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7 Myths About Love That Could Harm Your Relationship

7 Myths About Love That Could Harm Your Relationship

Remember those fascinating Mills and Boon love novels, the ones we hid under our school books to read at night and the romantic movies that literally swept us off our feet with their mushy love scenes? I don’t remember the names of those novels or the movies anymore, but I sure remember how they made me feel.

Somewhere in the back of my mind they made me build a wish list of the qualities I wanted to see in my better half—the way he should be, the way he should not be, the way our life will be together and the magical ways life will turn into a fairy-tale once we are together.

But real life was a complete eye opener. It is for a lot of us who unconsciously carry these ideals (even when they scoff at it) and get into relationships disillusioned by their own beliefs and expectations. This often leads to facing a fall in the real world.

It thus comes as no surprise that, according to John Cacioppo, an expert on loneliness from the University of Chicago, roughly 20 percent of individuals—that would be 60 million people in the U.S.—feel alone and credit this loneliness as a major source of unhappiness in their lives.

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It’s time for a reality check and to bust those Love myths that have been deluding our senses and blocking us from having balanced, healthy relationships.

1.  “Someone somewhere is made just for you; Love is about finding the missing half, the one person who will complete you.”

The Truth: This has to be the most distorted and yet the most widely followed description of love and relationships. In reality, a healthy relationship constitutes of two wholesome people. They share and grow together with time, and experience and aid each other’s emotional and mental growth along the way.

But in no way are they dependent on each other to find fulfillment in their own life. And if you do feel the need for someone else to complete you, maybe its time to introspect and find the real reason behind that feeling: an insecurity, a dream you didn’t persuade, an unrewarding job, or something else?

2. “Love at first Sight! I will see that person and knows it’s him/her. Some magical signs will alert me that he/she is the one I have been looking for all my life.”

The Truth: While people can be instantly attracted to each other, some scientists say that being in love means really getting to know someone over time. Since love is about finding your soul mate and a person you can connect with at a mind-and-soul level, it is impossible to fall in love at first sight because there is no way you can tell if a person’s values, beliefs, and thoughts match those of your own just by looking at them.

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For that you need to spend considerable amount of time together, meet often, or do activities together.

3. “ Love means everlasting happiness. Couples in love, are always happy and sharing laughter and giggles all the time.”

The Truth: This is one of the deadliest myths because it makes people believe that relationships should bring them happiness and somehow evade their sorrows and transform their lives into one long, romantic fairy tale.

The truth cannot be far from this. Finding the right partner is just the beginning of a relationship which brings with it its own responsibilities: the hard work that is required to understand the other person, particularly his or her ways of doing things, which you then must mold with yours so that you can somehow find a balance and create a zone of peaceful co-existence, where differences can stay together without colliding.

Yes, it requires that much thought process!

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4. “If it is meant to happen, it will. If I am supposed to meet my soul mate one day, I will. I just have to wait for the D Day.”

The Truth: It’s funny how we leave the most important decision of our life in the hands of fate and literally sit with folded hands waiting for the perfect one to just one day appear out of the blue.

In reality, we have to just keep looking to find someone we are compatible with. Just like finding our dream job, finding love too takes a lot of preparation, thought, planning and action. The relationship needs to be nurtured, strengthened and allowed to grow.

5. “Love is another name for sacrifice.”

The Truth: By dictionary meaning, sacrifice refers to “giving up on something that is highly valued.” If you think from this perspective, love will never demand or create a situation where you have to give up on something you value most.

A loving partner will never demand you to give up on something you treasure, e.g. an old friendship. In fact, he or she will ensure that you will always get to keep this precious relationship in your life. Adjusting and compromising to make the relationship is acceptable but sacrifice is not.

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6. “People in love never fight. They just live happily ever after.”

The Truth: Since no two people are 100% alike, it is natural that some friction will be created when they share the same space 24 hours in a day.

It is also impossible for them to be in the best of their moods all this while, but the couples who survive these rough patches are the ones who create something meaningful and useful even from arguments, and take a step forward in understanding each other better after a discord.

7. “Jealousy, Thy name is love”.

The Truth: Jealousy is just another name for irrational insecurities. It represents weak bonding and distrust.

Misunderstanding jealousy for Love is just spoiling its name and disrespecting the selfless emotion that love truly is. If you were to truly love a person, you would rejoice in his/her happiness, try to be a part of his success and joy, and accept his family, friends and loved ones as your own and value the things that are important to him or her.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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