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If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good.
Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic disposition are biologically more likely to focus on the good (gratitude) than on the bad (personal disappointment, anxiety, etc…). The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.
Hedonic adaptation gives unparalleled resiliency and keeps us motivated to achieve ever greater things.
Those who have been disabled have a remarkable ability to rebound – initially they may feel terrible, but after months or years they are on average just as happy as everyone else.
This will take a load off your conscience, and may perhaps mend the relationship by bringing your concerns to light. I’ve gone out of my way to avoid it to the point that I’d just take it if someone was treating me disrespectfully or wasn’t taking me into account. A few years ago, I called up my ex-best-friend that I had stopped talking to a couple years prior, and apologized for abruptly ending the relationship without explanation.
If things don’t improve from your talk, then you’ve at least addressed it and given it a second chance. I see this as a flaw that keeps me in situations I don’t need to be in, and I owe much of my happiness this past year to the fact that I have gotten better at dealing with confrontation and communication. She accepted the apology and told me how much it had hurt her, and that she didn’t think our friendship could ever be the same.
This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us.
Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us.
In five words – gratitude triggers positive feedback loops.I have published a follow up to this post, Fire Your Friends: 4 Years Wiser, that reflects where I stand on “firing friends” now.I strongly suggest you read it immediately after reading this post.When this person calls to complain about their day, be clear at the start that you can only talk for 10 minutes, then you have to run. Avoid the coulda-woulda-shouldas- always talk to the other person before cutting her off completely.When you go to work and see the girl that pressures you into happy hours, tell her you have other engagements and that you’re really cutting back on your alcohol consumption for health reasons. You’ll still see her at work, but now you won’t have to play the game outside of 9-5. THIS WEEK, I’M NOT CHALLENGING YOU TO FIRE YOUR FRIENDS.