The Art Of Relating

With Christine Kniffin

LCSW, Therapist & Relationship Coach


New Attitude, New Year, New You


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How do you really feel about yourself and what type of energy do you put off?  Things don’t just change on their own.  Great relationships don’t just drop out of the sky, contrary to how much we may wish that it could be that way and be that easy.  A great relationship starts with YOU.  Do you feel frustrated because, despite putting energy into internet dating and singles groups, that you keep coming up short?  Well, then it’s time to look inward and ask if you radiate the kind of energy that attracts.  Attraction is not about physical appearance alone.  It actually has quite a bit to do with the type of energy and confidence you send out to the world.   So, in order to assess if you are at your best there are three critical questions to ask.  Are you challenging yourself to grow, are you truly happy and do you feel that you have discovered your purpose and fully appreciate your unique contributions to the world?

Challenging yourself is a key component to the development of a complete you and attaining the subsequent good feelings about yourself.  One of the fundamental needs humans have is to feel a sense of competence.  Setting goals and moving forward is one of the simplest paths to gaining this sense of competence.  We tend to set lots of goals at this particular time of year.  However, we often don’t set them and work to achieve them in the right way.  Unfortunately, then using this lack of success as a way to figuratively “flog” ourselves. Now, we arrive at the viscous cycle once again.  We feel badly about ourselves, we carry around the wrong energy and we then attract the wrong person for us.  So, if you want insight on how to set goals and actually achieve them, be sure to check out my website and click the appropriate segment under TV appearances.   Remember, forward movement comes in all shapes and sizes.  If you have felt stuck on your goals please don’t underestimate the power of movement, no matter how small.  The feeling of competence is yours and yours alone, not one to be judged by other’s standards.  If it’s movement for you, then I say Halleluiah.  Just start by putting one foot in front of the other and it will gain its own inertia and momentum with time.

Your level of happiness is another key component to developing a complete you and feeling good about yourself.  Happiness always begins with gratitude.  Everyone wants to date happy people, not those that feel downtrodden and therefore putting off the wrong energy.  As you have heard me say many times, this popular culture we live in stresses the acquisition of “stuff”.  We suffer from the keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome, as well as a fear of being left behind on the latest technology and gadgets designed to utilize it.  However, we really do need to put effort into fighting this on all fronts, as it is unmet needs that equates to unhappiness.  If we focus on what we think we need and don’t have, we will most assuredly not be happy.  In a recent article in the November 2010 issue of “Natural Health” magazine, a study found that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25% more happy than those who do not.  Equally encouraging is the fact that they also tend to exercise 33% more per week than those that don’t.  The article goes on to state that recent studies show that the benefits of gratitude may include less stress, more joy, enhanced vitality, improved sleep, faster recovery from illness, more fulfilling relationships and a deeper sense of spiritual connection.  Again, real change always begins with action.  Decide to get your new attitude going by beginning a gratitude journal.  Make the decision to fight against negativity, stress and the feelings of victimization that may be causing you to put off the wrong vibes to attract a mate.  Each night take some time to reflect on your day and write down anything for which you can express gratitude.  Take a few minutes to really concentrate on that sense of thankfulness.  Do this each night for the next month and see if you don’t feel your spirits rise.  Additionally, you will see a significant decrease in the amount of time spent focusing on what you think you don’t have, which is currently making you feel unhappy and decreasing your overall sense of well-being.

Finally, an integral part of developing a complete you and a sense of well-being pertains to feeling that you have a sense of purpose and relevant contributions to make to the world.  Again, it is for no one but you to decide your sense of purpose and to define what equates to contributing to the world at large for you.  We don’t have to start charities or rescue sea turtles to make important contributions to society.  Being a good role model to your children is arguably one of the most significant contributions one can make to mankind.  Being the type of person who talks to and comforts a friend in need is an invaluable contribution to the world as well.  Take some time to think about the ways that you contribute to the world each and every day.  Have you really stopped to ponder this and give yourself the proper credit for all that you do?  Too often people feel badly that they don’t contribute on a grander scale.  I say that is nonsense.  As with most things in life it is the cumulative effects of the many small things that add up the most.   You do matter and you do have a contribution.  Work on being the most complete you and start omitting the magnetic energy that comes with being happy and feeling good about yourself.  This alone is a fantastic contribution to make to the world, as you will naturally have endless positive effects on those around you if you do.

In short, if you are truly serious about wanting to make changes and get a new attitude and a new you for the New Year, then take some relatively easy steps towards developing a more complete you.  Put the focus and attention back on your personal development and evolution.  Work on increasing your feelings of competence by setting goals and moving forward, keep a gratitude journal to increase your level of happiness and take the time to give yourself credit for the everyday contributions that you make to the world so you feel that you have a sense of purpose.  If you do this then all of the rest will fall into place, as you will now be putting off the right energy to attract the wonderful relationship you want.

Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a Therapist and Relationship Coach.  For a free consultation call 314-374-8396 or send an email to relationshipcoach@yahoo.com.