“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
The quote you just read are the words of Dalai Lama XIV, the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. After reading his words of wisdom, did you take a moment to think about your social circle and how everyone benefits from each other? As human beings, we are naturally drawn to fulfill our need to have social interactions and form relationships. For instance, have you ever found yourself in one of the following situations?
- Constantly checking your phone to see if someone has texted or called.
- You’re bored and everyone seems busy, so you start calling people you haven’t spoken to in over a year; this includes old boyfriends or girlfriends.
- It’s night out of the house, and you’re asking yourself how desperate you are to be out with this person
- Cruising old hangout spots or places hoping to see or meet someone to keep you company.
- Posting an ad on Craigslist, pen pals or other online platforms to meet someone even if it’s a pen pal for the day.
To reach your full potential in life, you must establish strong relationships and maintain productive social interactions. If you were to make notes of everyone you interacted with today in a conversation of over 3 minutes, could you honestly say that you have gained something beneficial from the conversation? I think you would be surprised by how much time people spend listening to someone gossip, complain about trivial issues, and talk about a better life, but refuse to take any efforts, talking about themselves or making small talk about nothing. I am sure everyone knows someone that engages in these types of conversations. Although people who converse in this manner should not be cast aside, it does indicate that you have possibly outgrown the need to remain socially interactive with this individual.
When I started my business, RM Viagem, I was focused on getting my website published and working out the minute details. So I decided to evaluate my social interactions to find out how I could maximize my time to be more productive in my business. After a careful review of my week’s activity, I realized that I was spending around 5 to 6 hours a day on phone conversations that were nonproductive. The conversations were not motivational, did not produce any creative ideas or provide any form of impetus for personal or professional development. At this point, I asked myself what if I dedicated this time to creating more blogs, finishing my books or my music. So what about you? Are there areas in your life that you allow to consume your time but which do not provide any real benefits to you? Have you ever felt obligated to engage in a conversation and your only thoughts were how to end the discussion?
Here are three of the most important areas where you need to choose your social interactions and relationships wisely.
In the workplace
Have you ever been employed by a company where there existed a constant tension among the employees? This experience derives from one of the most common problems in the workplace, individuals misunderstanding workplace relationships. There is nothing wrong with being social in the workplace but the problem arises when social relationships take precedence over a person’s work-related responsibilities.
The best social relationships in the workplace should be developed with employees who are visionaries in the company. Employees who remain focused on the job yet consistent in finding ways to serve the customer better. They are not only an asset for the company but a resource tool for you to enhance your knowledge. These employees don’t crave for the latest gossip but for career growth and development. So many people have missed out on the opportunity for advancement or even faced termination because they failed to remain professional in their social interactions in the workplace.
Love sweet love, oh how we all enjoy the feeling of having someone special to hold and cuddle when we are watching one of our favorite movies. There are so many advantages to having someone who is not only your special someone but your confidant. For those of us who are well into our 40’s, we can tell you that dating and marriage are entirely different when it comes to social interaction/relationships but there are a few similarities between the two that we will discuss here.
First, when bringing someone into your life, you should always clarify your needs and expectations from this person. After all, any goals or plans you have for the future will affect this new love of your life. In some aspect, the two of you should provide some beneficial guidance to each other. This relationship should not only offer physical companionship but emotional and supportive guidance. In addition intellectual stimulation will also keep the relationship strong and strengthen the bond between the two of you. As a couple, you want to discover what truly motivates your partner to grow professionally and as a person. Any relationship such as dating/marriage requires a dedication for a higher standard of social interaction. Due to the emotional attachments, you must grow together and not as individuals. If you fail to find a proper way to balance the scales in your social interaction to make this relationship beneficial for each person, then you can expect challenging roads ahead.
If you want to become a power couple, then you must find a way to empower each other. To achieve this task, do it with compassion and a desire to bring out the greatness from within your mate without resentment.
Have you ever observed someone picking fruits at the grocery store? Often you will see them pick up multiple fruits, smell them, squeeze them, check for ripeness and not to mention the inspection to determine the after-purchase shelf life. After all, no one wants to buy a bag of apples or bananas only to get them home and discover that they are already going bad. Does this arouse your curiosity as to why people are particularly selective regarding fruits but use a less selective process when it comes to allowing people into their life?
Dalai Lama XIV stated in his quote “it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.” Many people do not find their true happiness in interacting with family members but do find it with friends. In my opinion, there are things you can do with friends that you may not care to share with a family member. For this reason, we should use a more selective process when choosing our friends. People often use friends for advice as well as for sharing personal thoughts or feelings. A good friend to someone will most likely have a huge influence on their friend’s life decisions. I would never suggest you to denounce or disown people, but I would advise you to remain conscious of those around you who become envious when you decide you want more out life. Beware of people who are content with only the minimum opportunities in life; they will not understand your reasoning for finding your higher purpose.
Previously, we spoke about social interactions in the workplace and how it could affect a person’s future. Some people feel they have friends within the workplace yet their only interactions are in the work environment. Consider your guidelines to call someone a friend and remember there is a difference between a co-worker, an associate, and a friend.
When selecting friends, don’t feel obligated to lower your expectations. Look for those who have similar goals and aspirations to yours. You need friends in your life who understand the need for self-improvement and support your drive to achieve your goals.
As you go through life, you will encounter people who will inspire you, and others who will criticize you. For this reason, always use your best judgment in your social interactions and relationships. Allow those who have a positive outlook on life and who are actively pursuing their goals to be a beneficial part of your life. We are all dependent on other people for something other than material things. Having someone to applaud you and acknowledge your achievements is a great feeling.
But at the same time, just like you expect others to offer some form of positivity and beneficial growth into your life, make sure you actively remain beneficial to others. To be beneficial in regards to giving hope and stimulating a person to be more in life is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others.