Feeling good about yourself makes your relationships easier

According to developmental molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules, John Medina, our brains are attracted to interesting, engaging people and things. And the more others see the intriguing side of us, the more they are likely to relate better with us.

Feeling good about yourself — a general belief that you are a good, worthwhile human being is one of the best predictors of happiness in life.

Feeling insecure, incapable and inadequate once in a while is normal, what matters is that you are able to get yourself out of that emotional state quickly and feel better again.

If you feel bad about yourself more than you feel good, you might need a shift in perspective. Self-views (positive and negative) not only affect how we feel; they also affect our thoughts, behaviors, and the people around us.

How you decide to feel about yourself can really make an impact on your relationships and everyday choices. If you don’t think you can do any better in life, you are more likely to settle for less than you deserve in life.

People who feel they are not good enough for a good relationship, a good career, or financial stability, stop pursuing these goals with the intensity required to reach them. They sabotage themselves and lean towards actions that make it difficult to build stronger connections.

Feeling bad about yourself can even affect how to relate to colleagues at work, negotiate for a raise, or move up the career ladder.

Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves no matter their social or economic conditions in life. You don’t have to complete a huge goal to start feeling better about yourself. Find good things in everyday situations.

Whatever makes you feel good, empowers you

When you love yourself, most things become easier because you begin to live authentically. Your life becomes less of a burden to yourself and others. And relationships become easier.

“When you feel good, you radiate goodness. Everyone else wants to be around you and you do not lose yourself in relationships, writes Dr. Eva Selhub.

People who feel good about themselves don’t spend time second-guessing what others are thinking about them. They have internal sturdiness that allows them to adapt easily to the inevitable ups and downs in life.

You don’t have to be perfect to have better relationships. In fact, it’s being imperfect (yourself) puts people at ease. A busy quest for validation from others rarely makes anyone happy; in fact, your insecurity may push people away.

If you are constantly yourself over to your internal critic, start recognising when you turn on your self and pay attention to the triggers — person? Environment? Situation? Practice observing yourself.

Once you identify them, you have a better chance of catching yourself in a bad mood and quickly doing something about it or even preventing them.

You can also distract yourself with activities that can guarantee “flow” — intense and focused concentration. You can distract yourself with exercise, reading, helping others, or passion projects.

Make genuine quality time to take care of yourself. Think self-care is not good for you? Think again. In the age of attention deficit, self-care is one of the most important things you can do your psychological well-being.

“Overall, our research suggests if people take time out to recharge their batteries and experience the time taken out as high quality, this reaps benefits for their own psychological well-being, their family relationships and for their employers as they are more likely to perform better at work,” says Dr Almuth McDowall.

Choose to help other people. Be kind to a total stranger. Whether it is your time, attention, love, or your knowledge, be generous whenever possible.

Give more of yourself without expecting anything in return. Help new colleagues integrate better at work, make your partner or close relationships laugh, compliment someone — make other people in your life feel special by making their lives easier and more enjoyable.

“People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness,” Psychologist Mark Snyder said in an interview with U.S. News. “All of these things go up as their feelings of social connectedness goes up, which in reality, it does. It also improves their health and even longevity.”

Put a smile on, it’s contagious. Facial expressions can affect your mood and how others relate to you no matter how close they are to you.

“As social creatures, we are programmed to notice the body language of others and scan for cues of safety and welcome,” says relationship therapist and author Shadeen Francis. “Smiling is a universal signal for warmth, approachability, and attractiveness.”

Do what you need to feel alive, vibrant and healthy in the most positive way. Believe in your own ability to create joy, ease, comfort and love. Doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t is a great place to begin the process.

The key to a successful relationship is to have one with yourself first. When you are happy, you get better at relating to people.

When you challenge yourself to feel good about yourself, it will improve how you relate with others and those you love. It will take time to change your views about yourself, but with consistent effort, you will change your mindset about yourself.

This article first appeared on Medium