A DAD’S LETTER TO HIS SON (ABOUT THE ONLY GOOD REASON TO GET MARRIED)
It seems like yesterday you were blowing poop out of your diaper onto your mother’s lap. Yet here we are, on the verge of the birds-and-the-bees conversation. The poop was way easier.
Before we talk about sex, though, I want to talk about marriage. Not because I’ll shun you or shame you if you don’t put them in that order—although I hope you will—but because I believe the only good reason to get married will bring clarity to every other aspect of your life, including sex.
We have a bad habit of focusing on people’s superficial, negative qualities. Happiness and fulfillment can be gained by giving weight to what should ultimately guide our behavior: people’s profound, positive qualities. Appreciating these aspects of individuals fosters meaningful and mutually beneficial experiences.
Bias has been getting a lot of attention lately due to a growing understanding of the influences it has on our actions and attitudes outside of our awareness (Banaji & Greenwald, 2013). A phenomenon called negativity bias makes us far more sensitive to negative things than to positive ones. If two disparate events are of equivalent strength, the event that is negative will elicit much greater psychological activity and will impact behavior more (Baumeister, et al., 2001). Evolutionarily, this makes sense as it protects us from harm, but if our default is to dwell on the negative and to ignore the positive, then how can we hope to be happy, optimistic people?
10 “NOTES TO SELF” THAT WILL STOP YOU FROM TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY
Let’s start off with a simple question:
Why do we always take things so personally?
There are admittedly quite a few viable and valid answers to consider. But, the one Angel and I have found to be most common through a decade of one-on-one coaching with our course students and live event attendees is the tendency we all have of putting ourselves at the center, and seeing everything—every event, conversation, circumstance, etc.—from the viewpoint of how it relates to us on a personal level. And this can have all kinds of adverse effects, from feeling hurt when other people are rude, to feeling sorry for ourselves when things don’t go exactly as planned, to doubting ourselves when we aren’t perfect.
“I thought I was promiscuous, but it turns out I was just thorough.” Russell Brand
Many married people envy singles for their greater romantic freedom in conducting casual relationships. Do singles envy married people for their enduring serious relationships? A recent study(link is external) of singles in the United States, conducted by Match, the world’s largest relationship company, indicates surprising trends.
IS BEING SEXY MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING BEAUTIFUL?
Should we bring sexy back?
“I think being sexy is far more important for love and sex than beauty; and it is also quickly identifiable. If I see an unsexy pretty man, I can appreciate the looks but I don’t feel sexually attracted to him. This happens often, not just to me, not just to women. I’d like to think of myself as both sexy and good-looking.” A married woman
Both being sexy and beautiful enhance romantic attraction. Which one is more dominant? And which one is more positively received? The answer is not obvious.
IN RELATIONSHIPS, NOT ARGUING MEANS YOU’RE NOT COMMUNICATING
Lisa Brookes Kift
Researchers are doing a great job raising awareness about harmful things couples say and do in a relationship. For example, we now know from the work of Dr. John Gottman that there are four communication patterns which predict whether a couple will stay together or break up: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
We know high conflict couples are on a one-way trip to divorce if they don’t learn how to better communicate, take responsibility, and work towards shifting their adversarial paradigm to a more collaborative one.
THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP (WHEN FRIENDSHIP IS A VERB)
The word “friend” is a derivative of the verb “freon,” which means, “To love.” A friend is a person. And a friend is a verb…
Two years ago, as my daughter was sprouting up through her fourth year of life, I was helping her put on a pair of jeans, and the waistband strained mightily. I asked her if she would like me to loosen it. She looked at me with puzzlement and asked, “Why?” So I found the stretchy strap inside the waistband and loosened it several notches. I looked at her and asked, “Better?” This time, she looked at me with awe and she sighed,
“Oh my, that’s a lot of better.”
My daughter didn’t know how uncomfortable her pants were, because she didn’t know how comfortable they could feel. When dis-ease sets in like a slowly dripping faucet, we don’t notice it. We unconsciously adapt to it. This can happen to our pants. But it can also happen to our hearts.
VACATIONS MAKE YOUR KIDS HAPPY LONG AFTER THEY’RE OVER
Whether you’re booking flights and hotels for a family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.
Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.
The gift of an experience, like a family vacation, is proven to be a more prosocial, connecting present than any material possession, according to a study out of the University of Toronto.