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The Importance Of Positive People (and why negative friends make you unhappy)

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”― Alice Walker

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”― Alice Walker

Do you surround yourself with “drains” or “radiators”? Positive people who give you energy or negative people who bring you down? Here’s why it’s time to do a “friend inventory”.

The Framingham Heart Study wasn’t set up specifically to study emotions. But with over 5000 inhabitants of Framingham, Massachusetts signed up for the on-going study, scientists have been amassing a wealth of continuous social and medical data since 1948.

It came up with fascinating findings in 2010 that suggest emotions are as infectious as diseases, and (more importantly) that sadness is more infectious than happiness.

They found that having a happy friend increased an individual’s chances of personal happiness by 11 percent, while just one sad friend was needed to double an individual’s chance of becoming unhappy.

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Stresshacker Challenge: Change one thing in your relationship today

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

What’s the definition of stupidity? Doing the same thing over and over thinking we’ll get a different result. Yet how often do we do this?

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

Break the Pattern in your Relationship

If something happens once, well there you go, when it happens twice it could be a co-incidence, but when it happens three times? That’s a pattern. So you might want to change something. Just tweaking it a bit may well give you a more pleasing outcome. A scientist wouldn’t dream of repeating an ineffective process over and over, just to see if it works the 20th time around!

If what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else at all!

It never ceases to amaze me how people do the same thing over and over in relationships – whether they are new dates, or long term relationships. It’s like running the same route in a maze over and over, hoping the outcome will be different. The same is true of any area of life – work, play and study.

So here’s our challenge

What one thing could you do differently today – right here now – that would make a positive shift in the way you relate to your partner, (child, mother, sister, brother, or whoever)?

We want you to try something really simple to interrupt the pattern. For example, you could change the tone of your voice when you’re next asking them for something.  If he always walks the dog, you do it. If you always meet in the same bar or restaurant, change the venue.  If one of you always pays, let the other one do it.  Try approaching your next interaction with that person from a position of wondering what you can do for them rather than what they can do for you.

Just tweak something – do it differently. Change is liberating.

Give it a go and then leave me a comment to let me know how you get on! I’d be really interested to hear the results. Did anything change?