friendship – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com Thu, 20 Feb 2020 08:13:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://iheartintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-IHI-square-32x32.png friendship – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com 32 32 There Are 7 Types Of Love According to Psychology. Which One Is Yours? https://iheartintelligence.com/there-are-7-types-of-love-according-to-psychology-which-one-is-yours/ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 07:32:46 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=58799 The post There Are 7 Types Of Love According to Psychology. Which One Is Yours? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

There Are 7 Types Of Love According to Psychology. Which One Is Yours?

Love. It is the answer to all of our questions, and the destination we are all searching for. Love has many definitions and many different faces. You can find it in various forms and unexpected places. That’s how powerful it is. The noted psychologist Robert Steinberg may have found a way to explain this mysterious […]

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The post There Are 7 Types Of Love According to Psychology. Which One Is Yours? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

There Are 7 Types Of Love According to Psychology. Which One Is Yours?

Love. It is the answer to all of our questions, and the destination we are all searching for.

Love has many definitions and many different faces. You can find it in various forms and unexpected places. That’s how powerful it is.

The noted psychologist Robert Steinberg may have found a way to explain this mysterious force and put it into an easy to read system. He has created a transparent Triangular Theory Of Love.

In his theory, Steinberg points out the three essential components of love – passion, intimacy, and compassion.

The different variations of the combinations between those elements give us the 7 different types of love. Here they are:

1. Passionate but infatuated love.

You know that feeling when you fall madly in love with someone, and everything seems so passionate and intense? But later on, when the spark fades away, the passion fades too. This is what psychology calls infatuated love. In the beginning, it feels overpowering and accelerated, but it is short-lived without any commitment or intimacy.

Just like the power of lust, infatuated love makes you feel like you can do anything for the other person. However, you need to be very careful and see if your partner is as committed to you, as you are for them.

2. Romantic love.

Romantic love is when you and your partner have both deep intimacy and passion for each other. This is the time when there are butterflies in your stomach, and all you can think about is your significant other. This type of love makes you feel excited and gets you goosebumped every time you see your loved one.

It feels truly magical. However, you should have in mind that if there is no serious commitment, this love may become short-lived too.

3. Friendship.

Who is the person you tell everything to? Think of the one who is always there for you. The special someone you can’t wait to talk to whenever something exciting or troublesome happens. You love them, right? Of course, you do. But you love them like a dear friend. This type of love is more liking than romantic loving. It’s still beautiful though.

4. Compassionate love.

When there is intimacy, alongside genuine commitment, there is compassionate love. However, when it comes to compassionate love, the passion in the relationship is not as much as in the other types of love.

This happens often in long-term romantic relationships. The passion eventually fades away. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The intimacy and commitment you have are strong enough to keep your love alive. Well, you still need to rekindle the fire between one another from time to time.

5. Fatuous love.

In fatuous love, you have passion and a strong will to commit to your partner, but there is no real intimacy.

Imagine this. You fall for someone new. There is wild chemistry between you two, and you can’t take your hands off each other. It seems almost perfect so far.

As you feel like you’ve finally found the one, there is still something essential missing. That’s the intimacy. The fact that you like the same artists, and read the same books simply isn’t enough. The truth is, without intimacy you can never truly connect to one another.

6. Empty love.

This kind of love is when you still feel a powerful sense of commitment toward someone, but there is no passion or intimacy between you. For instance, you share this love with your family members. While you see this person as an inevitable part of your future, you have no sexual attraction to them.

Sadly, this empty love happens also to many married couples who have lost the feelings of passion and affection for one another.

7. Consummate love.

The ultimate combination of the three powerful elements – intimacy, passion, and commitment, is called consummate love. This is the utmost situation, where you and your partner have an amazing emotional and physical connection with one another.

Consummate love is when the two of you are best friends, passionate lovers, and true soulmates. Plus, you can’t imagine your future without being side by side till the very end.

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Having to accept that a close friend does not feel the same way about you is difficult and painful https://iheartintelligence.com/having-to-accept-close-friend-does-not-feel-the-same-way/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:01:58 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=58005 The post Having to accept that a close friend does not feel the same way about you is difficult and painful appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Having to accept that a close friend does not feel the same way about you is difficult and painful

Having honest, true friends becomes more difficult as we age. There isn’t such a thing as the perfect friendship. Disagreements, fights, tears, and hurt feelings – these are all a natural part of any close and healthy relationship. However, it is truly painful when a person that you took as a close friend does not […]

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The post Having to accept that a close friend does not feel the same way about you is difficult and painful appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Having to accept that a close friend does not feel the same way about you is difficult and painful

Having honest, true friends becomes more difficult as we age. There isn’t such a thing as the perfect friendship. Disagreements, fights, tears, and hurt feelings – these are all a natural part of any close and healthy relationship.

However, it is truly painful when a person that you took as a close friend does not feel the same way about you.

Five years ago, I befriended a person who I instantly connected with. It felt as though we were soulmates. We worked at the same place and we always helped each other out in difficult times. There was no rivalry between us.

Well, that didn’t last long.

At some pointed people started talking that she was getting a promotion. I remember asking myself why she didn’t mention this to me. In addition, she started ignoring me while spending more time with her other friends.

The worst part came when I discovered that she was about to attend a work event that both of us had originally intended to go together with another one of my co-workers.

Needless to say, I could no longer avoid the reality. I had to come to terms with the fact that she chose others before me.

She did not care for our friendship the way I did.

I wasn’t on top of her priorities, even if that’s what she was to me.

She did not see me in the same light as I was seeing her.

I’ve spent a huge amount of time asking myself why and when this friendship went down the drain. But I could not come up with a meaningful answer.

However, eventually, I had to accept reality. For my own well-being, I chose to accept that she simply got tired of me.

I understand that sometimes the ones we consider to be the closest to us actually don’t feel the same way. Sometimes, for reasons we never get to know, they don’t or stop feeling the same way about us.

And it’s pointless to run after those people. It is pointless to beg for their time, attention and love.

Yes, this friendship did not work out the way I hoped, but I will never let this experience get to me and determine how I feel about who I am. The truth is that maybe we were never meant to be best friends and that’s alright.

Have you ever fallen out with a person you thought was a close friend?

Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.

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Why your outspoken and blunt friends are your truest and most real friends https://iheartintelligence.com/blunt-friends-are-truest-and-most-real-friends/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:14:32 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=45707 The post Why your outspoken and blunt friends are your truest and most real friends appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Why your outspoken and blunt friends are your truest and most real friends

We all have that one friend who is outspoken and blunt, and in today’s world they are quite hard to come by, especially when many people are self-centered and narcissistic. In a sea of selfish, self-driven friends your blunt and outspoken friend is the most real friend you will ever have. In today’s society, everyone […]

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The post Why your outspoken and blunt friends are your truest and most real friends appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Why your outspoken and blunt friends are your truest and most real friends

We all have that one friend who is outspoken and blunt, and in today’s world they are quite hard to come by, especially when many people are self-centered and narcissistic.

In a sea of selfish, self-driven friends your blunt and outspoken friend is the most real friend you will ever have.

In today’s society, everyone is either living to please others or living to please themselves. It’s very rare to find a friend who sits perfectly in the middle.

The truth is, the outspoken and blunt people of this world are the most real people you will meet.

They have no shame in speaking their mind and if need be, calling you out on your bullsh*t. They do it in the name of self-realization because, without these people how would we ever be aware of our bullsh*t?, especially when other people are too afraid to speak up.

Sure, their realness and blunt way of saying things can sometimes embarrass or even offend us with their truthfulness, and this sometimes makes us question our friendship with them but honestly, would you rather have a friend who speaks their mind about matters that concerns you behind your back, or would you rather have a friend who says it to your face?

I have two of the most outspoken best friends and every day I am thankful for their friendship.

Without them, I would never have realized half my bullsh*t and because of them, I am a better person. They have proven to be the most loyal and trustworthy friends I have ever had, l literally can’t imagine life without them.

Below are 5 reasons why I believe these kind people are true gems and should never be discarded:

1. They will never try and please you with a lie

Ask them a question and they will give you the God’s honest truth. ‘Yes, you look fat in that skirt’ or ‘No, he’s not the one for you.’ They see no reason in sugar coating things that are really obvious. They will tell you exactly what they know you need to hear as a friend, always with your best interest at heart, ofcourse. Sometimes hearing the truth hurts, especially when they say it sarcastically or so bluntly it feels like you’ve been hacked at with a blunt knife, but know that they always have your best interest at heart and most of the time, you end up realizing that they were right the entire time!

2. They’re not afraid to speak their mind

They will speak what’s on their mind wherever and to whomever, there’s no doubt about what kind of people they are or what kind of personalities they have because they hide nothing, whatever they’re thinking, they say. They don’t sugar coat things or hold their tongue for the sake of others, they believe that calling people out on things or speaking and voicing emotions are important and that’s why they always speak their mind.

3. They will never backstab you

The beautiful thing about this kind of friends is that they are the most real kind of people. Firstly, they have no time for bullsh*t, in any form, so when it comes to being friends with someone, that’s exactly what they’re going to be. Backstabbing, manipulation, and gossip are things children do, they consider it a waste of time if they didn’t want to be your friend they would just tell you to your face.

4. Being with them is always a fun and interesting time

Going out with them is always fun, interesting and eventful. They ward off creeps at a bar simply by being themselves and give it in full force to those who are being obnoxious and cocky. Their honesty, loyalty, and pure-heartedness make them a joy to be around and if things ever get boring, trust them to brighten the mood with a witty yet truthful comment.

5. Their friendship is friendship in its purest form

They teach you the true meaning of friendship, how to honor boundaries and keep to promises because they will be the first one to tell you when you have disrespected them and their boundaries. They take you out of your comfort zone so that you can see life differently, and grow. They are also the first to tell you when you are being disrespected and are always there to council and lend an ear or a shoulder when times get tough.

Being true to yourself, honoring your emotions and thoughts and being verbal about them is often frowned upon in today’s society because people hate hearing the truth, especially when it’s about themselves. However, without these people in our lives, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see ourselves, others and life in different perspectives.

Cherish your blunt and outspoken friends for they are the most real ones you have.

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Friendship: A Single Soul in Two Bodies https://iheartintelligence.com/friendship-single-soul-in-two-bodies/ Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:40:09 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=43456 The post Friendship: A Single Soul in Two Bodies appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Friendship: A Single Soul in Two Bodies

Many people around the world have tried their hand in writing about friendship, some certainly being more successful than others. In the early 2000s, when sending e-cards was still quite popular, I received a most heartfelt greeting from my best buddy that I put in the title of this article. What’s Friendship, Really? In the […]

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Friendship: A Single Soul in Two Bodies

Many people around the world have tried their hand in writing about friendship, some certainly being more successful than others.

In the early 2000s, when sending e-cards was still quite popular, I received a most heartfelt greeting from my best buddy that I put in the title of this article.

What’s Friendship, Really?

In the age of global interconnectedness and fast-flowing information, we use convenient tags to outline our friends’ list.

These include ‘my best friend’, ‘my soulmate’, ‘the brother/sister i never had’, to name a few.

And yet, all of these are dwarfed by the metaphor in the title of this article, for it conveys so much meaning in just six simple words.

Of course, this isn’t the only metaphor defining friendship. The thing is, this one shows the principle of language economy at its finest.

The Abused Phrase: Thank You!

When writing about our friends, most of us tend to use the words ‘Thank you’ so much that they practically abuse them.

In a three-minute read I came across recently, the author thanks her best friend for one thing or another no less than twelve times. If you just try to put yourself in the shoes of that friend, you’d probably be touched by the first three thank-yous, the next three may get your heart melting, but from the seventh thank-you onwards you’d probably start feeling a bit uneasy.

Instead of abusing the poor thank-you, why don’t we just try to show our appreciation of those around us every day? For one thing, this strategy is far more practical and effective, I think. A few good deeds oftentimes tell more than a thousand words, especially if they come at the right time.

Friends For Life

Many people maintain friendships so that they always have a shoulder to cry on, or someone to call in the middle of the night and share their worries or fears with.

For me, however, your true friends are those, whose company you enjoy even in complete silence.

And if this silence does not create in you a sense of incompleteness or uneasiness, then maybe that person is your friend for life.

So, why don’t you try the silence test the next time you hang out with your best friend. You may be surprised at the results!

Friend or Foe?

You may not know much about Roman history, and neither do I. Yet, the fact that Brutus was one of Caesar’s best friends, and yet did not hesitate to soak his hands in the latter’s blood tells a lot about friendship. Just think of how easy the ones close to you can become your fiercest foes!

I am not saying that you should regard all of your friends with suspicion and distrust, but you certainly should be watching out for the early signs of poisonous or suffocating friendships. Here are some of the tell-tale signs of that a friendship is doing you more harm than good.

The Controlling Friend

This one is particularly annoying. He or she is always trying to be in control of your life, as he/she is firmly convinced of that you are genuinely incapable of taking care of yourself.

This type of friend wants to know where you are, what you are doing and who you are with at any given time of the day or night.

Tip: If you want to keep this friend, you have to learn to politely and yet firmly stand your ground. Set the boundaries of your personal space and do not let them in.

The Demanding Friend

This one sees your friendship as a constant source of benefits. Unfortunately, these are hardly ever mutual. ‘I want you to….’, ‘Hey, I know you are busy, but can you please….?’ – if you hear these lines most of the time when talking to him or her, then you’ve got a demanding friend to deal with.

And if you try to turn their requests down, they start pushing you with phrases such as ‘I thought friends were to help each other?’, ‘Who should I ask for help, if not my best friend?’ etc.

Tip: If you want to keep this friend, try to test your friendship by turning the tables. What i mean to say is that attack is the best defense. Instead of waiting in awe for the telephone to ring or buzz with a message tone, start texting or calling him or her whenever you need any help.

‘I’m cleaning up the house, so I thought you could give me a hand…’, ‘I am having a hard time mowing the loan, so I thought you could lend me your more powerful mower…’, you know where I’m getting.

The Flatterer

This type of noxious friend is probably the most dangerous, for they are very hard to read. Remember the thank-you enthusiast I mentioned above? Well, that sort of attitude I am talking about. It’s just weird having a friend who’s throwing cheesy lines at you all the time, isn’t it?!

One of the cheesiest lines of all time is Aerosmith’s “I could stay awake just to hear you breathing…”. Well, that’s my opinion, of course, but if you’ve been hearing a lot of such stuff from your bestie lately, you’d better be careful where things are going.

Tip: Run! This is the best tip I can give you about that type of noxious friend. Their mask of flattery and sweet-talking may be hiding a deeply-disturbed personality, even a sheer psychopath!

Is True Friendship A White Whale?

Pessimists will usually try to convince you in that there isn’t such a thing as ‘true friendship’ or ‘lifelong friendship’.

Perhaps their pessimism stems from the fact that they take their friends for granted while they shouldn’t, really.

Coming back to your friends’ list I mentioned earlier, you’ve got to decide which friends you want to keep and which to let go. At the end of the day your list of buddies may turn out to be completely empty.

Sorry?! Why should you be sorry? Maybe for all the compromises and efforts you’ve made to keep a close a bunch of foes posing as your friends. Better say ‘Good riddance!’ and move on.

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8 Hard Truths to Face When a Kind-Hearted Woman Stops Loving You https://iheartintelligence.com/woman-stops-loving-you/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:12:55 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=32796 The post 8 Hard Truths to Face When a Kind-Hearted Woman Stops Loving You appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

8 Hard Truths to Face When a Kind-Hearted Woman Stops Loving You

A woman with a heart of gold… In the beginning it was the inner beauty that made you fall for her. A lady with a loving heart, whose feelings were infinite.  A kind-hearted partner with a soul so fragile yet so strong… as was her love for you. You were the dearest to her heart […]

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8 Hard Truths to Face When a Kind-Hearted Woman Stops Loving You

A woman with a heart of gold…

In the beginning it was the inner beauty that made you fall for her. A lady with a loving heart, whose feelings were infinite.  A kind-hearted partner with a soul so fragile yet so strong… as was her love for you. You were the dearest to her heart and she was waiting patiently for you to find your own way to it…

…. yet not seen as one worthy of note.

But you never could or may be never needed to. She felt the purest of loves, while you were taking it all for granted. So finally, she left and she won’t come back because she does not make the same mistake twice.

Kind-hearted woman’s love is not naïve

Deep love does not stand for ignorance of how to be loved. A strong woman who loves from the bottom of her heart know what she gives and that her kind of love is one of a lifetime.

And when such woman is gone, she is for good, leaving  you with nothing but these 8 hard truths about what you’ve lost:

A devoted partner

– you lost a kind-hearted woman who knew your true colors and loved you for who you are. You lost someone who cared enough and was always prepared to compromise with her own time and needs because of you. Somebody who would say sorry if they were wrong or admit it if they made a mistake. And you lost her because you did not care enough.

Someone faithful to you

– you lost a woman who truly believed your relationship was “until death do us apart” and lived accordingly. She knew that commitment was an action not a word. That’s why she was loyal and she would have always been, as her love and respect for you would always live in her heart, if you were together.

The perfect woman

– the most beautiful lady in the world, the mother of your children, your caring wife. She could have been all these and even more. But you lost her because you did not love her the way you should have. And now it’s too late.

A true friend

– love is love but friendship is a very important part of a relationship as well. Wouldn’t you feel blessed to have a partner who is also your best friend, who knows how to call you out when you are wrong and knows how to have your back at all times. A kind-hearted woman could have given you this, if you hadn’t let her go.

A supporter

– a kind-hearted woman would always encourage you while in the same time challenging you to grow. By losing her you lost somebody who would have always been close to you, trying to fight your imperfections and make you a better person this way.

“For better or for worse…”

you lost someone who would have been by your side through good and bad times. You lost a helping hand, a trustworthy advisor, a shoulder to cry on, a person to laugh with…  And now you’ve lost her.

A delicate partner  

You lost a woman who would never hurt your feelings. Not only because she had accepted you the good and the bad in you but also because she loved you dearly and was not capable of breaking your heart. And now she is gone

Your chance of lifetime happiness

is there anyone in this world that could have made you happier than a woman who loved you from the bottom of her heart and would sacrifice all just to make the things between you two work? Well, the answer is more than obvious… NO! But you lost her and you cannot bring her back.

Hopefully, you learnt your lesson and now you know that your loved one is not somebody to play with.

And no matter how deeply a kind-hearted woman loves you, sooner or later she will stop, if she is not loved back the right way.

Author BIO:
Maria Hakki is a professional English teacher and translator as well as a writer in her free time. Maria writes on various types of topics and today she is a guest author with two of her articles discussing issues in romantic relationships.

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Extroverted Introverts: 10 Things to Know https://iheartintelligence.com/extroverted-introverts/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:07:09 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=31040 The post Extroverted Introverts: 10 Things to Know appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Extroverted Introverts: 10 Things to Know

I regularly swing back and forth between social butterfly and complete hermit – which is why I was relieved to hear the phrase “extroverted introvert” for the first time. Also known as an ambivert, an extroverted introvert is someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion. My typical weekday exemplifies this well. Usually, my […]

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Extroverted Introverts: 10 Things to Know

I regularly swing back and forth between social butterfly and complete hermit – which is why I was relieved to hear the phrase “extroverted introvert” for the first time.

Also known as an ambivert, an extroverted introvert is someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion.

My typical weekday exemplifies this well. Usually, my mornings are spent out and about, taking sincere joy in play dates and befriending other mothers at the park. My afternoons, by contrast, are spent at home, happily curled up on the couch in my pyjamas. Sometimes this is reversed, or I’ll find myself in or out for a whole day, but the half-day of each is my ideal. Small dinner parties are awesome. Night clubs are terrifying. Friendships feed my soul, but crowds drain me.

Here are some other things ambiverts like myself want you to know:

1. Our spot on the spectrum changes with our environment.

Your ambivert friend may be loud and gregarious around her family, but quiet and thoughtful at the office. Seeing her in both situations may feel like meeting two entirely different people.

2. Talking to strangers is fine – but don’t expect us to keep it to small talk.

Although an ambivert can hold up her end of a conversation, talking about the weather will not be enough to engage her. Her social energy is limited enough that she won’t want to waste it on meaningless chatter. She will likely push the conversation into deeper territory or bow out entirely.

3. We like to be alone – we don’t like to be lonely.

There is a big difference between the two. Choosing to sit at home with a tub of ice cream and a coloring book feels fantastic. Sitting at home because nobody called you back feels sad and lame.

4. Getting us out of the house can be a challenge.

If you catch your friend on a highly introverted day, you may just be better off leaving him at home. He might manage to be social, but he’ll just be thinking about his books and his couch the whole time.

5. If we’re new, you can find us in the back of the room.

An introverted extrovert will approach new situations with cautious excitement. If we know someone in the group, we will likely cling to them a bit as we become comfortable. If we do not, we might waver on the edge of the crowd, slowly getting used to the water rather than jumping in all at once.

6. We’re selectively social.

We don’t mean to be snobs. We just have limited social energy and prefer interacting one-on-one or in small groups. For this reason, we can only afford to invest our social time and energy in those who we feel truly connected to.

7. Making friends is easy. Keeping them is hard.

We like talking to people, but we value our alone-time, as well. This can make maintaining a friendship tricky. If your ambivert friend makes an effort to consistently invest time and energy in your friendship, be glad. You are truly special to him.

8. Our social desires change with the breeze.

We might be desperate to hang out with you on Friday, but then not answer your call on Saturday. We’re not mad at you. We’re just super comfortable in bed watching Netflix.

9. We can talk to you for hours.

If you manage to catch him in a one-on-one situation, an extroverted introvert will just not shut up. Once his interest is engaged, there’s no stopping him.

10. Listening is great too, though.

Sometimes we want to be a part of the action, but our social energy levels are too low for us to contribute in a meaningful way. Listening allows us to get to know you without burning up our social fuel. We also know its value from our chattier moments when we are desperate for an ear.

Did any of these resonate with you? Don’t be surprised if they did – more than half the population is ambiverted, according to Adam Grant, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

His research shows that roughly two-thirds of people are ambiverts, while one-third are either strong introverts or strong extroverts.

“Ambiverts are like Goldilocks,” he claims. “They offer neither too much nor too little.” Treasure the introverted extrovert in your life, or embrace these qualities in yourself. Ambiverts might have it just right.

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The Research-Based Case For Falling In Love With Your Best Friend https://iheartintelligence.com/falling-in-love-with-your-best-friend/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:32:32 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=29642 The post The Research-Based Case For Falling In Love With Your Best Friend appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

The Research-Based Case For Falling In Love With Your Best Friend

“True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend,” wrote Faye Hall in My Gift to You. This sounds beautiful – and it is. But, when falling in love with your best friend, isn’t it wise to use an extra layer of caution? After all, there is far more at stake than in a typical relationship. Breaking up […]

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The post The Research-Based Case For Falling In Love With Your Best Friend appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

The Research-Based Case For Falling In Love With Your Best Friend

“True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend,” wrote Faye Hall in My Gift to You.

This sounds beautiful – and it is. But, when falling in love with your best friend, isn’t it wise to use an extra layer of caution?

After all, there is far more at stake than in a typical relationship. Breaking up with a significant other is painful, and losing a best friend is much more so. To risk it all, one must be pretty sure of their partner – and sure of themselves.

But isn’t that the point?

In choosing a partner, pursuing a relationship with one’s best friend is, from a statistical standpoint, the greatest gamble possible. As is often the case, the risk involved is proportional to the reward. The potential for pain is astronomical, but so is the possibility of finding happiness. Researchers at Monmouth University sought to gather some data to find out how common best-friend romantic partnerships actually are.

After all, conventional wisdom dictates that it’s foolish to date your best friend, lest you ruin the friendship forever.

However, a scientific poll of over eight hundred people found that that 83% of American adults currently in a relationship report that they consider their current partner to be their best friend. These numbers were even higher among married couples, at nearly 90%. This would suggest that not only do most couples see value in combining their romance with friendship, but that those who do go on to form more successful and long-lasting connections.

As Dr. Gary Lewandowski, a professor and chair of psychology at Monmouth University who researches the dynamics of romantic partnerships, explained, “Considering your romantic partner to be your best friend is an important component of quality relationships. In fact, when researchers asked couples who have been married over 15 years why their relationship lasted, the top reason was that their partner is their best friend.”

This is a very different attitude than was prevalent 25 years ago. In a 1993 study, only 44% – less than half – of respondents who were in a relationship indicated that their partner was their best friend. The idea that those numbers have nearly doubled is not a coincidence, and it represents a shifting idea of romantic relationships in our society.

As we push hopefully toward gender equality, we are more conscious of splitting household chores and financial responsibilities in an equitable way. Although we are far from total fairness, we are much more conscious than previous generations were in regards to the work that our spouse does. Fathers are becoming more involved as parents than ever before. Mothers are taking on the role of breadwinner in increasing numbers.

There is still a very, very long way to go. However, as we begin to better understand and relate to one another, we are becoming more capable of seeing one another as more than partners – as best friends.

But does it work?

According to more science, yes.

Across two studies with nearly four hundred participants in relationships, the respondents who claimed to place a higher value on their partner’s friendship also reported deeper levels of commitment and a greater magnitude of loving feelings. They were even shown to enjoy more satisfying sex lives than those who did not consider friendship to be an important aspect of their romantic connection. It would seem that Friedrich Nietzsche was on to something when he said “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

As for me, my husband is, absolutely and forever, my best friend in the entire world. I can’t imagine my life any other way.

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7 Essential Techniques To Overcome Social Anxiety https://iheartintelligence.com/overcome-social-anxiety/ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:07:03 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=24757 The post 7 Essential Techniques To Overcome Social Anxiety appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

7 Essential Techniques To Overcome Social Anxiety

The biggest struggle for those with social anxiety is getting over our own self-judgement. We judge ourselves harder than anyone else in our lives ever has, or ever will. Conquering that internal over-analysis is an important step if one wishes to overcome social anxiety, but it’s also the hardest. I get it- I know how it […]

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The post 7 Essential Techniques To Overcome Social Anxiety appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

7 Essential Techniques To Overcome Social Anxiety

The biggest struggle for those with social anxiety is getting over our own self-judgement. We judge ourselves harder than anyone else in our lives ever has, or ever will.

Conquering that internal over-analysis is an important step if one wishes to overcome social anxiety, but it’s also the hardest.

I get it- I know how it feels. The thought of having to meet new people in an open setting (or any setting), the idea of speaking in front of others, even being asked normal questions by people I know and am familiar with…all of these things and more can trigger social anxiety. If there was a party I was invited to and my attendance was required, I would be there- but I would be hidden in the kitchen, away from anyone who may want to strike up a conversation.

Justin Weeks, Ph.D, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Center for Evaluation and Treatment of Anxiety at Ohio University, calls that “covert avoidance.” Yeah, that sounds about right.

Why do those with social anxiety experience the things they do, during the situations that trigger them?

Weeks says, “At the heart of social anxiety is the fear of evaluation.” According to his research, it’s not just negative evaluations that cause people to worry, it’s positive evaluations as well.

He suggests that those with social anxiety automatically attach negative consequences to social situations, regardless of how poorly or well they do something. For example, “people who do well at work might worry about the social repercussions of outshining their coworkers,” said Weeks.

To say it another way,those of us with social anxiety don’t want to be noticed, and we don’t want to stand out. “They want to be as inconspicuous as possible,” says Weeks.

Of course, social anxiety lies on a spectrum. We all critique ourselves, judge our actions, words, and appearance, and we worry about things that we really shouldn’t concern ourselves with too much. But for those with social anxiety, it is a constant, gnawing bother that disrupts our daily lives.

It’s not all gloom and doom; there is good news for those with social anxiety! There are several ways you can reduce the stress associated with social anxiety and overcome it, completely!

Here are 7 proven techniques to overcome social anxiety:

1. Start your day off right.

Whether it is doing a guided meditation for 10 minutes when you first wake up, or telling yourself daily affirmations in the mirror, start your day off right and on a positive note. I know some people still doubt the benefits of meditation, but there is science to back everything up.

2. Breathe.

Weeks elaborates on this by saying, “It’s helpful to engage in deep breathing before an anxiety-provoking social situation. But practice this technique every day. This way it becomes second nature, and you don’t hyper-focus on deep breathing and miss an entire conversation.” Essentially, breathing techniques assist with boosting oxygen levels in the blood and brain, which aid in mental clarity and focus, and regulate cortisol (the stress hormone).

3. Look outward, not inward.

Social anxiety is akin to looking in a mirror, constantly, and only seeing a flawed reflection. We assume that others must see this same, broken version of ourselves. The words we speak are probably “silly,” and our outfit is probably “strange.” Even if this is completely absurd and untrue, it’s what a lot of us think from time to time. Instead of looking inward all the time, look outward and focus your attention on the beauty around you.

To get used to focusing on the external instead of the internal, take note of the colour of the walls in a room, or how many pictures on hanging on the wall (or who the pictures are of). Ask questions about others when in a group of people, and watch how easily the anxiety shifts to comfort.

4. Avoid stimulants.

Stimulants can have unwanted effects on our body and our mood. Sugar, and caffeine (when consumed too much) sets off a chemical reaction that makes us react differently than we normally would. Our thoughts become clouded, and we feel more easily agitated with simple things that normally wouldn’t cause a reaction. If you want to be more in control of your emotions and your reactions, you need to cut out the things that stimulate responses in our body.

5. Stop reading minds.

Or rather, stop believing that you can. The truth is, you have no idea what someone else is thinking. So, to assume that you “know” someone think of you in a certain way, or is judging your every move, is just plain ridiculous. Not to mention it’s a complete waste of energy. Don’t cut off a potential friendship, or relationship, with someone simply because you think you know what they think of you. You don’t. And it doesn’t really matter in the long run anyways. Once you realize how awesome you are and how much you like you, you’ll start to realize that other people already like you too.

6. Stay rational.

It sounds harder than it is. Let’s say you’re giving a speech. Weeks says, “You might initially think, ‘I’m going to bomb.’ But if you’ve given speeches before and done well, then this isn’t a rational or realistic perspective. You might say instead, ‘I’ve given speeches before. I’m prepared, and I’ll give it my best shot.’ Social anxiety is highly treatable. You can get better, and grow in the process.”

Not everything is going to end in failure, and having expectations is only healthy if they are positive, and of yourself.

7. Don’t worry about being emotional.

I know this might not fit with all of you, but it’s one I thought was relevant. Some people with social anxiety experience emotions on a grander scale than others. They cry during movies, laugh loudly at funny jokes, and sometimes they even have moments of anger that can only be described as “passionate.” Understand that this is not a bad thing, and you shouldn’t judge yourself for having emotions- or for expressing them. The world is already full of robotic people, living robotic lives. Be genuine and embrace all the parts of you that you think you should hide.

By Raven Fon

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Here’s To The Friends Who Still Love Us, Despite The Distance https://iheartintelligence.com/friends-love-distance/ Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:41:54 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=22950 The post Here’s To The Friends Who Still Love Us, Despite The Distance appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Here's To The Friends Who Still Love Us, Despite The Distance

Whether it’s moving to another place, taking a new job, or even simply being over-scheduled, we sometimes lose touch with our dearest friends. Luckily, they still love us, despite the distance. I remember when I started traveling, and amidst the joyous feelings of freedom and wonder was a hint of sadness. I knew that I […]

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The post Here’s To The Friends Who Still Love Us, Despite The Distance appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Here's To The Friends Who Still Love Us, Despite The Distance

Whether it’s moving to another place, taking a new job, or even simply being over-scheduled, we sometimes lose touch with our dearest friends.

Luckily, they still love us, despite the distance.

I remember when I started traveling, and amidst the joyous feelings of freedom and wonder was a hint of sadness. I knew that I was about to embark on a journey that would change more than a few of my relationships.

I accepted the eventuality that I would drift apart from certain people, and that we would both occasionally cross each other’s mind. Wondering how the other person was doing, if their favourite plant was flowering, or if they ever found out where that strange noise was coming from in their house would become pleasant, but passing, thoughts.

It was around my 4th year away from my homeland when I realized I was only half right.

Yes, there were those friendships that fell through the cracks, and when one person tried to rekindle the connection, there was nothing. Conversations with people I could once talk about anything with became awkward, and subject matter grew sparse.

But then there were those special, truly remarkable friends who made me feel like despite the barriers of distance and time, nothing had changed. You know who they are because you have them too.

They’re the ones who stayed the same, even though they got married and had kids. Their silly quirks and odd sayings never went away. In fact, there’s probably a few inside jokes you both still chuckle at from time to time.
Friends Who Grow Up Together Stick Together

They’re the ones who always offer a warm smile and welcome you back with open arms, even though you’ve had some difficult times in the friendship.

They’re the ones who will struggle through a Skype call with shoddy WiFi for an hour when you’re halfway across the world, crying over something absolutely ridiculous. Best of all, they know you’d do the same and there is an unspoken bond of acceptable craziness between you both.

They’re the ones who might take a bit longer to respond to an email, or a missed call, but when they do, there’s sure to be a whirlwind of emotion and stories that you can’t wait to hear.

They’re the ones who back you up and give you support, even if they don’t understand what you are doing, or why you are doing it. On the flip side of the coin, when you mess up, they are the first ones to make sure you hold yourself accountable. And they expect you to do the same.

They’re the ones who love you, and will continue to love you, regardless of how much your journey changes the person they call “friend.” They’ve accepted you from day one and nothing, not even time or space can alter that.

They’re the ones who continue to fight in your corner, even when you don’t notice it. It doesn’t take much for them to cheer you on, and they’re probably your biggest fan.

They know that your friendship is a form of love, and yes, they love you. They love you for all the things you are, the things you aren’t, the person you were, the person you are, and the person you will become.

These are the people, our dearest friends, who prove to us that family isn’t always about blood- it’s about something more.

Take a minute and thank those people in your life who have made reconnecting an effortless and enjoyable experience. Share this article with them. Let them know that you notice, and you appreciate everything about them. Especially their unwavering friendship.

Written by Raven Fon

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22 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends To Know https://iheartintelligence.com/people-anxiety-friends/ Mon, 08 Aug 2016 12:35:27 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=20260 The post 22 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends To Know appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

22 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends To Know

If you are friends with someone who has anxiety, chances are you’ve experienced some stressful, confusing, or just plain annoying situations in the relationship. Unanswered text messages, and repeatedly declined invites are typical occurrences in these friendships,  but there’s something you need to know. Well, there are actually 22 things you need to know: 1. Whatever […]

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The post 22 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends To Know appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

22 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends To Know

If you are friends with someone who has anxiety, chances are you’ve experienced some stressful, confusing, or just plain annoying situations in the relationship.

Unanswered text messages, and repeatedly declined invites are typical occurrences in these friendships,  but there’s something you need to know.

Well, there are actually 22 things you need to know:

1. Whatever is causing their anxiety might seem irrational to you, but it is very real to them.

2. Anxiety can happen at any moment, and when it does, they only need one thing: support.

3. They’re not blowing you off. It’s hard to make plans, and talking on the phone is equally difficult at times. It doesn’t mean they don’t desperately want to spend time with you and talk, they just can’t.

4. Be patient with them; anxiety doesn’t always look like a panic attack. Sometimes it comes out in the form of anger, or what looks like major frustration or annoyance.

5. Don’t take it personally if they do show frustration or anger- it’s not about you.

6. Even when things are wonderful, there is that anxiety and dread of something horrible right around the corner. Happiness is fleeting, at best.

7. When they are quiet, it’s not always because they are sad, bored or tired. Rather, there is so much going on in their mind that it is hard to keep up with everything going on around them.

8. Anxiety isn’t always explicable. Sometimes, even they don’t know why they are feeling anxious.

9. They’re sorry for all the declined invites, irrational behaviour, and hurtful things they said when they were feeling overwhelmed or scared. They’re sorry their anxiety hurts you too.

10. Even if they always seem to be isolated, don’t give up on them. They need to know you still care and want to see them. Keep inviting them- it means a lot that you ask.

11. Anxiety makes them examine everything, all the time. It can be exhausting.

12. They don’t want you to try and “fix” their anxiety issues. Instead, love them in all of their “as-is” splendor. After all, it is our imperfections that make us beautiful.

13. Anxiety isn’t always obvious. There are times you won’t even know they are experiencing anxiety unless they tell you.

14. If they are uncomfortable doing something, drop it. Forcing the issue only makes their anxiety worse. Smile, and move on.

15. Social interaction is difficult for some people with anxiety. Don’t assume that their repeated cancellations on your plans is in any way related to them being unfriendly or lazy. When you really need them, they will be there for you.

16. The last thing they need to hear is “just get over it,” or “you’re being silly.”

17. Keep inviting them to go out and do things with you. Anxiety wavers from day to day, and some days are brighter than others. There may come a time when their answer surprises you.

18. When they tell you they have reached their limit and they can’t take any more, they really mean it. Respect that and give them space to breathe.

19. When they tell you they can’t do something, they are the ones who feel the most disappointment.

20. Sometimes they just need to be alone. Anxiety isn’t able to be shaken off by “doing something fun,” and it can’t be remedied by using the same methods you would for someone who was recently fired, or dumped. They’re not mad or upset, they just need to recenter and relax.

21. When they talk to you, they will over-examine every word- the context, the grammar, the insinuations. And they might carry on obsessing over those conversations for years to come.

22. They are not their anxiety. They are a unique individual who only wants what we all want…to be loved unconditionally.

By Raven Fon

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