There are several benefits to leading a life of optimism. Research shows those with more optimism bounce back more quickly when getting sick, are more resilient in life in general, sleep better and even live longer. While this is wonderful news for us as individuals, how does optimism impact our relationships?
How Does Your Optimism Affect Those Around You?
While there are tons of benefits to being optimistic for ourselves such as being resilient, having optimum health, a balanced mindset, and an overall sense of well-being, there are plenty of benefits for our relationships too.
Work, Family, and Friendships
Optimism impacts relationships. When we are optimistic, we spread good cheer and are more approachable. We have the power and potential to set and influence the tone of our day at work, school, home, as well as in social settings.
Have you ever been excited to go on an outing and someone else in your group is acting like “sour grapes?” Tell the truth, this has the immediate impact of taking everyone else in the group down a negative spiral. Or maybe you have been greeted by an employee in a store who is downright nasty. How do we meet that attitude? If we match upset with upset, now we have two upset individuals.
If we meet upset with calm and patience, we not only impact our inner being but theirs as well. This is a true win-win situation. The adage “Happiness is contagious” does stem from optimism. We can dictate the tone of everyone’s day or evening; not just our own.
Positive Expectations in Romantic Relationships
In addition to setting the tone in family, friendship, and even work relationships, optimism gives us the power of positive expectations. Worry about a relationship ending and it is as if this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Take on being secure and confident, and just watch your romantic relationships thrive. Being optimistic in your ability to resolve conflict and problem solve together will make for a happier, healthier relationship.
Is there such a thing as overdoing optimism? Getting stuck in traffic when you are already running late or spilling your latte on your shirt on the way out the door are all bumps in the road of a busy life. Pretending it does not matter or isn’t frustrating is not the best course of action. Being around someone who is “too nice” or “pleasant all the time” can have an impact on our relationships. If you’ve ever been around someone who is too nice or always happy all the time, you might find it to be a bit irritating.
Having a personality that is optimistic yet real is a wonderful invitation for other people to be real and be optimistic as well. It is perfectly normal to get upset and frustrated, but a true optimist will feel those negative feelings of frustration, take action, and move on with their day. Staying too high on positivity gives the idea that negative feelings are fine to stuff down and suppress and staying angry all day because of one negative incident that morning doesn’t work either.
A true optimist knows it is perfectly acceptable to get frustrated and move on just as quickly. How does this have a positive impact on your relationships? When an optimist is a role model of gracefully navigating all of life’s ups and downs, other people are positively impacted, as well. When you are optimistic, you shine your light and invite other people to do the same.