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5 Common Misconceptions About Love

5 Common Misconceptions About Love

We all think we know what love is, but when times get rocky and relationships get rough, the gaps in our knowledge can become crippling. Don’t fall for these five common mistakes.

1. Love is a 50/50 partnership

Many people view love as a two-way street, with each person receiving affection in proportion to what’s been given out. It’s true that love often breeds love in return, but expecting a measured response for each gesture of affection is unrealistic. Worse, it leads to score keeping and the constant feeling that one is doing either too much or too little.

The reality is more like a series of candles, each lighting the others. Some candles are large, some are small. One person’s 80% may glow dimmer than someone else’s 20%. Sometimes we pour love in a constant stream toward someone who is not yet able to give it back. Try to give 60%, 70%, or even 100% in every relationship you are part of. You never know which candle may be just a few seconds away from sparking.

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2. Loving someone means never letting go

We all make sacrifices for the people we love, but there’s a big difference between changing your plans for someone else’s benefit and allowing yourself to be swallowed up in self-destructive behaviors that benefit no one.

Remember that sacrifice is about exchanging something of worth for an outcome we value even more. Like a chess player giving up a pawn in order to advance his queen, we let go of our own desires in order to improve the well-being of those we love. If our selfless gestures fail to achieve this goal, they cease being sacrifices and become waste.

You never have to stop caring about someone. But sometimes, for your own safety and sanity, it’s important to step away, regain perspective, and create an environment that allows everyone to grow.

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    3. Being loved cures loneliness

    No one likes to feel alone. Feelings of isolation can become crippling, like an all-consuming whirlwind that funnels into a black pit of despair. When you’re trapped in that pit, it’s easy to feel that if someone – anyone – would just care about you, things would get better.

    The truth is that people do care. They just haven’t figured out how to say it in a way that gets past the whirlwind. They want to help, but they can’t. No amount of love poured in from outside can fill up the aching chasm of loneliness.

    Fortunately, there is hope. Often the chasm can be filled from the inside – not by being loved, but by loving other people. Reach out, be honest, share what you are feeling and express your sincere desire for the welfare of others. You may be surprised at what happens next.

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    4. True love knows no bounds

    It’s not easy to be trapped between the people you care about and the choice you know is right. Many of us have stood in that difficult place and listened with heavy hearts to the inevitable words: “If you really loved me, you would do what I ask.”

    Loving someone doesn’t mean giving them everything they want. One of the most difficult, empowering, and life-changing expressions of love is the willingness to say no.

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      5. Love is blind

      Love isn’t about pretending not to notice problems. It’s about seeing problems, understanding them, and forging onward despite them. It’s about seeing people for who they are and who they can become. It’s about acknowledging imperfections and choosing not to make a fuss about them.

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      When problems arise, don’t ignore them. Instead have the courage to say, “This sucks, but we can fix it.” Try to view your loved ones as partners in the search for a solution, and not as the source of the problem.

      Love is not blind. Love sees, and it makes us feel safe to be seen.

      Featured photo credit: taliesin via morguefile.com

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      Last Updated on January 18, 2019

      7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

      7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

      Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

      But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

      If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

      1. Limit the time you spend with them.

      First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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      In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

      Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

      2. Speak up for yourself.

      Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

      3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

      This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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      But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

      4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

      Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

      This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

      Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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      5. Change the subject.

      When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

      Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

      6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

      Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

      I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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      You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

      Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

      7. Leave them behind.

      Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

      If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

      That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

      You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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