Q: How do I get that kind of boundless energy that children seem to have? Can my relationships be like that too?
A: There is something invigorating about kids and their incredible energy! They get so excited over the smallest surprise, the wonder of some new discovery or the challenge of a new skill. Our relationships deserve to be the same. We need to be excited, energised and “alive” when it comes to our connections with others. Our love for others needs to be vigorous.
One way is to think of resilience—to be able to spring back into shape after we’ve been knocked down; to stay strong when we’re tempted to find comfort in our weakness; choosing to be “alive,” when we feel like life has abandoned us.
Some people who experience anxiety, anger or depression at a stressful time may remain stuck in these emotions long after the event has passed. It’s the emotionally resilient people, the vigorous of heart, who can more quickly return to their normal emotional state.
Building resilience into a relationship requires a positive attitude and desire to make it the best it can be.
Psychiatrists Harry Mills and Mark Dombeck discovered that emotionally resilient people have a specific set of attitudes that enables them to stay buoyant and strong in their connections with others. Emotionally resilient people tend to:
- Have realistic and attainable expectations and goals;
- Show good judgement and problem-solving skills;
- Be persistent and determined;
- Be responsible and thoughtful rather than impulsive;
- Be effective communicators with good people skills;
- Learn from experience so as to not repeat mistakes;
- Be empathetic toward other people (caring how others around them are feeling);
- Have a social conscience (caring about the welfare of others);
- Feel good about themselves as a person;
- Feel they’re in control of their lives;
- Be optimistic rather than pessimistic.
Our relationships will flourish as we commit to optimism, empathy, sensitivity, being there when it counts and not giving up when times get tough.