The most important principle in minimalism possibly is human relations. Many studies show that what affects our happiness the most, is the quality of our relations. Let’s take a look at our inner self; are we happy in our relationships with our family, friends, lover? Likewise, can we say that the people in our lives are happy in their relationship with us?
Look into your relationships. What are they based on? Are the problems you experience in your relationships based on communication errors? Don’t forget that the only thing you can’t take back is time. So be careful about who you spend your time with. Try to spend enjoyable and fulfilling time with the ones you feel happy around.
We’ve already established that minimalism is getting rid of what is unnecessary in our lives. Some people are also included in this category. We all have hundreds of friends on our social media accounts, but how many of them are our real friends? I’m sure you wouldn’t even remember most of them if you saw them in the street. We always say not to collect what does not bring value to our lives, so let’s also write unnecessary people off of our lives.
But how are we going to do this? My advice is to put love and enjoying life at the center of your life. This may help you make your decision faster.
Minimalism in our relationship with ourselves
We have to mention the most important relationship: the one we have with ourselves. The longest relationship we have from the day we were born until we die is the one we have with ourselves. So this is where we need to begin our minimalism journey in our relationships.
We all are human, do not put pressure on yourself when you make a mistake. Learn how to take a lesson from your mistakes!
Always remember that real happiness is within you. Learn to be happy by yourself, without depending on anything else. Be happy with the chirp of a bird or the blue color of the sky. Learn to be happy with the small things!
Love yourself! Love yourself unconditionally, with all your features that you call good or bad!
Be true to yourself! Admit your feelings and live them freely.
Minimalism in romantic relationships
What improves your love for them? Is it their genuine smile, saying ‘I love you’ by looking in your eyes or an expensive gift? I believe that you tend to live a more intense relationship as you move away from material things. Minimalism is also to avoid consumption. Unfortunately, some relationships turn into a gift collection. Partners feel pressure to buy each other gifts. They always think it should be reciprocal. Do not feel obliged to do anything! If you really want to give a gift, do stuff that are intangible. Sadly, so many women still measure the love of their partner and even their own value by the expensiveness of their ring.
Your relationship should be based on love. Do not measure the love you have for each other by material things.
Certainly spend some time alone or with your friends, do not be dependent on your relationship. Do not limit one another because of jealousy. Give each other the space you need to get better freely within the relationship. Lower your expectations. This way, you can be happy with small surprises.
Minimalism in friendships and family
Family and relatives are the people who have different needs and we don’t choose to involve in our lives, from different generations. The key point in our relationships with them is communication. Sometimes they can’t communicate in a healthy way even among themselves. Minimalism indicates that a family should have peace, calmness and happiness.
Learn to say no whenever you need to.
Don’t waste your time just to not upset your family and friends.
Be patient and kind towards people. Don’t end your relationship the first time they make a mistake.
Accept that you all have different needs and world-view even if you are family members.
You don’t have to have the same opinion but you should respect them.
Minimalism in professional relationships
How can we be minimalists in our relationships with seniors and our co-workers?
Our professional relationships may cause so much stress in our workplace. I want to mention something I realized in my life. The difficulty or time limit -the work itself- does not cause stress for me. Conversely, the relationship I have with my co-workers causes me stress. People cause me stress, not the work.
Empathy: Remember that your co-workers also have private lives. You don’t have to love them but you have to work together and be kind to them.
Do not reflect the rivalry of business life to the your relationships.
They are just your co-workers. Realize the difference and behave accordingly. Keep your distance.
Do not tell everything abour your private life when you chat with your co-workers or boss.
Be honest! Do not butter up just to get a promotion. Don’t deprive yourself.
Separate your business life from your private life. Don’t bring work to home if you are not working from home!
Don’t talk about topics such as politics, football, religious beliefs that can lead to arguments with your co-workers.
Learn to say no to your boss and show your limits. A few tips to do this in a kind way:
‘‘I would love to do this. However, I’m really busy today/ this week/ this month and I can’t take this task meanwhile.’’
‘’It’s 5 p.m and I already have a task, this would add 15 more minutes. I’m in the Office for half an hour more today. So I will deal with this task early in the morning tomorrow.’’
You can lead a peaceful and calm life by applying minimalism to your relationships.
Author: İrem Yurdubırakan
Translated by: Begüm B.