships with them are loving. I know they are because when I am around these people, whether it is in person or on the phone or with Skype, I feel as if whatever tough stretch I’m going through is going to be a bit easier for me now.
In a study that appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology regarding friendship, people’s perception of how steep a hill was changed when they stood next to a friend. People who stood next to their friends viewed a hill as easier to navigate and less steep than people who stood and faced the hill alone. Not only did people view the hill less steep when they had their friends standing close to them, but the longer the time of their friendship with their friends, the less steep the hill, indicating the stronger and longer lasting the friendship, the smaller the obstacle was perceived.
The question I have is what can I do to nurture these relationships. Unlike days gone by, I cannot simply stop by and spend some quality time with my closest friends. We all live so far away from each other and all our lives continue to get busier and busier all the time.
I’ve seen it written recently, that people tend to support their friends through very rough, hard times. It is almost as if we are obliged to drop things for each other when bad things happen. And I am very grateful for the support of my closest friends, especially when things are rough. But I feel as if I need to find a way to become more of a support when very good things happen too. Since I don’t get the sense of urgency that comes with tragic or horrible things, I am quite guilty of letting some very major joys slip by without me being there to share it with my “besties.”
So I’m going on the record as officially committing myself to reaching out to those people I am fortunate to share loving relationships with in my life, and be there for them during the good times when they’re experiencing some of the happier moments 2014 holds for them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!