You can seek to improve your relationships even if they’re already fulfilling sources of joy. Romantic relationships, friendships, family bonds, and work relationships are all fantastic streams of healing and growth if we choose to see them that way. These TED Talks inspired me to see my connections in a new light; they might do the same for you.
“Well it’s all right, doing the best you can. Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand.” – Traveling Wilburys, End of the Line
I thoroughly enjoyed each of these TED Talks, and I think you’ll be able to extract more than one nugget of relationship wisdom here.
All of our relationships (intimate or not) can be the greatest learning devices for spiritual growth and healing, if we let them be.
Whatever connection you’d like to make, strengthen, or repair, I hope you find something valuable to take away from any one of these talks.
5 TED Talks to Inspire and Improve Your Relationships
1. The Power of vulnerability, with Brené Brown
I shared some Brené Brown quotes not long ago because her work has made such a bright impact on how people approach their relationships, first with themselves, and then with others.
This TED Talk of hers is one of the most popular to date. Watch this 20-minute talk to discover the healing power of being vulnerable, courageous, and authentic in your interactions with yourself and everyone you come into contact with.
2.Why believe in others, with Viktor Frankl
In this clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a brief but powerful message about the human search for meaning, and how we can help uplift those around us by recognizing the “spark” of possibility in them.
Frankl demonstrates the meaning of Geothe’s words: “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
This is an insightful and practical way of being a source of support for others, even if we don’t agree with how they are being in this present moment in time.
3. Remember to say thank you, with Laure Trice
In under four minutes, Dr. Laura Trice unravels the importance of genuine and specific praise, admiration, and thanks. This is another deceptively simple message to honor your power to uplift others, strengthen and repair bonds, and deepen a friendship.
Laura poses this brilliant question and answer, leaving us to honor what we need to hear, and to take a greater interest in what others need to hear from us: “How can we have world peace with different cultures, different languages? I think it starts household by household, under the same roof.”Giving thanks is a gift to others, not to be overlooked or underestimated. Click To Tweet
4. Love — you’re doing it wrong, with Yann Dall’Aglio
If you don’t speak French, you’ll be watching this video with subtitles, but trust me: it’s worth the watch. This delightful talk with philosopher Yann Dall’Aglio explores the universal search for connection in a world that has come to idolize what he calls “seduction capital.”
Yann discusses how we are free to value or disvalue any object, any choice, any attitude, and, as it turns out, any person. We negotiate our value every day, in a way, to remain desirable to others, which begets the forgetfulness of our own inherent value.
Around the 8:10 mark, in response to the potential intensification of this “race for seduction,” Yann proposes another path to thinking about love, one that would ease our love relationships: the search for tenderness.
Rather than searching for perfection, fulfillment, and proof of our own desirability in another, he muses, we could focus instead on tenderness, which holds a lot of charm and happiness in and of itself.
5. Say your truths and seek them in others, with Elizabeth Lesser
This is a heartening and humorous talk about healing through our relationships. My greatest takeaway from Elizabeth’s talk is this: Uncover your soul (your truth) and look for that spark of authenticity in others.
She talks about the lessons learned from being a midwife, the beauty and challenges of siblinghood, putting aside pride and defensiveness, the freedom that comes with saying what you’ve always needed to say, and treating the pain of our relationships with forgiveness and truth-telling.
“You don’t have to wait for a life-or-death situation,” Elizabeth reminds us, “to clean up the relationships that matter to you.”
Try to stay open to the pain of your connections, stay curious about what wants to be born, and know that you can improve your relationships simply by allowing yourself to be seen and heard, and allowing another to be seen and heard, until there is only love left.Click To Tweet
What’s one takeaway from any of these talks that you’re implementing in your life from this moment on?
Please share any of your favorite TED talks on relationships, positive practices that keep your relationships thriving, how you retain your sense of inner calm when handling a tough situation with another, and any inspiring stories with me in the comments.
Share these TED talks with someone you care about.
“Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive…”