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How to Stop Looking for Happiness in Others and Learn to Create It Yourself

How to Stop Looking for Happiness in Others and Learn to Create It Yourself

Being in a relationship and finding that sweet spot between completely depending on the other person and being completely self-absorbed and absent is not always the easiest task.

But with practice and building awareness of the areas which can lead you into a trap of either hanging on to every little thing your partner does or being a cold robot, you can achieve that sweet spot too.

Many people enter a relationship expecting it to make all their woes go away and provide eternal fulfillment. And this can quickly turn into a state where you look for happiness exclusively in your partner.

Of course, the problems arise when people realise that even though they are with someone, the feeling of dissatisfaction lingers.

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This can lead to you resenting your partner, either openly or hiddenly, accumulating frustration and succumbing to a general feeling of not being fulfilled and helpless.

Good news is that you can escape this state of mind by starting from a simple realization: our true happiness cannot be found in others, rather we have to look inside ourselves to find it.

The path to reclaiming your happiness and possibly saving your relationship can be broken down into several steps:

1. TEST YOURSELF

Look within yourself to check if you have become emotionally dependent. Ask yourself: are you looking for a partner as a way to make yourself happy? Does it upset you if your partner doesn’t act or respond in a certain way? Do you complain about others a lot? Is your relationship the center of your universe? Does your world fall apart when you and your partner don’t do things together?

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If you answered with yes to several of these questions, it may be a sign that you are overly reliant on your relationship for happiness. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person but could be an indication that you are in need of change.

2. START LOOKING FOR HAPPINESS WITHIN YOU, NOT OUTSIDE OF YOU

We are often conditioned to seek happiness in things that surround us, after all, much of the modern economy revolves around the cycle of generating and satisfying needs with things.

The answer lies in realizing that people are not things to fulfill our voids. Their job is not to make us happy – they are probably struggling just as hard themselves.

3. GET COMFORTABLE BEING ON YOUR OWN

Just sit and listen to your thoughts. “If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else” they say and for a reason – it’s a simple truth.

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4. START CREATING AND EXPLORE YOUR POTENTIAL

It’s not uncommon for people to “hide” in relationship, afraid of really giving their all and achieving their potential. The key is to break this cycle and start an activity – join a cooking class, work on your fitness level or start creating music.

Any activit that draws creativity from you and teaches you about yourself can help you. Once you experience the joy of doing something really well and learning from your mistakes, you will be less prone to depending on others to fulfill you.

5. COMPLAIN LESS

Notice the moment when you jump into that “whine mode” and stop yourself right away. Instead of focusing on the negative, drill yourself to draw your attention to the positive, however trivial it may sound. Soon enough you will “rewire” your thought patterns and suffer the burden of complaining a lot less.

6. STOP BEING NEEDY

Also notice the moment when you are being needy with your partner. Become aware of how this pattern repeats and then train yourself to break it the next time. Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen right away, the key lies in persistence.

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7. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY

Lastly, accept that you alone have the responsibility and power to affect how happy you feel (please don’t make me quote Spiderman here, that is just a cliche, albeit a true one). Go a step forward and don’t just accept it, revel in it and see it as a gift that is always available to you, no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Becoming emotionally self-reliant | Leo Babuta, Zenhabits.net

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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