Plays Well With Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

  • 9. Here, we deal with “frenemies.” This term applies to “ambivalent relationships” or narcissists. Such people do not include others in their “self.” They have an imaginary inner self that is superior to others. The best way to deal with such people is don’t. If you have to, here is what to do. First, let’s hope that they do not have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
  • For people who are subclinical, the plan is to emphasize similarity, vulnerability, and community. If they see something that reminds them of themself, it should be positive, and anything counts. If they hurt your feelings, for example, tell them and ask if they meant to. Remind them about common connections. Be patient and remember that they are the ones suffering and need your sympathy. If nothing works, keep your relationship totally transactional.
  • 10. Studies show that A friend, when you’re in need, will show it with their actions. We judge the quality of a friendship based on the availability of support. No formal institute regulates friendship. This makes it fragile and pure. Where life is harder, people are more likely to put themselves at risk to protect a friend. The world may be selfish and competitive, but you and I don’t have to be. Hug a friend today and celebrate your friendships more.
  • Part 3: Does “Love Conquer All?”?

  • 11. Today in the US, nearly 40% of marriages end in divorce, while another 10% or so separate without divorce, and another 7% are chronically unhappy. We also know that happily married men and women live longer and are generally happier than single people. Divorce rates are down. but so are marriage rates. Marriage has changed over time, and Eric gives us some trends. We know that love does not conquer all, but what we also know is that love can conquer all if you do it right. Read on for advice.
  • 12. Historically, love has been viewed as an illness in many cultures hence the term lovesick. Modern medicine also sees the symptoms of love at the MRI level as similar to those of diseases such as OCD, bipolar disorder, addiction, and mania. Those in the mental health profession can misdiagnose it. The best metaphor may be an addiction. The chemicals released in your brain may have the same effect as amphetamines. Evolution may be part of the deal as it wants us to make more babies. Romantic love does override rationality. Other aphorisms apply, such as “crazy in love” and “love is blind.” Staying in love is like keeping fit. You have to work at it constantly.
  • 13. Marrige counseling doesn’t work well as most people wait too long to try it. To stay together, you have to communicate. This may mean that you fight more, but avoiding conflict is a bigger problem. There are four mistakes that unhappy couples make. 1. Criticism: Complaining is fine, but criticism is deadly. Complaints begin with I, while criticisms begin with you or you always. Be hard on the problem and easy on the other person. 2. Stonewalling: Men do this more, while women criticize more. Stonewalling can dial up conflict. 3. Defensiveness: This is the it’s not me it’s you issue. Try to listen and wait your turn. 4. Comtemp: This is the big one. It implies that your partner is inferior and can be subtle such as eye-rolling.
  • Describ the problem in a neutral manner. Take your partner’s hand. Suspend judgment and listen. Add as many positive interactions as possible.
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