'All our life is but a mass of habits' as William James so observantly wrote. And it is true. But if our lives are a series of habits, learned or otherwise then surely we can reverse our worst habits in order to become the very best version of ourselves?
For four decades, psychologist John Gottman studied the secrets to the most successful relationships and his research findings consistently demonstrated that Kindness and Generosity, ie: listening, spending time supporting ideas and showing an interest in their partner's point of view were strong predictors of a successful union. These qualities also had a strong bearing on their partner's physical health too. A negative, critical or neglectful partner was clearly shown to reduce the immune responses in their partner, leaving them vulnerable to ill health.
We can see then, just how important it is to make sure we surround ourselves with calm and happy people, not just in romantic relationships but friendships too. It's not something to be left to chance.
How to cultivate these qualities is a question we should all be asking ourselves while we wear our emotional 'suits of armour' as protection against the fear of being hurt. The problem is, these 'suits of armour' create a self-fulfilling prophecy every time, that of self-sabotaging your most valued relationships.
To return to William James, then, if life is a series of habits then maybe Kindness and Generosity of spirit initially require conscious effort with every interaction we have, even when we don't feel like making the effort. Research shows that on average we can change our habits in just over two months. No time at all!
I would say it's worth making that effort for a lifetime of happiness and a long-lasting relationship. Wouldn't you agree?
As the UK's leading dining and social events company, we produce the events to allow like-minded people to engage with one another and from which, we hope, new friendships will form and maybe even that special relationship. We want to make that more likely by expanding your social experiences, so if you have any ideas or issues you would like to discuss openly with our team, or in confidence with myself, we are always here to listen.
Once again, I am looking forward to meeting more of you at the upcoming events.