Why you should commit to being open hearted; and how to do so

Why you should commit to being open hearted; and how to do so

Is there anyone who doesn’t think that more kindness and compassion would make the world a better place?

I think not.

If more of us were kinder, more often, and if more of us showed more compassion, to others and to ourselves, there’s little doubt we’d all enjoy more happiness and peace in life.

Being more open hearted, is an important contributor to happiness, for all, but one that’s often overlooked …

via Psychology Today by Rick Hanson


  • We all know people we find to be a challenge.
  • People’s hurts, disappointments, and irritations typically arise in reaction to other people.
  • An open heart clarifies what works for you and what doesn’t.
Cyrus Gomez/Unsplash

Cyrus Gomez/Unsplash

We all know people who are, uh, challenging. It could be a critical parent, a bossy supervisor, a relative who has you walking on eggshells, a nice but flaky friend, a co-worker who just doesn’t like you, a partner who won’t keep his or her agreements, or a politician you dislike. Right now, I’m thinking of a neighbor who refused to pay his share of a fence between us.

Most of a person’s hurts, disappointments, and irritations typically arise in reactions to other people.

Ironically, in order for good relationships to be so nurturing to us as human beings — who have evolved to be the most intimately relational animals on the planet — you must be so linked to others that some of them can really rattle you!

So what can you do?

Let’s suppose you’ve tried to make things better — such as taking the high road yourself and perhaps also trying to talk things out, pin down reasonable agreements, set boundaries, etc. — but the results have been partial or nonexistent.

At this point, it’s natural to close off from the other person, often accompanied by feelings of apprehension, resentment, or disdain. While the brain definitely evolved to care about “us,” it also evolved to separate from, fear, exploit, and attack “them” — and those ancient neural mechanisms can quickly grab hold of you.

But what are the results? Closing off doesn’t feel good. It makes your heart heavy and contracted. And it primes your brain to be more tense and reactive, which could get you into trouble, plus trigger the other person to act worse than ever.

Sometimes you do have to hang up the phone, block someone on Facebook, change the channel on TV, or stay at a motel when visiting relatives. Sometimes you have to put someone out of your business, workgroup, holiday party list — or bed.

In extreme situations such as abuse, it may feel necessary to distance yourself utterly from another person for a while or forever; take care of yourself in such situations, and listen to that inner knowing about what’s best for you.

But in general: You never have to put anyone out of your heart…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE