We are social creatures. All of us need others in our lives. Some of us need more interaction from others, but we all need some interaction with other people. So protecting our relationships is paramount. How can we maintain healthy relationships when our natural habits are working against us?
Let’s examine the two habits or personality traits that may be harming our relationships.
#1 Wanting To Be Right All The Time
We generally don’t want to hang out with people who have to be right. They are annoying. You can’t have an opinion or belief that doesn’t flow with theirs. Unfortunately, we all like being right, it is basic human nature. Yes, some of us more than others need to be right. However, this desire to be right can mess with our relationships.
Why do we need to be right? Being right makes us feel: important, valued, smart, makes us feel good, feeds our desire to be liked.
We don’t like being wrong it feels like failure. We equate failure with: defeat, humiliation, anxiety, abandonment, shame, disappointment.
A healthy relationship has “give and take”. It has genuine listening to one another. It also must be full of compromise and a desire to please the other person. To improve your relationships give up the need to be right! Put your relationship ahead of your own selfish need to be right.
#2 Only Believing Evidence That Supports Our Current Belief
There is a scientific condition called Motivated Reasoning. Motivated Reasoning is when a person will only believe facts or will twist facts to support what they believe to be true. YIKES. It is scientifically proven that we will look for evidence to support what we already hold to be true.
We all have a tendency to do this. Remember problem #1 “we all want to be right”. So, in order for us to be right we discount anything that doesn’t align with our current convictions. Trying to get someone to believe something that goes against what they already believe is much more difficult. We all need many more proofs to change our opinion. It is interesting to note that the more educated you are does not make you more open to opposing facts and ideas.
Because of this tendency to view facts in a way to corroborate our held belief you must be aware of this fault and be open when you examine ideas and facts. A line of inquiry should be without any preconceived notion from the start. A great example of the failure to do this is a political poll that forgets about finding the truth and presents questions that just skew things in favor of their candidate.
When it comes to our relationships, this tendency can lead to disaster. We must not ignore reality for that is truly dangerous. For example, if you and your spouse are arguing over money, ignoring the fact that you are spending more than you make, when you want to believe you have plenty of money and you are not the problem, will not solve your issue or help your relationship.
Be aware of these two bad relationship habits. Remember:
You don’t HAVE to be right all the time or any of the time! It doesn’t lessen your importance.
Listening and being open to new facts and ideas that change your mind about something is the better option! By questioning our beliefs and opinions without prejudice we will make better decisions and keep our friends.
Final Thoughts – Hugs Can Help Relationships
Finding and keeping good friends is important. Being kind to one another is important. For example, science says we need at least 8 hugs per day. That is right! Physical contact is good for us! When we give or receive a hug it positively affects our emotions and our brain. Hugs stimulate the release of dopamine “the feel good hormone”. So don’t forget to hug those you love, it will do you both good.
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