I’ve been doing a ton of work on relationships lately, and I want to share everything with you so you can create more fulfilling relationships in your life.
One point that I want to start with is what I’m going to talk about today, which is two huge problems I see from my clients and students and exactly how to solve them so you can have better relationships as soon as today.
Before we go into the problem and solution, I want to define what a relationship even is for you…
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — Separation Vs. Connection.
A relationship is made up of three components:
- Your thoughts about the other person
- Their thoughts about you
- What you think the other person’s thoughts are about you
Relationships exists in your head.
This is why you can think you have the most loving relationship with someone only to find out later that your partner was leading a double life, having an affair.
This happens all the time.
I often find in my money mindset courses that how people relate to money is how they relate to other relationships. This makes complete sense because your relationships are simply your thoughts. Your brain is in the habit of thinking certain thoughts regardless of whether it’s with respect to money or people or something else.
There are two main problems I see the most with respect to relationships…
The Problem: We Hand Over Our Emotional Life And Create Separation
My students come to me with two recurring problems in their relationships:
- Their partner isn’t making them happy anymore (or they don’t love him anymore)
- They don’t feel connected to their friends or family anymore, now that they’re on this personal development journey
I can relate to these problems SO MUCH.
I’ve been there.
Here’s a closer look at each problem…
Problem 1: We Hand Over Our Emotional Life
The first problem I see over and over with relationships is the expectation that someone else is responsible for your happiness.
Reminder: you are the only one who can make you happy.
Your thoughts create your feelings. Always.
Not only when you’re single.
All the time.
This means that your “better half” isn’t causing you pain.
Someone did something that is 100% neutral, and you had a thought about it. That thought created the feeling.
This doesn’t mean you won’t want to be upset, mad, or frustrated.
It does mean YOU are responsible for feeling that way.
And you can always leave. Leave from abundance. Stay from abundance.
Do not think that you can control anyone. It never works.
Here are the best resources for you to bookmark for happiness:
- The 10 Best Happiness Books (blog post)
- Exactly How To Create More Happiness In Your Life (blog post)
- The 4 Chemicals That Increase Happiness In Your Brain (podcast)
- 15 Ways You Can Increase Your Happiness Today (blog post)
Here are the best resources to save on mindset:
- 13 Mindset Hacks That Helped Me Shift From Scarcity To Abundance (blog post)
- Mindset Hacks (podcast)
- How To Improve Your Mindset (blog post)
- How To Coach Yourself (podcast)
Problem 2: We look for separation
The next problem that I see not only from people I work with but also from my friends and family is that we’re constantly scanning for separation.
This isn’t just them either. I say we on purpose.
I am guilty of this, too.
Once I noticed this, I found it fascinating and knew I had to study it more.
Turns out that our brain is wired for this.
Your brain is constantly scanning for what is wrong in an effort to keep you alive. This means it will find what’s different immediately.
When it comes to the humans (as I like to say), you don’t need to be on high alert and notice differences, generally speaking.
You’re safe and sound and simply interacting with another imperfect human.
When we constantly look for the differences, we find them.
I heard Jay Z say once that separation comes from fear. I love this. It just further exemplifies how it’s your lower, more primitive brain at work.
When you immediately notice how something is wrong with another person—whether it’s that they complain too much, that they’re not into personal development, or that they’re not supportive enough—it’s just your brain looking for separation.
The truth is that you can redirect this part of your brain.
You can talk to your brain more than you listen to it.
The Solution: Remove Expectations And Look For Connection
So, wondering how to have better relationships and solve these problems?
There are two solutions to these relationship problems…
Solution 1: Remove All Expectations
The first solution is to remove your expectations from the relationship.
This sounds kind of weird at first.
But it’s nothing short than life changing.
Instead of expecting the other person to be there to “meet your needs” or “make you happy” what if you met your own needs and made yourself happy?
This is where the magic happens.
The only expectation is for the other person to just be them.
You can love that person for who they are, faults and all.
They don’t need to do anything.
This doesn’t mean you stay and that every relationship lasts forever. In fact, you may want to leave (read this post on leaving when you’re happy for more on this). Relationships end and that’s a good thing.
But end your relationships from a place of contentment. Be in them from a place of love.
Stop expecting all the things from everyone.
Most people can’t take care of themselves, let alone someone else.
Solution 2: Look For The Connection
The second solution is something that has truly made a huge difference in my life.
Instead of looking for the separation, look for the connection.
Ask, “where can I find the connection with this person?”
This works with your neighbor, spouse, sister, friend, coworkers, the clerk at the bank… with everyone.
Whenever I’m working at a coffee shop and a family comes in with kids, I used to immediately think, “OH NO. They’re going to be loud, and I’m not going to be able to work.” (Side note: I love kids.)
Now, I notice the fear. I redirect my brain. I ask, “where can I find the connection?”
This is truly a magical tool.
Try it today. With everyone.
Look for the connection instead of the separation.
A Final Note!
If you are just starting on this journey, I know it can be tempting to want everyone in your life to do it with you.
But what if you just let them be them?
You be you. They get to be them.
And you can love them anyway.
This is super fun.