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This element of PERMA explores strategies that help guide our choices with other people. Humans are socially programmed, we work hard to find and build good relationships with other people. We affiliate and attract different people at different stages of our life.

This will help you:

  • define and explore relationships in the context of positive psychology.
Girl in denim jacket hugging friend in kitchen

How do you know if a relationship is positive?

Do you enjoy the company of your family and friends? Are they positive and supportive? If the answer is no, then it's important to take the time to understand why. Are you devoting enough time to strengthening these relationships? Do you need to make more of an effort to connect to your friends and family?

The sizes of people’s social and family networks vary greatly. However large your social networks are, it is important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Friends and family help give meaning to our lives, fulfil our need to belong, and provide support during tough times.

Make a commitment to spend significant time with a friend or family member on a regular basis. Relationships take engagement and hard work, and they're often strengthened only when we make an effort to connect with other people. On the flip side, it is very difficult, at times impossible to change people. If you are finding a relationship is not positive, you need to take a step back and reflect on what is important for you to feel positive and happy.

Also, when we are happy we actually contribute to making others around us feel happier too.

Tips to build up positive relationships

  • Use positive self talk.
  • Be conscious of, and focus on the things you can change, not the things you can't change.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and positive influences.