How to have more Positive and Supportive Relationships

How did this come up?

I was talking to my friend about growing up, when the topic of being guilty for having a so-called “nuclear family” or “perfect family” came up. He explained to me that people have actually made him feel partially guilty for having a supportive, healthy, and happy family. This has maybe even caused him to talk about his family less in front of people that don’t have “perfect” home lives.

I was shocked and disappointed to hear this. Several of my friends have expressed the same issue. They have parents that are happily married, supportive of their children, and have financial stability. These healthy-home people are surrounded by friends that have separated parents, financial hardship, and dysfunctional families that indirectly (and sometimes directly) made them feel bad that they were born to a healthy family.

My Response:

This did not sit well with me for many reasons. My first reaction to hearing about a healthy family and supportive parents is not to be jealous, to “top” the person by telling them about my worse situation, or to repeatedly tell them that they are so lucky. I feel a bit of hope for humans, and I feel happy that they had/have familial support at home.

I don’t understand why someone with issues at home would make another person feel guilty for having a good life. Like, what the flap jacks?! What do you want them to do?! Say, “I am sorry I had a good childhood, let me just go fix that for you and make my life worse so that we can try to one-up each other with home issues.” No. That is dumb.

What we can do instead:

We need to start feeling happy for one another’s positive life experiences and avoid “topping” one another’s negative ones. We should be supportive of our friends and not compare situations. The most rewarding friendships that I have developed, were ones where we talked about our lives and supported one another without any competitions or guilt.

Being vulnerable and honest is something important in healthy relationships, and being supportive and understanding in response is vital to make the vulnerability piece successful. These relationships tend to last longer than distant casual friendships, and they tend to bring a sort of safe positivity to your experience in this world.

I too often see people “one-up” each other with details about their life. It is like some sort of game where the worse experiences you have the cooler you are. I don’t get it.

When a person tells me about a negative experience they had, I normally respond with support and understanding that opens the door for them to talk about it if they want or don’t. I usually confirm that it is okay to feel the way they do and note that they made it through.

This can be applied to positive experiences as well. I have been working on responding with joy for others. For example, if a person tells me they have been to Europe, I would respond by letting them know that it is great they had the opportunity and ask them to tell me what it was like instead of complaining that I haven’t been to Europe.

Now, if they ask where you have been, it is okay to say you haven’t been to those places, but you should include that you plan to one day instead of being jealous or saying they are “lucky”.

I am guilty too…

I am guilty of this as well, since I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others and having a negative mindset, so I am working on this myself.

I have been doing my best to support anyone and everyone that is vulnerable with me, and I try to keep my relationships positive. I learned this in group therapy this year and I have seen results in my relationships.

Obviously, no one is perfect and we sometimes mess up, because we aren’t paying attention or are in a bad mood. The key is to check yourself and make sure to correct your actions. When I catch myself being negative, I try to apologize to the person, re-training my brain to respond positively.

Not only does this make my relationships better and my friends’ lives better, it also makes my life more positive in general.

Conclusion

Be vulnerable and supportive when people are vulnerable with you. Respond positively and deepen your relationships. Nobody is perfect, but we can correct ourselves and slowly make our lives more positive one interaction at a time. Lastly, be aware of your own responses and mindset. You have the power to make your life more positive and healthy, so take control.


~Pragmaster, your visit and support is appreciated beyond possible demonstration. Your feedback and support is valuable to us. Nevertheless, you are the Pragmaster of our Pragmastery, so do feel free to share your opinions and experiences.

Stay pragmatic and spread positivity!


~The opinions and beliefs of our writers do not reflect upon the website as a whole. Our writers have the freedom to share their subjective opinions in a respectful and considerate manner. The individual author of each post is responsible for fact checking and representation of discourses.
If you would like to discuss a concern or report harmful content, please contact us using our Correspondence page. If an author’s content is not to your liking, please feel free to browse our other authors’ pieces to find a more suitable read for your personal taste, or kindly agree to disagree by clicking off of this site. Please do not waste your time expressing your opinion in an overly negative or inconsiderate manner, for those comments will be removed from the site.

~This website is intended to provide lifestyle suggestions that may not work for all individuals. Please, be aware of your personal health and seek professional help when you have a medical need or emergency. Everyone is different, so various approaches will work for some individuals and not others. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt, always be wary of what you read and reference multiple sources and points of view. Always seek professional advice when your (or someone you know) mental or physical health are at risk.

Remember to recognize the various perspectives of others and embody an empathic mindset when browsing this website. Approach all information, stories, and situations presented on this website, and the internet, with an open mind and cautious mentality. If you encounter threatening or traumatizing content, please contact us using the Correspondence page. If someone is harassing you or others on this website, please contact the appropriate authorities. 

~Any and all content on this site is the creative and intellectual work of our authors. The distribution and reuse of any content on this site without permission is strictly prohibited. If you would like to share a piece with credit to the author, please contact us using our Correspondence page. Do not steal steal the work of our writers or use their work as your own. If you are unaware of the specific definition of plagiarism, we have linked some resources for your convenience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.