Most people occasionally worry, or at least wonder, how they affect other people. We all want to be liked. Degree of concern about effect on other people can vary from severe worry to occasional concern or wonderment. At the same time, we all need the ability to effectively stand up for ourselves. Doing this while not damaging relationships can be a challenge.
Human beings have a wide range of emotional responses and our interactional behavior is triggered by these responses. Of course the inverse is also true. The manner in which we interact does affect our emotional life.
Scientific research tells us that healthy and happy relationships are pivotal for overall health. Interactions are the foundation of relationships. Developing awareness of how you interact with others can be helpful for your overall health!
Do you focus on other people’s responses to you in order to figure out how you are perceived? Do you worry about how others interpret your words? Do you try to “figure” out other people in order to “know” how to interact with them?
If you do any of the above I suggest you make life easier for yourself and focus only on yourself. Wow! Am I suggesting that we all become narcissists? No, but I am suggesting that each of us become an expert on our own feelings and be more concerned with how we interact than with how others interact with us.
I learned TM in 1983 and one of the first benefits I became aware of was more positivity in my relationships and a better ability to make my points without rancor. I was able to stand up for myself in a strong and clear way without conveying negativity. In addition, I became less confused about others’ responses. Each response tells us how our words were received by the person we are speaking with. Having awareness of what emotions I was conveying in my interactions helped me to create a positive flow in conversations. Awareness is empowerment!
Interactions do rise up from emotions and at any given time each of us has a plethora of emotions that we can access. Did you just respond to someone in a fairly nasty way because you were jealous of her? Did you respond sweetly because you felt sorry for the person you were speaking with? Did you feel mean when you spoke just now? Did your words rise up from a mean feeling that perhaps had nothing to do with the person to whom you were speaking?
People pick up on tone of voice and general affect much faster than they do content (words.) Being aware of your internal emotional life gives you the ability to interact in your own best interests and in an overall positive manner. Even conflicts are more readily resolved if the tone remains positive.
Research has shown that practitioners of Transcendental Meditation report more positive relationships after learning the technique. I believe there are many reasons why this is so. TM affects the central nervous system thereby affecting the mind-body in an overall positive manner. At the same time, TM gives a wide-angle lens to perceive our thoughts and emotions. This awareness is a helpful tool when we wish to initiate conversation or respond to someone. Meditation helps us to be aware of where our interactions are coming from. This is incredibly empowering!
What’s the point of worrying about how we affect other people? We have no control over this dynamic. However, if we build awareness of our emotions and how interactions spring from these emotions we gain power and control of the only entity we can ever possibly control——ourselves.
Transcendental Meditation has many benefits. Following are a few:
- Dissolving Deep-Seated Stress
- Providing Deep Rest
- Alleviating Anxiety
- Expanding Awareness
- Enhancing Locus of Control
- Physiological Adaptability
- Psychological Adaptability
- Purification of Mind and Body
- Integration and Personal Growth
Put all these benefits together and you have the recipe for success in all areas of life. Relational success is one of these. As awareness of your internal processes expands you become better equipped to interact in a manner that builds positivity in your relationships.
A recent study showed that compared to a group of non-meditators, most subjects who practiced the TM technique for an average of six weeks showed a significant increase in self-actualization (i.e., an open, receptive, and caring attitude, cheerfulness and good humor, positive thinking, spontaneity, self-sufficiency, and an acceptance of self, nature and others). The level of self-actualization was highest for long-term (average 43 months) meditators, indicating that the benefits of the TM technique are cumulative.
There is ample research showing that meditators engage in more positive relationships. These studies show an increase in self-reliance as well. This makes sense because self-reliance gives a greater ability to have positive relationships. Relationships that enhance wellbeing are built one interaction at a time.
As always, Sandra and I wish you happiness, perfect health—-and joyful relationships!