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The Power of the Other

The Startling Effects Other People Have on You, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It

By Dr. Henry Cloud
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The Power of the Other: The Startling Effects Other People Have on You, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It by Dr. Henry Cloud

The Power of the Other (2016) shows you how the relationships in your life profoundly affect how you think, act and feel. These blinks examine why certain relationships harm us while others nurture us. Importantly, you’ll learn how to cultivate real connections that fulfill you and help you grow as a person.

Key idea 1 of 9

Your well-being depends on your brain, your relationships and your mind.

No bodybuilder strengthens just one or two muscles, but trains to improve his entire body.

Cultivating happiness works the same way. If you want to live a happier life, you have to work on yourself as a whole. This means taking care of your mental health, which means taking care of your brain.

The brain functions through a combination of electrical charges, hormones and neurotransmitters. If something upsets the balance of these elements, you won’t feel well. For example, if your brain doesn't secrete a sufficient amount of the chemical serotonin, you'll struggle to focus and potentially feel depressed.

Your success and well-being also depend on your relationships.

Each and every person needs close, supportive relationships to thrive. Strong relationships help us cope with stress, overcome setbacks in our lives and even heal pain.

Unhealthy relationships, on the other hand, add stress. They can hamper your ability to deal with tough situations at work, for example. Imagine returning home from a rough day at the office. If you turn to a partner to vent but your partner just makes fun of you, you'll feel even worse.

In addition to taking care of your brain and your relationships, you also have to tend to your mind.

Your mind isn't the same thing as your brain, however. Your brain is like a piece of hardware, where your mind is the software that runs it. Your mind is essentially the mental process that works to decode incoming information, and importantly, determines how you react to this information.

Understanding what's happening in your mind is a key element of living well. When you understand your mind, you can stay in control of your thoughts and better manage your emotions.

All three components – your brain, mind and relationships – are crucial in leading a happy life. Now we’re going to go deeper and focus on just one of these elements: your relationships.

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