#3 How to Build Loving and Successful Relationships

#3 How to Build Loving and Successful Relationships

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Hi, welcome to Happy Now Olivia! A channel dedicated to the pursuit of happiness,
because you don’t have to wait. You can be happy now. I’m Olivia. Today I’m going to talk about Love and Relationships,
the subject of timeless art, literature and music. We all want to love and to be loved, but most
problems in modern society come from neglecting the first part of that sentence. Actively loving someone versus just wanting
to be loved. If you’ve watched my Intro video, you know
that I was searching for happiness for a long time. Part of that search included desperately trying
to find love. I looked outside of myself and gave everything
I had to give to all the wrong people. I neglected the most important person, myself. In order to know and love someone else, we
have to know and love ourselves. We’ve heard this before and it may sound
trite, but it’s true. In todays world there are a thousand distractions
at every turn. If we haven’t learned to focus our attention
to the deepest parts of who we are, this concept may be difficult to accept, or we may be convinced
we know who we are and what we want. When we are in a close relationship with someone,
two things happen. The best of us comes out, but also the worst
of us comes out and that is one of the greatest opportunities for personal growth. When the little things and sometimes the big
things that aren’t the most polished or the prettiest come out, love, commitment and
understanding play their greatest roles in helping us to grow and to look within ourselves
to get better. The result is a deep, wonderful, and honest
connection with another human being. In order to address the subject of how to
achieve love and successful relationships I’m going to go back to two of my favorite
books, “Restoration Therapy” by Terry Hargrave and Franz Pfitzer and “The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People” by Stephen Covey. With Restoration Therapy the goal is to restore
the elements of human existence that most often cause relational and individual brokenness. The human need to find relationships, to develop
relationships is innate. We can’t form identity, knowledge of the
self, or even our personalities without the context of another. We don’t reflect ourselves. We see and learn about ourselves through the
context and reflection of relationships. Relationships demand that one individual give
to another. As a result of the giving, this individual
is entitled to receive something. These two facts make humans interdependent. Interdependence is the healthy expression
of a allowing the desire for relationships when there is a consistency we can rely on
that allows us to trust and move towards an exchange of love and intimacy. That predictability and trust allows to move
into deeper and deeper levels of interaction. So what happens when a partner in a relationship
is irresponsible? Who will be responsible for the giving the
other in the relationship needs? Many people who are in relationships with
irresponsible people become isolated because of the hopelessness that the other partner
will not meet their needs, or they become over responsible trying to meet their own
needs. We can’t receive from ourselves the giving
that must come from another. Responsibility in a relationship belongs to
two people, and it means to give responsibly in a way that is reliable. But human beings are not totally reliable. Even in the best of relationships and in the
best of circumstances, with the best of intentions partners can’t be totally predictable. How much unpredictability can a relationship
handle? According to Hargrave and Pfizer, clinically,
partners in a relationship need a consistency rate of about 85% to 90%. Predictability doesn’t mean perfection,
but partners have to be consistent in giving or they will be forced into a position of
questioning safety and trustworthiness. An aspect of trustworthiness that is key in
relationships is Justice or Balance. In a horizontal relationships between equals
such as spouses, each is entitled to give and each is entitled to receive equally. Picture a ledger where on the left someone
is entitled to receive respect, care and intimacy. On the right they’re obligated to give respect,
care and intimacy. This is just a partial list of what spouses
and people in relationships give and take. Each relationship’s individual ledger may
be different in terms of specifics. For example in some relationships one person
is more responsible for providing income to the family, the other may be responsible
to provide more care and nurturing to the household. If the individuals feel that the give and
take is balanced, they will feel that the relationship is fair, and that there is justice
in the give and take. It’s important to remember that the give
and take in a relationship does not to be exact at any given moment. Sometimes someone gives more than they receive in
a relationship, or they receive more than they give. As long as these times oscillate appropriately
between partners, so that the give and take is balanced over a period of time, trustworthiness
can be achieved. The point is to maintain long-term balance
in relationships. In order to illustrate a practical way of
how to achieve trust and balance in relationships, I’m going to go over Stephen Covey’s fantastic
concept of the emotional bank account. With a financial bank account we make deposits
to build up a reserve from which we can make withdrawals when we need too. An emotional bank account is a metaphor for
the amount of trust that’s been built in a relationship. For example, if I make deposits into an emotional
bank account with you through kindnesses, honesty and keeping promises, I build up a
reserve. Your trust toward me becomes higher, and I can
call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that high trust
account, that emotional reserve will compensate for it. When the trust account is high communication
is easy, instant and effective. But if I have a habit of showing discourtesy,
disrespect, cutting you off, ignoring you, becoming arbitrary, betraying your trust and
threatening you, my emotional bank account is overdrawn. The trust levels are very low and I have no
flexibility. I have to watch everything I say, be careful
about everything I say. The tension in the air is palpable. Marriage is the most intimate, potentially
rich, joyful, satisfying, and productive relationship possible between two people. Our most constant relationships require our
most constant deposits. We’ve all run into friends from the past
we haven’t seen for years and we can pick up right where we left off, because earlier
deposits are still there. But our accounts with the people we interact
with on a regular basis need a more constant investment. Stephen Covey outlines 6 major deposits we
can do to build an emotional bank account that will yield a lifetime of love and trust interest. The first deposit we can make is Understanding
the Individual. Really seeking to understand another person
is probably the most important deposit you can make and the key to every other deposit. We really don’t know what constitutes a
deposit to someone else unless we truly know and understand that person. What may constitute a deposit to you: going
for a walk to talk things over, going out for ice cream together, doing a project
together, may not be perceived as a deposit by someone else. In fact, it might even be perceived as a withdrawal
if it doesn’t address that person’s deep interests or needs. To make a deposit, what is important to someone
else must be as important to you as that person is to you. We tend to project out of our own autobiographies
what we think other people want or need. The second deposit we can make towards having
a successful relationship is Attending to the Little Things. Little kindnesses and courtesies are so important. Small unkindnesses and discourtesies or forms
of disrespect make major withdrawals. In relationships the little things are the
big things. Third, Keeping Commitments. Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major
deposit. Breaking one is a major withdrawal. There’s probably not a more massive withdrawal
you can make than to make a promise that matters, that means something to someone and not come
through. Fourth, Clarifying Expectations. Most relationship difficulties are rooted
in conflicting and ambiguous expectations around roles and goals. Unclear expectations lead to misunderstandings,
disappointments and withdrawals of trust. Expectations may be implicit. They haven’t been explicitly stated or announced,
but people nonetheless bring them into a particular situation. Even if they haven’t been discussed or the
person who has isn’t even aware of it, fulfilling them makes deposits, violating
them makes withdrawals. That’s why it’s so important whenever
you come into a new situation to lay out on the table all the expectations explicitly
and clearly. The fifth deposit we can make is to Show Personal
Integrity. Personal Integrity generates trust and it’s
the basis for many other deposits. A lack of integrity undermines almost every
other effort to build high trust accounts. Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth, conforming our
words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words:
keeping promises and fulfilling expectations. One of the most important ways we can manifest
integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we gain the trust of those who
are present. Integrity is an interdependent reality where
we treat everyone by the same set of principles. Many people would prefer to take the course
of least resistance, belittling and criticizing, betraying confidences, and gossiping about
people behind their backs. Integrity also means avoiding any conversation
that is deceptive and beneath the dignity of people. The sixth and final deposit we can make is
To Apologize Sincerely. A person must have a deep level of security
in order to apologize genuinely. People with little internal security can’t
do it. It makes them too vulnerable. They feel it makes them appear soft and weak. Their worth comes from the opinions of other
people and they worry what others might think. They usually feel justified in what they did
and they rationalize their own wrongdoing. If they apologize at all, it’s insincere. Sincere apologies make deposits, repeated
apologies interpreted as insincere make withdrawals. When we make deposits of unconditional love
with people, we help them to feel safe, secure, validated and affirmed in their sense of worth,
identity and integrity. One of, another aspect of trustworthiness
that is key in relationships is Openness. When we are open about our flaws we acknowledge
areas of deficiency. It makes us more likely to use that openness
to address shortcomings and to grow. Being open about flaws without addressing
shortcomings demands that the other partner simply adjust, and live as if the problem doesn’t
exist, or can’t be solved. Openness doesn’t mean, it’s not about
saying “This is the way I am, and in order to be with me you have to take me as I am.” It means “This is what I see in myself and
I believe I can be better.” When openness points toward growth, our imperfections
and our partner’s actually pull us closely into a more intimate bond. Openness also provides an opportunity to demonstrate
vulnerability. When we share what we think about a particular
subject or that partner in a relationship, we invite the other to do the same. Our thoughts and emotions in many ways are
the things that are the most important and the deepest to us. When we share these openly and vulnerably
in relationships we’re sharing the deepest parts of who we are. There are two ways in which people are not
open in relationships. The first is misrepresentation and lying. When someone is intentionally deceptive in
a relationship, the discovery is particularly painful to the other individual because their
thoughts, feeling and reality turned out to be false, and they’re left wondering if anything
in the relationship was real or true. Another way lying is painful is that vulnerability
and openness were openly given with nothing given in return. The second way people are not open in relationships
is to become distant or secretive which results in an intimacy standstill. There is little interaction between partners
as they each drift further and further away into their own individuality. There is no intimacy or vulnerability. There has been much interest in psychology
about the unconscious and seeking relationships to correct or fulfill a need, desire or relationship
from the past. For example, a man marries a woman just like
his mother or ex-wife. Some of these theories are valid in terms
of motivations, unconscious urges and felt obligations, but Hargrave and Pfitzer’s
basic premise of the Restoration Therapy model is that human beings seek relationships not
so much because they mimic the behavior and relationships with our past and our caregivers,
but because they need them to form a sense of identity and safety. Human beings are built to seek relationships
and for those relationships to be trustworthy, balanced and fulfilled. Unfulfilled and unmet needs in relationships
resemble unfulfilled and unmet needs with our primary caregiving relationships, because
relationships in general bring out those needs that are related to love and trustworthiness. That’s why relationships provide us with
an incredible opportunity to grow. Because we can choose to face ourselves and
our past in order to find love, peace and balance in the present. It’s not okay for an individual to seek
from their spouse or child the love and nurturing they did not get from a parent. However, it’s normal for those primary emotions
surrounding the past to come up in relationships in the present. I go over in detail how a lack of love and
trustworthiness affects our behavior and personality at an individual level and how to get better
in my Therapy video. There are two patterns found in relationships: complimentary and symmetrical. In complimentary relationships, the patterns
of the partners tend to be at opposite extremes. If one partner is dominant, the other may
be submissive. If one is assertive, assertive, the other
may be avoidant. Behavior in the relationships remains fairly
stable because both partners in the relationship are doing and feeling something different
than the other. In symmetrical relationships the patterns
of the partners tend to be of the same nature. If one is blaming, the other is blaming. If one is controlling, the other is controlling
too. Intensity and feelings escalate because both
partners are doing more of the same behavior. Complimentary relationships can work well
if the focus is constructive, appropriate, loving and trustworthy. For example, a parent feels loved, fulfilled
and optimistic, therefore parents their child in an authoritative, instructive and involved
manner. In turn, the child feels loved, competent
and not alone, is submissive to the direction of the parent, cooperative in instruction
and intimate and open. Likewise symmetrical relationships can work
well and be positive if the focus of the intensity and escalation are in a loving and trustworthy
direction. For example, lovers interested in demonstrating
love to one another, in spending more quality time with one another. They might reciprocate with increasing number
of gifts, conversations and activities that continue to reinforce that care and nurturing
in the relationship. In both patterns if there is a question of
safety and identity, it can make the partners agitated and frustrated and the relationship
itself can reinforce unloving and untrustworthy feelings present in each partner’s past. How an individual reacts from relationship
to relationship and setting to setting is fairly constant. I’m going to go over some of the destructive
patterns that develop in relationships, but if you want to know more about everything
I’m talking about I highly recommend “Restoration Therapy” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” As always I link below the video everything
I recommend and additional information. One of the destructive patterns that can develop
in relationships is the Pursuer/Distancer Pattern where partners in a relationship have
distinct and differing needs with the Pursuer desiring a more close, emotionally enmeshing
relationship, while the Distancer values autonomy and individuality more. The Pursuer may have a difficult time holding
on to a consistent sense of self without having someone to reassure them of love and affection. They feel alone and unwanted and act needy
or try to manipulate the partner toward more intimacy The Distancer feels unsafe as a result of
the neediness and manipulation feeling that the Pursuer will never be happy with his or
her efforts or actions, and feeling hopeless to meet the Pursuer’s needs. They will cope by using Escape/Chaos behaviors
and avoid that partner. Next another destructive pattern is the Overfunctioner/Underfunctioner Pattern. In this pattern partners are feeling threatened
by, in terms of safety and trustworthiness, and they react towards two extremes of Control
Behaviors, the Overfunctioner, and Escape/Chaos behaviors, the Underfunctioner. For example, the Overfunctioner feels betrayed
or used, and they act in a critical and judgmental way. The Underfunctioner feels disconnected and
guilty and shames themselves, using Escape/Chaos behaviors and withdraws to avoid those feelings. Another destructive pattern is the Blamer/Placater
pattern. In this pattern partners are usually feeling
pressure or pain in terms of dentity and feeling unloved The Blamer blames because they feel alone,
insignificant and unappreciated. The Placater copes by shaming themselves as
they feel worthless, defective and hopeless. The Blamer is angry, arrogant and aggressive,
the Placater anxious, needy, and depressed. As this pattern develops it almost always
comes to be at least emotionally abusive of the Placater and usually develops into physical
and sexual violence. Marriage can be the most intimate, satisfying
and enduring of human relationships so it may seem natural and even proper to be centered
on your spouse, or significant other. But when Stephen Covey worked with troubled
marriages, he observed than in almost every spouse-centered relationships there was a
strong thread of emotional dependence. When our sense of worth comes primarily from
our marriage and not ourselves we become highly dependant on the moods, behaviors, and treatment
of our spouse or partner in a relationship and to any external event that may impinge
on that relationship: a new child, economic setbacks, in-laws, social successes and so
forth. When responsibilities and stressors come into
the marriage, the spouse centered relationship reveals all it’s vulnerability. Some people seek therapy to change that spouse
or person in a relationship because they need someone to be or behave differently in order to feel okay about themselves and feel safe in the relationship. This strategy leads nowhere, because when it
comes to relationships deteriorating it’s never just one person’s fault and the person
seeking to change that someone else without seeing themselves as an object of change is
missing the big picture. Sometimes it’s true that the other person
needs to change. Most of these relationships are with violent,
victimizing or highly irresponsible people, but the truth remains that change must be
focused on ourselves, because it’s not possible to change someone else. We can only change ourselves. To do this requires and incredible amount
of proactivity. To be proactive is Stephen Covey’s first
habit in his “7 Habit of Highly Effective People.” I go over all habits in my 7 Habits video. But the 7 habits are a principle centered, character
based inside out approach. Meaning that in order to grow and change you
have to look at the most inside part of yourself first. If you want to have a happy, loving and successful
relationship then be the kind of person that generates positive energy and sidesteps negative
energy rather than empowering it. If you want a more pleasant and cooperative teenager
then be a more understanding, empathetic, consistent and loving parent. If you want more freedom and latitude in your
job, then be a more helpful, contributing, and responsible employee. If you want to be trusted, then be trustworthy. If you want the secondary greatness of recognized
talent then focus first on the primary greatness of character. If we use what Stephen Covey called The Personality
Ethic, superficial influence strategies and techniques to get other people to do what
we want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like us more, while our character remains
fundamentally flawed, marked with duplicity and insincerity then in the long run we can’t
be successful with others or at life. In an artificial social system like a school
you may be able to get by if you learn to manipulate the man-made rules and how to play
the game. In most one-shot, short-lived human interactions,
you can use the personality ethic to make a favorable impression by using charm, skill
and pretending to like other people’s hobbies. Many people with secondary greatness, that
is social recognition for their talents, lack primary greatness and goodness in their character. Sooner or later you’ll see this in every
long-term relationship they have whether it’s with a spouse, a work associate, a friend
or a teenager going through an identity crisis. When it comes to relationships there are no
shortcuts. There is no way to parachute into this terrain. The landscape ahead is covered with the fragments
of broken relationships of people who have tried to jump into effective relationships
without the maturity or strength of character to maintain them. You have to walk the road. You can’t be successful with others if you
haven’t paid the price of success with yourself. So what happens if there is a problem in our
intimate relationships? When a couple falls in love, they come together
and many marry because they’re intoxicated with that initial euphoria of love, but within
a matter of months or years they can’t stand each other. Many are absolutely convinced the other partner
is their enemy. How did this couple who were once so in love
lose one another to become distant and emotionally disillusioned? Many couples lose themselves because of their
differences in relationship focus. Many people come into relationships expecting
the other partner to give them emotional fulfillment and happiness. What they often find is someone who triggers
them emotionally and creates many questions around safety and identity. Instead of safe they feel insecure. Instead of loved they feel unloved, unwanted
and alone. Many people who go into relationships looking
for this type of emotional fulfillment and happiness are actually missing the point of
what relationships do in general. Relationships, especially deep mating, family
relationships, force us toward growth to deal with the deepest parts of ourselves in terms
of learning who we are and how to be more capable and powerful in a world that is not
always safe. As much as we would like it to be so, a partner
is not built to give us our identity or to protect us in an unsafe world. There was but, There is but one time in our
lives when that is programmed into us and is in the vertical relationship between caregiver
and child. What we have in a horizontal relationship
of coupling is the opportunity to walk together, to share, to struggle and to grow. As individuals we must be responsible for
our own sense of self and our own power or we cannot couple. Relationships are not meant to make us happy,
they’re meant to make us grow. Partnering through marriage is not just two
people who commit to sharing life together and standing by one another. They actually create something new because
of their relationship. Hargrave and Pfitzer call it the “Us-ness.” The wonderful quality of this “Us-ness”
is that it’s neither you nor me. The relationship contains both individuals
and is more than the sum of their individual parts Even though the relationship is invisible,
it does have visible parts that are identifiable and, that are dynamic and visible. Us-ness has it’s own personality, likes
and dislikes. For example, my wife likes hiking. I don’t particularly. However, our Us-ness likes hiking. I don’t mean that because my wife likes
hiking, I submit to her wishes and go hiking. I mean that when we go hiking together, the
experience of being in nature, of challenging ourselves physically, and of, of spending
quality time with one another is part of who we are. Our Us-ness likes hiking, although I would
never choose to do it on my own. In the same way that children are similar
to their parents, us-ness is similar to the partners, but it’s representative of it’s
own identity. Parents take care of themselves individually,
but usually put the best interests of the child first. Taking care of a couple relationship is much
like taking care of a child. It doesn’t mean that the individuals are
inattentive to their own needs, but they recognize that they also have a responsibility toward
the care and nurturing of the relationship. Just as parents grow as they learn how to
raise a child, partners inevitably grow as they give love and trustworthiness to their
us-ness. If partners learn how to manage the heart of their own
conflicts, they will be in a much better position to look out for the best interests of their
us-ness and achieve closeness and intimacy. In the Restoration Therapy model, Hargrave
and Pfitzer have developed 4 phases of healing that excel in helping couples manage their
conflict successfully and arrive at intimacy. The first phase is Understanding the Pain
Cycle. We must understand the emotional components
that drive instability in a relationship. A couple doesn’t have, 10, 20, or 30 disagreements
even though they may fight about various things like parenting, financing or friends. A couple doesn’t have 20 fights in one month,
they have one fight 20 different times. In the Restoration Therapy book, Hargrave
and Pfitzer go in the depth into the 4 phases of healing. In the first phase of Identifying The Pain
Cycle as you learn to identify your own issues, individual issues surrounding identity and
safety, you begin to identify yours and your partner’s coping mechanisms and reactivity. For example, if we have a couple where the
husband feels unloved and shames himself. The wife feels unsafe and fearful and begins
controlling. Then the husband feels alone and acts invulnerable. Then the wife feels out of control and begins
to act in a perfectionistic manner. Then then husband feels like he can’t measure
up and withdraws to defend. Then the wife acts, the wife feels vulnerable
and begins to act in a nagging and judgmental way. And the destructive cycle repeats itself. Once you figure out what your particular,
what the particular pain cycle in your relationship is, the second phase of healing is the Peace
Cycle, is Understanding the Peace Cycle, Identifying the Peace Cycle. In this cycle we identify primary emotions
and behaviors that are anchored in love and trustworthiness like nurturing, self-valuing,
balanced give and take, and reliable connecting. The more we replace the negative behaviors
and emotions with positive ones, the more the individuals feel loved and that the relationship
is trustworthy. The third phase of healing is Moving to Transition. Even if you identify the pain cycle and the
peace cycle, transitioning is a significant challenge. It requires constant repetition and rewiring
and working to rewire the neural pathways in the brain. I go over how to do this in my Therapy video,
but the 4 steps to rewire the brain are to Say What You Feel, Say What You Would Normally
Do, Say The Truth, and Make a Different Behavioral Choice. The fourth and final phase of healing is Creating
Intimacy. As partners become proficient in transitioning
from the Pain Cycle to the Peace Cycle and they make the, they take the fourth step of
rewiring the brain, of making a different behavioral choice, it creates the opportunity
for intimacy and bonding. When the couple is emotionally regulated,
the individuals are now free to explore new options to create intimacy and to build positive
pathways in the brain. This doesn’t mean that we won’t revert
back to the Pain Cycle. In fact, we will many times as we are working
to build a more loving, just and balanced relationship. I have gone through these cycles many times
in my own relationship, and still do from time to time. But the key is that now we have these skills
and awareness to transition from the Pain Cycle to the Peace Cycle, and every time we
do, we do it together as a couple, and we grow and we develop intimacy. I have also gone through that initial euphoria
and obsession of being in love. It’s exciting, intoxicating and fun. But when that initial euphoria settled, I
was still deeply in love, more so at every turn because I made a commitment to a beautiful
person I see as my soulmate. And in the first few years of our relationship
as we were getting to know each other, sometimes it was rough, but we always figured it out. And for the last two years we’ve had these
tools to help our marriage, and every time we dig deep into ourselves, our relationship
blossoms and flourishes. If during those early years, our marriage
was a diamond in the rough, today it’s a shiny, polished diamond. Nothing can scratch it, nothing can break
it, except itself. Whether the diamond of your relationship breaks
or endures, is up to you. A ring is the embodiment of a promise. A commitment of the heart to love another
human being. In the immortal words of Stephen Covey, love
is a verb. Love doesn’t just happen because you walk
down the aisle or wait at the altar. Love happens because you make it happen. To be able to give you need to believe that
you are worthy to love and to be loved. Love means having the humility to know you
can always get better, to know you can improve your relationship by improving yourself. There are so many books out there catering
to The Personality Ethic. In researching to make this video, I read
one such book, catchy title, catchy concept, bestseller. I was so frustrated because it was so on the
surface. The kind of book that gathers dust on the
shelves after the initial excitement of following it’s catchy concept. If we want to have happy, loving, and successful
relationships we can’t live on the surface, we have to dig deep within ourselves. Thin books with big letters and catchy concepts
don’t always dig deep, even if they mean well and are sometimes helpful after we’ve
done the real work. I can only recommend books where at the time
of reading them I sense a deep level of integrity from the author to the subject matter they’re
addressing, and when the knowledge changes my life and continues to change it. The bond we can have with another human being,
whether it’s the committed and loving relationship with a spouse or significant other, or the
timeless relationship between family and friends: these are the most precious diamonds to be
treasured. In order for these to be the brightest, the
most polished, the highest quality diamonds, we ourselves have to shine. When we have a truly loving and effective
relationship what we’re doing is sharing our souls with another human being, and that
allows to grow more than anything else. Because loving means looking within ourselves,
working to get that polish. It takes and incredible amount of courage,
but it’s so worth it. If you enjoyed this video, please like it
an share it. And consider subscribing so you can get the
latest Happy Now Olivia! video. In addition I’d love to hear in the comments
below how working on yourself has affected your relationships. Remember, happiness is an active choice. You don’t have to wait. You, too, can be Happy Now! Thanks for watching. See you next time.

1 thought on “#3 How to Build Loving and Successful Relationships”

  1. I do admire your courage in making this video while in an emotional state. I love all that you said and it should be what we all strive towards in every relationship. Thank you Olivia! I love your videos. Keep it up.

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