Easy Ways to be More Likeable

What decides whether you click with a new friend, or have good chemistry with a possible romantic partner? You perhaps think that these procedures of interaction attraction are mysterious, or decided by a person’s unique personal attributes — a quick wit, for instance. However, Shivani Sadhoo says research in social psychology indicates that liking and loving are mostly triggered by simple, mundane factors such as how close your apartment is to the stairs.

These factors could be influential to make you more likable and, more essentially, to help you meet your fundamental need for a true social connection, shares Shivani Misri Sadhoo, India’s eminent psychologist and relationship counselor.

Sheer exposure impact

The more one is exposed to a specific thing, the more you tend to like it. This phenomenon is called the sheer exposure impact, this is why one seems to love familiar music to new tunes, elect political candidates having the most media exposure, and grow fonder of persons the more often we interact with them.

One can leverage the mere exposure impact to boost your likeability and assist you to connect with others. Make an attempt to be seen, repeatedly. Turn your camera on during online meetings. Comment on other people’s social media posts. Visit the gym at the same time every day to improve the odds of bumping into the same people. If you can opt for your office or cubicle, opt for one that is close to the break room where more people will see you.

In other words, make yourself visible. Just do not overdo it. Excessive exposure could backfire – evidenced by the fact that you may get sick of hearing your favorite song when it is overplayed.

Remember names

Remembering somebody’s name is vital since it signals that he/she is important to you. On the other hand, failing to remember somebody’s name – or other important aspects about them – weakens the closeness of the relationship.

One of the factors to connecting with others, then, is to remember names. The problems are that remembering a name could be difficult. One impactful, research-based strategy for remembering names is known as retrieval practice — constantly pulling information out of your brain. Shortly after being introduced to someone, retrieve his/her name from memory. Ask yourself: “What was his/her name?” Or, use their name while in conversation. The more consistently you retrieve a name from memory, the more likely you are to remember it.

Smile

In spite of the maxim to “never judge a book by its cover,” one mostly routinely judges people on the basis of their looks. One tends to assume that attractive-looking people are more competent and socially skilled compared to others. One also finds attractive people more likable.

There is great news for those who believe that beauty advantage is an unfair thing. A bright smile can instantly make someone more attractive. In one study, it asked people to rate the attractiveness of computer-generated faces. The faces differ in attractiveness, and whether they were smiling or showing a neutral expression. The results indicated that faces were seen as more attractive when they were smiling, which is consistent with earlier findings on the topic. What really surprised the researchers was that less attractive but smiling faces were rated quite highly as attractive faces without a smile. It was decided that “smiling can compensate for relative unattractiveness.”

If you wish to be perceived as more attractive, more likable – simply flash a smile.

Ask Questions

Be authentically curious about other people and ask them questions. People who ask more questions while in conversations are regarded as more responsive and are more liked by conversation partners. When you ask questions, specifically follow-up questions (“What was that moment like?”), you display that you are actively listening and interested in what that individual has to convey.

To make a good effect, be more interested in other people than you are in making a good impact.

Find Similarities

Studies show that you like people who share your interests, values, and personality traits. Hence, the old saying “birds of a feather flock together” is more correct than the popular belief that “opposites attract.”

When you try to make new friends, fill the deck in your favor by meeting individuals who share your interests. Then, find other things you have in common.

Make others feel good

On the basis of the reward theory of attraction, you like people who reward you, or whom you associate with good feelings. If you wish to enhance your likeability, make others feel good in your company. Be friendly and warm. Give genuine compliments. If you are going for a movie for a first date, opt for a happy film over a sad one.

Stay positive on social media, too. It has been seen that people who tend to make more negative posts on social media are liked less compared to those who make more positive posts. This does not mean that you cannot express your feelings genuinely when you are feeling anxious or depressed, but you might want to save negative disclosures for personal conversations with trusted friends.

Show your liking for them

Liking is mostly mutual. Rather, one of the most powerful factors of whether you will like someone is whether they like you.

In a small way, let another person know that you like them. You can do so using words (“I had so much fun hanging out today”) or through non-verbal behavior – by smiling when he/she enter the room.

Conclusion

Shivani says one can apply the science of attraction to enhance the odds that someone will like you. By doing it, you are not being manipulative. You are merely making it a lot easier to connect with others in this modern, often disconnected world.

Your Therapist Is Now Just Skype/Video Call Away

During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxietydepressionsleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control the pandemic’s spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.

However, in this age of coronavirus, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception.  But try it before you disregard this option.  This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high.

You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service!

Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.

Things that Helps You Develop Trust in Your Relationship

One of the oldest and biggest mantras to a healthy and lasting relationship is trust. It is a fragile yet powerful adhesive that holds two people together. It certainly is hard and at times a complex task to develop trust when you are beginning out in a relationship. But it is not so much of an arduous challenge once both the entities in a relationship are in it together says Shivani Sadhoo.

Here India’s eminent relationship counselor and couple’s therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares some effective tips that will assist you to form trust, feel loved, respected, secure, and content in your relationship.

·       Understand the causes why you two are together and make certain the reasons are right. Develop a framework around your relationship first.

·       If you love somebody, you have to respect them. The more respect you form between the two of you, the greater the love is. Define things that makes you feel disrespected and agree not to use that as a ploy in your relationship.

·       Do not expect the sort of romance that is shown in movies. Have realistic expectations related to your relationship and romance. You need to know that true romance is an outcome of respect, trust, and freedom of expression.

·       Always express what you feel like. If you are too worried or scared to speak out, it will simply make it difficult for you in the future. Make certain you let it all out of your system for the benefit of your relationship.

·       Providing each other space is equally vital as spending quality time with each other. Both of you must enjoy a space where you do things individually that makes you happy.

·       Changes are inevitable. You fall in love with a person’s mind and the person you fell in love with is bound to change with time. You need to expect and accept it. It is basic human nature to change, so do not let it get in your way.

Your Therapist Is Now Just Skype/Video Call Away

During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxietydepressionsleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control the pandemic’s spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.

However, in this age of pandemic, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception.  But try it before you disregard this option.  This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high.

You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service!

Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.

Signs One is a Covertly Anxious Introvert

Anxiety is that voice in the back of your head that says, “Something unwanted is going to happen.” This is what keeps you awake at 2:00 AM thinking about something gross you did some years ago.

Not every introvert has anxiety, and extroverts and ambiverts might struggle with it, too. To be certain introversion and anxiety are not the same thing. Introversion is a choice for calm, minimally stimulating surrounding and a requirement for alone time to recharge, while anxiety is a usual term for disorders that creates excessive fear, worrying, and nervousness. Still, for several introverts, anxiety is a consistent part of their lives. And actually, anxiety is more common in introverts than extroverts.

At times anxiety is obvious to think of (panic attacks and sweaty palms), but this is not always the case. Several people live with a form named “high-functioning anxiety.” Outwardly, they seem to have it all together. They might even lead very successful lives. No one can think from the outside that they are driven by fear. At times they do not even realize it themselves says Shivani Sadhoo.

Even though not an official diagnosis, high-functioning anxiety is a thing various people identify with. It is closely linked to Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which impacts millions of people worldwide. While women are twice as likely to experience it compared to men.

Here, India’s top psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares some signs of high functioning anxiety.

Here, they are.

You are always prepared

Your mind consistently jumps to the worst-case scenario in any given circumstances. As a result, you might find yourself over-preparing. For instance, you might pack your essentials in both your checked luggage and your carry-on, just in case the airline loses your suitcase. People perceive you as being the reliable one, your preparations mostly do come in handy, but few individuals (if any) realize that your “ready for anything” mentality stems due to anxiety.

You may go berserk inside, but you are unflappable on the outside

Interestingly, several people having high-functioning anxiety do not reveal simply how nervous they are, which is another reason why it is mostly secret anxiety. You perhaps have learned to compartmentalize your emotions.

You continuously feel the urge to be doing something

This could be a real problem if you are an introvert who requires plenty of downtimes to recharge. This does not necessarily mean you are attending plenty of social events; rather, you might feel a compulsion to always be getting things done or remaining on top of things. Remaining busy distracts you from your anxiety and provides you with a sense of control.

You view the world in a fundamentally different manner

Your anxiety is not merely “in your mind.” Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel saw that individuals who are anxious view the world differently than people who are not. In that study, anxious people were less capable to differentiate between a safe stimulus and one that was earlier linked with a threat. In simple words, anxious people overgeneralize their emotional experiences—even when they are not threatening.

You are fearful of disappointing others

You may be a people-pleaser. You are so afraid of allowing others down that you work hard to make everybody around you happy, even if it means sacrificing your own wishes and needs.

You are externally successful

Goal-oriented, organized, detail-oriented, and proactive in planning prior to all possibilities, you might be the picture of success. The issue is, it is never enough. You always feel like you need to be doing more.

You have formed your life around avoidance

You have restricted your world to stop overwhelm. You stick to fixed routines and familiar experiences that provide you a sense of easiness and control; you avoid intense emotional experiences, such as travel, social events, conflict, or anything else that may trigger your anxiety.

You are a perfectionist

You attempt to calm your worries by getting your tasks or your appearance simply right. This could bring positive results, but it comes at an expense. You might have an “everything-or-nothing” mentality (“If I am not the best employee, then I am the worst”). You might have a few unrealistic expectations of yourself, and a catastrophic fear of falling short of them.

You are prone to reflection and overthinking

You do plenty of negative self-talk. You mostly revisualize past mistakes in your mind, dwell on scary “what if” situations, and struggle to enjoy the present moment because you are expecting the worst. Sometimes your mind races and you are not able to stop it.

You experience aches, repetitive habits, and tics

Your anxiety perhaps manifests physically in your body as repeated muscle tension or aches. Similarly, you may unconsciously pick at the skin surrounding your nails, tap your foot, scratch your scalp, or do other repetitive tasks that gets your nervous energy out—even when you seem composed in other ways.

You are always tired

Your mind is repeatedly going on, so you have a problem falling asleep or staying asleep. Even when you sleep well, you feel fatigued during the day because dealing with a continuous underlying level of anxiety is exhausting.

Reasons Love Is Not Enough

What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Safe In A Relationship, Says Shivani Sadhoo?

We all have seen in movies, or read love stories, where the protagonists say that love is everything to survive with their lover. Is it actually, everything? Is it truly possible to love someone but not feel emotionally connected? Do you have a desire to connect? But your (deep yearnings keep making you frustrated without knowing the reason).

Wistfully, there is mostly a gap between the love you feel in your heart and the emotional intimacy you experience with someone. Shivani Sadhoo says the connection one desires may seem so close, so they keep trying, yet it might remain sadly elusive. It is maddening when you love a person but do not experience the trust and safety that is paramount for the relationship to thrive. This emotional safety is a vital foundation for an intimate relationship.

This blog by Couples Therapist and Relationship Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo sheds some light on reasons when love is not enough for your relationship to thrive. Read on to know why?

Components of an Emotional Safety

When you feel emotionally safe, you feel internally relaxed with a person. Your guard is down and your shields do not go up when you interact. You feel truly free to be authentic, which includes expressing your hurts, dissatisfactions, and desires without worrying or fearing that you will be criticized or shamed.

As per John Gottman’s research on marital success, one out of the four factors that lead to disturbed relationships is defensiveness (besides criticism, contempt, and stonewalling). You defend yourself against the painful feelings that may pierce your heart if you are blamed, judged, shamed, and even rejected. Maintaining this invisible wall turns into a barrier that does not let your heart remain soft and open.

There are multiple possible manners to protect yourself when you do not feel safe. You may shield yourself by shutting down and remaining distant; you may minimize contact with your partner or friend. Or you might become critical of others before they have an opportunity to criticize you. Or you defensively turn the tables on them when they show any dissatisfaction with you. (For instance, “well you are not a good listener either” or “you are the one who always forgets not me”).

When you feel safe with a person, you do not have to be defensive since there is little to defend against. When you feel constantly treated with respect and kindness, you can relax internally with a partner. As you trust that your partner or even a friend has the intention and ability to see who you truly are—to hear and understand you, even if they might fall short a few times—you relax more and more with them, which boosts the trust and forms intimacy.

Forming a trusting, non-defensive relationship needs that you provide to another what you desire. Love demands reciprocal sharing—extending yourself toward another’s world in a manner that lets the other one feel emotionally safe with you. Enjoying the wonderful dance of intimacy—the aisle of “undefended love,” the way Jett Paris and Marlena Lyon say it: requires two self-aware, undefended individuals who are emotionally honest with themselves and each other.

Being Yourself and Being Truthful

One of the blessings of forming safety in a relationship is that you feel free to be yourself. If you have been hurt in the past, you may have vowed to never be so trusting and open again. Your heart might flash the signal: “not available for love and to be loved.”

Life is richer when you find a partner with whom to enjoy the special bond that comes from being yourself and feeling accepted as you are. As two people feel secure to be vulnerable with each other—showing tender feelings and desires without the worrying of criticism or rejection—the connection enhances.

Emotional safety also needs telling the truth and keeping agreements. You cannot feel safe with an individual who is deceiving you or when their actions are not in line with their words. Authentic, open, trustworthy communication is the life energy of an intimate relationship.

Certainly, nobody is perfect, and it is much simple to perceive others’ imperfections than to see your own. It is inevitable that sometimes trust will be broken, even in the best of relationships. But emotional safety is something that can be restored if two individuals can find the courage and is determined to address the breach through open, non-defensive communication.

Signs You Are Anxious And Do Not Know About It

If one is anxious, one would know it, correct? Well, that would be good, but the truth is several anxious persons are not certain what they feel. Recognizing and naming emotions is a skill to learn, that not everyone is good at doing. There are certain signs you can use to identify if you are struggling with anxiety but avoiding the emotion at the same time, says Shivani Sadhoo.

As you may know, several health issues are also linked to stress-related issues. Some studies have also indicated that issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and headaches are also the causes of anxiety.

Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog shares certain signs that suggest you are anxious, but perhaps do not know about it.

Signs Anxiety is Troubling You

Anxiety shows up when you do not have the sort of control in life you would like. For instance, anxiety naturally happens when you are driving on a snow-covered road and realize that your car has begun to slide; as the car slides, you do not have the sort of control you would like.

Anyone can experience this emotion that arises due to the loss of control in any number of situations, including work, relationships, or in other aspects. One can also experience anxiety when visualizing or imagining future events where one might not have control, like giving an office presentation a week from now. One can be anxious and still look calm, conduct normally, and accomplish important things. Anxiety is not every time about looking or acting like a nervous person.

Here are certain signs.

It is Hard for You to Name Emotions

If you pass through your day without thinking much about what you feel, have a problem explaining to others what you feel, rarely ask others what they feel, and are not certain what leads to feeling good or bad, you could be struggling with alexithymia.

The Chronic Pain or Other Health Issues Began During a Stress or Transition

If you try to look back at when your shoulder started to hurt, your lower back went out, or your overwhelming fatigue crept in, you may find that your life was in a major transition or stressful period. Perhaps one of your kids started school, or your daughter left home, you lost a job or your parents died, graduated from college, or began a new job. Transitions and stress are significantly hurdled some because of the lack of control in these situations, which leads to anxiety.

You Have No Idea What You Need

When your basic needs for connection with others, competence, and freedom are not met, you are going to experience negative emotions. If you are not aware of your own needs, you might not be aware of what you feel when your needs aren’t met.

You Do Not Share Your Emotional Ups and Downs with Others

A person who openly shares his life with others talks about emotions. A person who connects with others majorly through activities such as work, sports, or discussions regarding politics may not be getting below the surface to discuss what they feel or need.

Coping Strategy of Your’s are Not Healthy

Although you keep telling yourself you are doing well, you are consuming more alcohol, picking up your past smoking habit again, spending more time and money using unhealthy products to manage your sleep problems, watching more television, and reacting angrily at pretty minor irritations or nothing at all.

Having Unexplained Pain Issues

If you have life hurdles and unmet desires but no clearly defined emotions, chronic pain might be what you do feel in the end. The stress you feel during work, the unhappiness you experience at home, and the pressures of life formed emotions, emotions that assist you to know that something is wrong and needs attention. Think of physical pain as an alternative method of your brain getting your attention that something is not right if your emotional warning system is switched off.

Are you also struggling to identify your emotions? Or do not know what to do? Don’t worry psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo will assist you and guide you to come out of this phase and help you overcome your anxiety-related issues.

borderline personality

Borderline Personality Disorder, Is More Common Than One Thinks

BPD or borderline personality disorder is relatively common. Actually, it is estimated that one in 100 people live with this condition. Or, to put it in a different way, 1.4%of the adult population has been diagnosed with BPD — the majority of them women.  And yet, in spite of its prevalence, this illness remains quite stigmatized. Most individuals do not know what borderline personality disorder is. Their only information of the condition comes from the media, and from shows and cinemas such as Fatal Attraction or Tamasha But the actual condition differs quite a bit from the movie portrayals. There are still several misconceptions about BPD.

Shivani Sadhoo says borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is usually misunderstood by the general population and even certain healthcare professionals. It is also a disorder that has the ability to negatively affect the lives of others. Because of the two issues, there are several misconceptions about BPD. But if you or someone you know has BPD, it is important to understand the facts about the illness in order to start recovery. There is both help and hope.

So this article, by Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about what is a borderline personality disorder? The signs and symptoms, and how it is treated? Here is everything one needs to know about borderline personality disorder.

What is BPD?

A borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder or illness marked by an ongoing pattern of differing moods, self-image, and behaviour.

People having BPD might experience mood swings and/or perceive things in extremes, i.e. everything is excellent or worst. Life is black or white. People having borderline personality disorder struggle with their sense of self-worth. Their self-image is usually distorted and/or unstable, as are their relationships. They might swing from being extremely close to the friends and loved ones in their life to being completely angry and/or distant.

The Signs and Symptoms

While everyone will experience BPD in different ways, but those who live with borderline personality disorder seem to have difficulties with:

  •        Impulsivity
  •        Feeling bad about themselves
  •        Controlling their emotions
  •        Self-harm
  •        Suicidal thoughts
  •        Dissociation
  •        Feeling ’empty’ or numb
  •        Identity confusion
  •        Depression
  •        Paranoia
  •        Maintaining stable relationships

The Causes

The actual reason for borderline personality disorder is not known; however, some research suggests that genetics, environmental, cultural, and social factors might play a role. There is no sole reason why certain people develop a borderline personality disorder. Also, professionals cannot use things such as blood tests or brain scans to help diagnose who are suffering.

That said, you might be more vulnerable to BPD if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling also has BPD.  Experiencing abuse and/or long-term distress in your childhood may also increase your chances of being diagnosed with BPD, as can your brain’s development.

Studies indicate that people having borderline personality disorder might have structural and functional changes in the brain specifically, in the areas that control impulses and emotional regulation. However, is it not certain whether these changes are risk factors for the disorder, or done by the disorder.

Ways it is Diagnosed

There are no medical tests that can confirm or deny the presence of BPD. In fact, BPD is diagnosed based on a sequence of assessments, including a medical examination, a psychological evaluation, and a discussion of your signs and symptoms.

A qualified and professional mental health professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, experienced in diagnosing and treating mental disorders is able to diagnose borderline personality disorder by completing a thorough screening, interview, including a discussion related symptoms; performing a careful and complete medical bases evaluation, which will help rule out other possible causes of symptoms and by asking about family medical histories, including any history of mental illness.

The manner it is Treated

BPD is historically quite hard to treat, but saying that there is assistance and hope for those having this condition.

How to Stop Worrying About Small Things?

And Free Your Mind from Anxiety, Reveals Shivani Sadhoo

We worry about various things at home, at our workspace, within our family, and inside our professional circles and that’s obvious but if your worries and fears have turned constant and interfering with your ability to function and relax – then that’s not correct. You might be at risk of having anxiety disorder that involves constant and chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension. And, anxiety disorder is not just a single issue, it commonly triggers various emotional and physical issues like – hypertension, heart issue, depression, ulcers, etc.

Eminent psychologist and couple’s therapist, Shivani Misri Sadhoo warns that one must try to be careful if they tend to worry about too many things. She adds worry and fear can feel overwhelming and have a way of tricking us into believing that all is lost.  If one is not careful about what to worry about and what to let go then your worry may start to devour you; i.e. it may turn into a habit without notice.

Psychologist Shivani in this blog shares some cool methods that everyone can try and get themselves free from the circle of constant worrying.

“All IZZ Well” – Place your hand over your heart

Like the famous character of Amir Khan, “Ranchordas” in the movie 3 idiots has suggested, the moment you are worried, stressed, or fearful, place your hand over your heart, close your eyes but instead saying “all is well”, try to imagine someone you feel completely safe with.  It could be your spiritual guru, or your parents, or even your pet.  As you remember feeling loved, sit with this feeling for at least 30 seconds.  Notice the calm.

The science behind it? During stress and tension, your fight or flight system is activated and your cortisol levels are elevated.  Deep breathing causes the vague nerve to signal your nervous system to lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol. Taking just ten deep breaths can assist with relaxation and provide a sense of calm.

Don’t time leap in futures

If you live as if the future has already happened, you will build a habit to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. You avoid worrying about the future by practising mindfulness, which is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.

Practising mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

Practice self-acceptance

There is a strong link between an unsure sense of self and a tendency to worry about small things. Hence it’s important to try shifting your self-concept from negative to positive or develop self-acceptance. It includes body acceptance, self-protection from negative criticism, and believing in one’s capacities.

Your perception drives your worries

If you think deeply, you will realize worries are largely triggered by perceptions. For instance, if your child has not scored well in past academic years, you may start to worry that he/she will not do well in the upcoming examinations too. When you start to constantly worry, you may start to pile stress on your life, and the outcome from it may soon result in constant criticism, constant judgments, constant expression of distrust for your child – resulting in communication gaps. Instead of worrying about what has not happened yet, focus on knowing what may be causing your child to develop disinterest in studies, is there any issue at school or with classmates or with a teacher, etc.

Ways Marriage Will Transform your Life

Probably, marriage brings about the biggest transition in an individual’s life and no matter how ready he/she might be, it will always take the person by surprise. When you begin living with your spouse, changes are bound to happen. Some will bring joy, while others may challenge your patience and sanity. How you adapt to those challenges marriage throws at you and adjust to the changes, will further dictate the course of this lifelong relationship, says Shivani.

So, through this blog renowned couples’ therapist, Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares a few changes and challenges the sacred bond of matrimony would bring in your life.

There will be Several Vulnerable Moments

When you begin your conjugal life with a partner, he or she will gradually discover your strengths and weaknesses. You will share your deepest secrets, desires and tell them things, which you may not have told anyone before. But when you share such intimate details with a person, you are bound to feel vulnerable. There will be times when you would wonder if you have done the right thing by revealing it all, but this is what marriage is. Everyone and every circumstance will demand that you trust your partner with your heart and soul. It will not be simple initially, but things will fit into place with time.

Relationship with In-laws Might not be what you Hoped for

We have sufficient Hindi movies and TV serials highlighting the strained relationship between a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law. It is only natural for people to form a perception of the partner’s family much before even they are married. However, an individual would only get to know how that relationship would alter his or her life only post getting married. It could be for the good or in the predicted lines of what we have seen in TV shows or movies, but one thing is certain—it will create a deep impact on your life.

Responsibilities will Increase

Under usual circumstances, responsibilities, when shared between two individuals, will decrease. But not in marriage. With every passing year, you will end up getting more responsibilities. And by responsibilities, it is not merely meant for materialistic goals. When you are married to someone, you also have to bear the responsibility of looking after his or her wellbeing. And your partner will also have to do the same. The weight of responsibility can at times be overwhelming but when you do a fine job, the rewards will also be manifold.

Certainly, you will Yearn for some Me Time

Companionship is a wonderful thing. Post marriage, the starting days will be nothing but full of sheer joy. You would see new things that may have remained unobserved till now. You will be spending plenty of time together—be it visiting friends and relatives post the wedding or shopping for household items. The world you kept for yourself, your bed, your room—all the things will now have two people in it. And there will come a time when you would wish that you could spend some time alone, simply like the way you did before you were not married. And such thoughts will be immediately followed by a feeling of guilt. Believe it this is not simple.

Money will be an Important Factor

It is easier said than done, that love is all you need to keep you happy. But only love cannot provide the food on your plate or the roof to live under. Only money can. You will need to have a bigger house, probably buy a car and when you have a family, you will need money to pay for your kid’s school fees. Marriage can teach even the most carefree individual about the importance of money in his life.

You Might not Fall in Love with your Partner

It may sound strange but not all married couples fall in love with each other. Though there are exceptions who tied the knot after falling in love. In several arranged marriages, where the would-be-spouses only get to know each other shortly, hope to find love post marriage. Now, love may happen but there are also probabilities that they may never fall in love. Moreover, plenty of couples fall out of love after being married for a long time. Does it mean their marriage too falls apart? No, not for everyone though

Ways to Enhance the Bonding with your Partner

You might associate bonding with your spouse in the early stages of your relationship. But whether you are 6 months or 6 years in, there are always numerous opportunities to grow closer with your partner says Shivani. Learning methods to bond in a relationship could be a lifelong pursuit, but it certainly does not have to be difficult.

Couples Therapist Shivani says there is a difference between struggling and putting effort into your relationship. With bonding, at times it will simply take a little bit of conscious effort. “Bonding with your spouse takes effort. Sometimes ‘bonding work’ feels simple and at times it feels difficult. Bonding with your partner seems easy when it flows out of shared interests, hobbies, and experiences. So if you can recognize what small ways you are already sharing with your partner, you might be a step closer to bonding even more, and potentially growing your love and bonding.

You do not have to ask each other the endless questions that lead to love, or do any kind of forced activity or bonding, simply to get to know your partner better. At times simply expressing your interest will do the magic. And professionals who work with couples have identified some brilliant ways to bond a little bit more with your partner — methods that you may even already be doing to some extent.

This blog by Couples Therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares some ways to enhance the bonding in your relationship.

Express Interest and Curiosity

When you have been together for a considerable time, or even live together, you and your partner might fall into the pattern of asking fewer open-ended questions: questions that start with “how” or “why,” and normally do not have a “yes” or “no” answer.

“It appears so simple, but it is easy for couples to end initiating open-ended questions since they fall into a habit of taking each other for granted. The reality is that you and your partner will change over a period and that you need to constantly update your knowledge of your partner. Asking open-ended questions helps boost emotional link and friendship within the relationship.” Being aware of how you ask your questions will help you develop this bonding as a habit.

Verbally Express Your Appreciation

Saying “thank you” to your loved one may seem more like an act of politeness, instead of an act of bonding, but appreciation is a lot more nuanced than that.

This too looks simple and you are perhaps doing it to a certain extent, but appreciation gives huge benefits,”. When you show appreciation towards your partner you create a protective shield surrounding your relationship [since] appreciation counteracts contempt — which is one of the major destructive forces in a relationship. Learning to show your appreciation regularly will assist you two grow even closer than ever before.

Give Priority to your Partner’s Emotional Calls

While you might know your partner better than anybody else, it can still become easy over some time to not always see when they are reaching out to you emotionally. Paying attention to “emotional calls,” and responding to them is an integral form of bonding.

Emotional calls are all small attempts to bond with your partner throughout the day, If, you wish to improve the health of your relationship, make it a priority to see your partner’s attempts to connect with you. Respond to their calls by lovingly responding and meeting their needs and communicating to your partner that you are there and care for them.” It is worth finding avenues to respond or pay attention to your partner, even when they are communicating non-verbally, to show your bond.

Make an Effort at Eye Contact

When you and your partner have been staying together for quite some time, the realities of everyday life as a couple might mean that you are not staring lovingly into each other’s eyes as much as you once used to. But working towards more eye contact could be a major boost in terms of bonding.

Partners can bond with each other by maintaining eye contact regularly, while they communicate, specifically, if discussing important topics such as their feelings, experiences, or needs. So even if you are not in your honeymoon stage anymore, at least you will be opening the windows towards more honest and vulnerable communication.

Keep your Phone Down

While there is something to be said regarding a connection so deep that you can sit in silence on a couch, scrolling through social media, and not feeling awkward about it, there is still a certain thing to be said about dedicated phones and gadget-free time for couples.

“A truly vital task you should do to make your partner feel worthy and appreciated of your time is to put the phones down while communicating, which also enhances bonding. Whether it means actively following a no phones at the dinner table or bedroom policy, or simply leading by example, you might find that these moments are good opportunities to bond.

Initiate Physical Touch

Having or maintaining a strong sexual connection with your partner is great, but physical touch does not have to be saved for moments of sexual intimacy between you and your partner only. Making physical touch a more common, regular habit in your relationship could be quite beneficial.

A simple task you can do to facilitate bonding is through physical touch when you are in the same space such as watching TV, cooking together, or getting ready to go out. Sometimes, a simple and gentle touch is good enough to create a substantial emotional association. Not all touch has to lead to anything, and practising it more can support grow the bond between you and your partner.

Make Rituals Together

Creating rituals or traditions as a couple could give you two something to look forward to daily, and be able to make sure that you and your partner are continuously building your connection — even if you have hectic daily life schedules.

Creating a ritual of bonding — like going on a walk post-dinner, or having coffee ready for your spouse after putting the kids to bed or in the morning so that you can talk about your day, could be something you both look forward to as well. Whether you decide you wish to build in daily, weekly, or monthly rituals, there is something about the continuation of these simple acts of bonding that could help actually, level up your existing connection.

Whichever method you decide to grow your bond with your partner, probabilities are — you are already likely well on your way. Bonding has no concrete targets to get as it is something a couple does and keeps on doing, for the course of a relationship. And making even the smallest of changes in your daily interactions could assist blossom your love even further.


Reasons Your First Year of Marriage is So Important

Besides the newlywed bliss, there come some ups and downs. It is pretty normal to hit rough patches in the first two years of marriage says Shivani Misri Sadhoo, but do not panic. By understanding certain changes and roadblocks you might experience in early marriage, you and your partner can still work together to lay a strong foundation for the years to come.

This article by Couples Therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo highlights the reasons why your first year of marriage is so important.

Why your First Year of Marriage Matters

Couples Therapist Shivani says the first year of your marriage is full of transitions and adjustments as you and your partner adapt to the new roles. Yet the way you handle and manage this period of adjustment is key to the longevity of your marriage, say researchers.

A decline in love, affection, respect, and responsiveness and a boost in ambivalence within the first couple of years of marriage can be an indicator for divorce after 13 years. This was as per a study in 2009 on the predictors of marital satisfaction and stressors.

The study also saw that couples who divorce during the first couple of years showed signs of disillusionment and were negative toward each other in the first two months of their marriage. Those couples who were still happily married were those who were able to have positive feelings about their spouses during this early period in their relationship.

Some other research shows that newlyweds could be more prone to dissatisfaction because of unrealistic expectations or the level of what they experience against what they expected in terms of marriage. Common unexpected adjustments include some of the following:

·       The “minor things”

·       Competing Loyalties

·       Letdowns

·       Serious Accountabilities

·       Relationship Roles

·       Sex

One more study recorded that newly married couples who look to estimate that their happiness levels will increase (or at least remain the same) within the first four years of marriage are more possible to experience a decline in happiness over time.

Divorce is also quite common within the early years of marriage because of the transition itself into marriage and parenthood, specifically among couples high in neuroticism who have been known to have reduced overall levels of satisfaction in their marriage.

Major Red Flags in Early Marriage

·       Addictions or substance abuse

·       Emotional or physical abuse

·       Fear of conflict

·       Incapability to have fun together

·       Lack of mutual respect

·       Lack of romance and intimacy

·       Married quite early or for the wrong reasons

·       Over-commitment of time and other things

·       Over-spending

·       Selfishness

·       Sexual issues

·       Excessive dependence on parents

·       Unrealistic expectations

Priorities during the First Year of Marriage

If you see yourself a bit depressed post your wedding, it is fine. Honeymoon blues are just normal. Both of you have been caught up in time-consuming wedding preparations.

It is a certain bet that once you do not have that stress or pressure to deal with, you will have a sense of loss. It is the same as the post-holiday letdown that various people experience. However, it is essential to not ignore this period of depression.

Besides this to keep the romance alive, there are other priorities a couple will have to face as well.

Decide how to Handle Money

Discuss clearly whether you wish to manage your finance and money separately, jointly, or having a combination of separate and joint accounts. Either way, do not speak lies, honesty is critical when it comes to avoiding conflicts because of money.

Find out Ways to Manage Chores

Splitting up household chores fairly helps eliminate stress in your home and ensures a happy marriage. Bear in mind that you will possibly have to re-evaluate the list from time to time.

Look for Ways to Spend Free Time

While together time is valuable, you also need quality time outside of your relationship for personal space, growth, and independence.

Make Time for Sex

Even when your lives are busy, keeping your sex life healthy has to remain a priority. While on average most couples generally get intimate once a week, it’s important to find out what works for you to maintain intimacy.

Set Boundaries with in-laws

Have a discussion with your spouse about what is fine and what is not as far as involvement from your in-laws. For instance, can they drop all unannounced or do you expect a phone call or text first?

Understand and Respect Differences

While your core values are possibly the same, your partner’s thoughts and beliefs might differ from your own. Understanding and respecting these differences will assist you to avoid judgment and improve your relationship.

Learn to Handle and Manage Conflict

While conflict is bound to happen, how you handle or manage conflict can make a difference in your marriage. Give your best to maintain a constructive attitude and mutual respect, and be ready to recognize your partner’s point of view.

Discuss Expectations

From household chores to physical intimacy, it is essential to discuss what you expect from your spouse. After all, unmet or unrealistic expectations could create significant stress in your relationship.

Sadly, several couples avoid topics that might become heated. But doing so will do a huge disservice to your union.

What to Do If You are Struggling

The ideal thing to do is hold an open and honest conversation with your partner, without blaming, about your issues. You may initiate by saying something such as, “I think we both are struggling to adjust while being married.”

From there, you might figure out what marriage assistance options might be a good fit for you both. It might be setting aside time to read and discuss self-help books, seeking guidance from a trusted source, or perhaps pursuing couples’ therapy. It is also important to:

Refrain from Blaming your Partner

The blame game will simply exacerbate any struggles you and your spouse are having. Rather, discuss what you feel is happening and ways you can work together as a couple to bridge the gap.

Have Realistic Expectations

Unfair expectations could get the better of your relationship, for instance, you expect your spouse to live up to what you see in romance movies.

Give yourself and your Spouse Time to Adapt

Marriage is new to both of you, so it is essential to have patience as you adjust and adapt to your new roles and responsibilities.

Remember you can Assist your Spouse Grow, but you cannot change who he/she is

While you cannot change your partner, you can alter your reactions and responses, which might prompt your partner to want to change theirs.

Value your Partner

Do not take them for granted. Making an effort to say thank you or I love you and showing appreciation can go a long way in making your partner feel good about themselves and your relationship.

Spend Quality Time Together

Enjoying few one-on-one times can support strengthen your bond, form intimacy, and create cherished memories in your marriage.

Even though the first couple of years of marriage are supposed to be the most difficult, they are mostly remembered as the most joyous. Those could be a great time of intimacy and discovery.

There is a lot more to learn about each other and so much to express to each other. During the newlywed stage, you can lay the foundation for a life-long, meaningful partnership. Thus, enjoy and romance one another.