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Why Some People Are Closer To Their Parents?

Why Some People Are Closer To Their Parents?

When it comes to parenting, there are two obvious assertions. Firstly, all parents love their children, and this unconditional blessing is something that overcome anything that comes their way. Secondly, all parents strive to maintain equal relationships with their children, while also ensuring that there is minimal jealously between siblings.

The idea of showing any kind of favouritism to a child is abhorrent to most parents, but this is not necessarily as clear-cut or as heinous as it sounds. In fact, parents can subconsciously favour one child or another, automatically leading to the cultivation of slightly closer and more fulfilling relationships.

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Why are some People closer to their Parents?

For those of you who are still unsure or uneasy about this concept, let’s debunk some of the misconceptions that exist surround favouritism between parents and their children. While the stereotypical view suggests that parents may favour a particularly child due to their personality, achievements or gender, there are in fact deeper psychological reasons why such feelings arise. This has been explored further in a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which revealed some surprising findings about the relationships between parents and their children.

This study, which canvassed the opinion of several hundred women over the age of 65, revealed that three-quarters identified one child who was the most likely to be their primary care-giver in the future. Not only was this viewpoint generally fixed over time, but it also based on the mother’s perception that this child shares their fundamental values and views. It appears that this, more than any other factor, may create favouritism in our relationship with parents, as we tend to bond more closely with individuals who are similar to ourselves.

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How similar Values drive and Impact on the Relationship with our Parents

Interestingly, even those of us who are able to select our friends from a large and diverse group tend to forge close relationships with people who share our outlook and values. A study entitled Group Processes and Intergroup Relations explored this further, confirming the age-old opinion that we have a universal preference for similarity. While this does not always lead to the best friendships and in some instances may restrict personal growth, when we are presented with choice we tend to make the instinctive and unconscious decision to favour individuals with similar values.

When evaluating our relationship with parents, the instinctive need for similarity and the bonds subconsciously developed by shared values clearly create a scenario where favouritism can breed. While we have already stated that this does not reflect badly or parents or necessarily manifest itself within the relationship, it is important to keep in mind as it can impact on both adult sibling relationships and the cultivation of nurturing patterns. Although favoured children can benefit from a deeper emotional connection with their mother or father, for example, they may also be required to carry a greater burden of responsibility and expectations.

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The Last Word

Given the complexity of the human mind and its changeable nature, it is easy to presume that favouritism between parents and children may be influenced by superficial factors such as gender bias or a shared taste in movies. This is far from the case, however, as there are in fact unconscious emotional triggers that may cause parents to favour one child over another.

Both parents and children need to understand these in greater detail, so that they can comprehend the true nature of favouritism and the factors that influence our relationships. This can help to negate the emotional issues associated with favouritism, while empowering parents to maintain equal relationships with their children and cultivate trust between siblings.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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