By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

right relationships

Finding the right person has less to do with finding “the one” and more to do with exploring ourselves. In the book The Two Truths About Love: The Art and Wisdom of Extraordinary Relationships, co-author Jason B. Fischer, MA, LPC, writes: “The real question is not how to find the right person, but how to find the right relationship. How can you do that? By becoming the right person yourself.”

The same is true for improving your relationships: “You have 99 percent control of every relationship,” writes Fisher, also a therapist with a private practice in Austin, Texas.

Focusing on ourselves, he says, means that we can change our thoughts, our actions and the way we communicate. We have the power to learn effective ways of relating to others and creating meaningful and healthy connections.

We also have the power to cultivate our own joy, instead of expecting others to do that for us. “Your joy is your job (and no one else’s).” Fischer defines joy as “any emotional state that occurs in the absence of suffering.”

Cultivating your own joy creates more satisfaction and ease in your life, Fischer writes. And your joy carries over to your interactions with others. “In this way, being joyful is actually an act of generosity, freeing others from trying to do this job for you.”

Just as we are responsible for our own joy, we also are responsible for our emotional reactions. So our suffering – feeling a way you don’t want to feel, or feeling out of your comfort zone – isn’t the result of other people or external circumstances. Instead, suffering happens when we don’t give permission to something to be what it is or someone to be who they are, including ourselves.

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