Module 8: romantic relationships + social networks

Our social connections can be a source of both support and pain; they can help us grow, create emotional wounds, and influence our self-concept. This week we discuss some sources of social struggle and ways to foster networks and relationships that serve as a major resource during challenging times. In this module, you will: 

  • Discuss the effects of stress on relationships and beliefs about/research findings concerning relational pain and support.
  • Assess current support network and personal attachment style; identify real-life applications
  • Reflect on goodwill practices and assess utility/application in your daily life.  
  • DISCOVER: Experiences in Close Relationships Scale
  • ACT: After taking the survey linked above, use your results to reflect and act.  Do you think the scale report correctly reflects how you are in your relationship?  Were you surprised by the results? Why?  How could you see using a scale like this and your survey results to help strengthen close relationships? 

    Is there anything you found missing in this attempt to measure closeness?  What else captures closeness for you?

One way to harness social connections and networks is is to draw upon the natural kindness we have for those we love, and for our connectedness to the those around us.  Explore the following kindness and goodwill meditations below.  Try each practice once throughout the week.  Then repeat the practice you prefer 1-2 times more throughout the week. 

  • PRACTICE: Loving-Kindness for a Loved One (15 min) guided by Dr. Christopher Germer
  • PRACTICE: Goodwill Visualization (10 min)
  • REFLECT: 

    1. How did the kindness and goodwill practices this week go for you?  What did you notice?  Did you prefer one practice over another? What did you find challenging and/or helpful?

    2. Based on your practical experience and your knowledge of positive psychology, imagine what kind of impacts calling up goodwill and kindness might have on your life, your relationships, and your community.  Name a few here.