How To Find Great Companions

It’s really amazing what interacting with people (in person) can do, especially after a few years of being limited to online interactions. These past few weeks, I stumbled upon realizations after realizations due to our travels. 

One of my realizations this time is how to find great companions in people. Finding and maintaining great companionships does not solely depend on the other party. I have come to realize that there are essential factors that are dependent on you. If you wish to find great companions in the people in your life or new acquaintances, try heeding these pieces of advice:

  1. Be a good listener. No one wants to deal with a person who does not listen and only talks about himself. In addition, when you know how to listen, you can build a more connected relationship with the other person. 
  2. Be respectful. People have differences, but it would not be a reason for disagreements when each one knows respect. People who see how you do not judge them and their life choices tend to give you the same consideration. Thus, a harmonious relationship has a great tendency to start.  
  3. Be humble. No one wants to be with someone who constantly brags and shows off. Do not use a conversation as an opportunity to put the spotlight on yourself. When the spotlight is what you want, find a stage, not great companions.
  4. Be good-natured. Though first impressions do not always turn out to be accurate, they affect a person’s decision in dealing with you. Therefore, do not appear reserved if you wish people to want to approach and interact with you. Moreover, people seldom want to maintain relationships with people with unpleasant demeanors.   

The main lesson of this discussion is that you should be someone you wish to associate with. You deserve what you give to the world. If you want to experience goodness, then be good.  

Do you find these pieces of advice sensible?



(Photo by Gonzalo Carlos Novillo Lapeyra) 

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How to Avoid Being Judgmental

Have you ever shunned someone because of a hearsay offense? Did you ever find out if the said offense was actual? Have you experienced being avoided by people because you were wrongfully accused of something you did not do? How did you feel about it?

Not everything we see or hear is true. Like a coin, stories have two sides. Like a seemingly calm ocean surface, a person’s personality cannot be seen from their outward appearance. Therefore, we can never conclude fully knowing a person by what we see or hear about them. We can’t even base our judgment on a few encounters. Come to think that even the people we grew up with or share a long time with can still surprise or shock us with their personalities, skills, and other things they choose to hide. Thus, we should never easily judge a person. We have no right to do so anyway. The right question to ask ourselves is not how to judge a person the right way but how to avoid judging others instead.

Here are ways I find effective in stopping myself from judging people in my thoughts and my words.

  1. I do not believe what I hear about a person from another source, regardless of who the source is. If the situation affects me, I would always want to know the other person’s side before deciding which side I should take. If I have no business getting involved, I would just let what I hear out my other ear. I would not allow such information to dwell inside my head.
  2. I put myself in the person’s situation. Imagining myself to be in someone’s shoes helps me develop empathy. Being aware of how it must have felt to be that person usually stops me from passing judgment because I wouldn’t want to be in their situation.
  3. I try to understand why people act the way they do. Knowing the reasons for a person’s questionable actions usually leads me to understand them. Seeing that a trigger caused them to act a certain way, judgment is out the window.
  4. I accept the differences in people’s nature and nurture. Embracing that varying factors cause people’s differences helps me develop a less judgmental mind. I do not compare how a person should be or act based on how I act because we might have different experiences, status, traditions, and upbringing.
  5. I remind myself how I have no right to judge anyone as I also have flaws and shortcomings. Nothing is more effective than remembering the fact that I, being an imperfect person, should not have the right to judge anyone.

Freeing yourself from judgmental thoughts or stopping yourself from minding other people’s lives, choices, or businesses will give you a less burdened mind. Instead of thinking about issues or problems with others, you can spend the time making yourself better or being productive.

Do you tend to judge other people easily? How do you stop yourself from doing so?

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How Does a Marriage Thrive?

Yesterday, my wife and I got to witness a celebration of a marriage that has been thriving for 25 years. I never thought that such a celebration could be more beautiful than a first wedding. Yet, I find it even more beautiful because it was a celebration of a big win. Choosing to stay together, fight together, grow together, raise a family together, and contribute to society together while maintaining the love, respect, and devotion for each other is such an incredibly amazing feat considering the differences that could arise.

I am not saying that I am an expert in love and marriage because the fact is, I am far from one. However, as I go through my own married life and witness the married lives of others, I have extracted these lessons for a marriage to stay afloat and thrive:

  1. There will always be differences but we can always choose acceptance as the answer. The key to acceptance is understanding that each one has their preferences and uniqueness in character, and that is including yourself.
  2. There will always be annoying and dislikeable traits but we can always choose tolerance as the answer. We are to grow with our spouses but not forcefully change them to fit the category we like them to be in. As part of acceptance, we have to tolerate all the quirks of our partners.
  3. There will always be mistakes, both big and small, but we can always choose forgiveness as the answer. Though forgiving can be very difficult, it is a very important act to learn when we want a marriage to work. Our spouses are not perfect and are human therefore mistakes are committed.
  4. There will always be temptations but we can always choose respect as the answer. We will have the strength and conviction to turn away from temptations when we value the fact that our spouses are our other halves. When we respect them as people, we will never give in to any temptations.
  5. There will always be trials that bring the feeling of hopelessness but we can always choose commitment as the answer. When we commit to each other, we will stay together even in the hardest of times. There are no problems that could break a fully committed relationship apart.

What is the keyword in all of these lessons? Choose. I believe that for a marriage to work, we have to choose our respective spouses every single moment. Choose to accept. Choose to tolerate. Choose to forgive. Choose to respect. Choose to commit. Choose to love. More importantly, I believe choosing is easier when we have God in our midst.

How about you? What do you think are the best ways to make a marriage last?

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Dealing with Pressure and Expectations

Was there a decision about your life you made because of people’s expectations? I guess most people do have at least one. I think I speak for most people when I say that it is pretty difficult not to allow the pressure and expectations of family and friends to affect you. It feels good to be appreciated, so we sometimes do things that make people appreciate us, even if they do not make us happy. 

While I can say that now, I do not easily succumb to the pressure that other people put upon me, it was not always the case in the past. I had taken significant steps before, caused by the strong insistence of others or their express disappointment with my desired choices. Not having much experience and knowledge made me gullible. Thankfully, I learned to deal with it as I grew older. No, the pressure and expectations are still there. They’re even more extraordinary than what I had when I was younger. They vary from career path to family life. If I allow myself to let them all in, I might go crazy with anxiety because then I would be pressuring myself. So, how do I manage it?

  1. I assure myself that it is okay to journey at my own pace. Reminding myself that each person has their own pace and time is one of the best ways to keep me from overthinking. It eases my mind. I have to do my part, but I should never force things to happen. I trust the process. 
  2. I do what I love and what I am passionate about. Following the path that leads to what I love or call to me makes me less mindful of other people’s pressure or expectations. Knowing that I am pursuing the course that I love makes it more meaningful and rewarding amidst all the challenges. It would just blur the disagreement of other people. 
  3. I love what I do and am passionate about it. Making sure to always put my heart and soul into everything I do gives me no room for regret. Wholeheartedly embracing the beauty and flaws of the path I choose keeps me from thinking negatively.  
  4. I never let the pressure get in my head. I acknowledge people when they pressure me to do something, but I condition myself not to let it sit in my mind and heart. I go back to the first step – assuring myself that it is okay to have my own pace. 
  5. I never do something to satisfy other people’s expectations. When I do something, I always ask myself who I am doing it for. Is it because of the pressure? Is it because it’s what’s expected of me? Use their advice as guidance, but the decision should be based on your chosen path. 

We can never get rid of the pressure or the expectations of people. Neither can we deafen ourselves from them. Since these are some things we have no control over, we have to control how we deal with them instead. 

How about you? How do you deal with pressure and expectations?





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