Growth Mindsets in our Relationships

December 6, 2021

Relationships are essential to our lives – but they bring about both wonderful splendors and terrible spectacles. Our time of joy with others can be tainted by deep frustration.

  • Your significant other is unkind toward you, and you feel hurt and want to lash out.
  • Your friends are unsupportive when you need them, and you are upset and vindictive.
  • Your child refuses to what you say, and you are on the brink of yelling at them.

Louis Tay

These examples of failures on the part of others are not uncommon, and one should not dismiss the negative impact they can have on our lives. But, we can unwittingly magnify their negative impact by demeaning or disparaging the offender. These reactions often stem from a lack of hope – the belief that the offender can change or grow from this failure.

Growth mindsets, or simply the idea that one can personally grow from failure, can not only be applied to our lives but our relationships. We can choose to see these moments as opportunities to reveal a wrong, share a hurt, encourage a positive change, and build a relationship.

Having a growth mindset toward others can drastically shape how we react. Instead of anger and bitterness, we instead confront others in hope and love. After all – which person ever said, “Wow, I so appreciate your spiteful and hateful tone – I have learned so much, and I will seek to do better the next time. Your ire makes me respect and trust you; I now feel so close to you!”

As much as we seek to grow from our own failures, we can extend that growth mindset in our relationships. Perhaps we can create splendor from a spectacle.

Be well,

Louis Tay

Tay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. He has expertise in well-being, assessments, and data science. Be sure to check back each week for another wellness tip of the week! 

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