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Level up your relationships. 5 nuggets of truth an expert has learned over the past year

These nuggets of truth will level up any relationship.

His advice always hits the mark. He inspires us to do better and to be better, and, he makes us think about the people that matter the very most.

Studio 5 Relationship Contributor Dr. Matt Townsend has been thinking, too… about the ideas, research, and takeaways that he has gleaned through his work and study this last year. He has identified the five biggest relationship truths that he picked up on in 2023, that he says will take your relationships to the next level.

Find more advice from Matt at


5 Nuggets of Truth to Level Up Your Relationships

  1. Assume Rapport: Matt emphasizes the importance of assuming rapport when interacting with others. By presuming a positive connection, we can dissolve social barriers and engage in conversations with genuine warmth. This approach fosters closeness and harmony, making interactions more meaningful.


  1. Spread Positive Gossip: When negative gossip can harm lives, Matt advocates for spreading positive gossip instead. Sharing uplifting stories and celebrating others can create a ripple effect of kindness, transforming lives and strengthening relationships. The joy of delivering positive gossip benefits both the giver and the receiver.


  1. HALT Reactivity: Matt introduces the concept of HALT – an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These emotional states often trigger reactivity in relationships. Being mindful of our emotional well-being and addressing these states before engaging in important conversations can prevent unnecessary conflicts.


  1. Ask Thoughtful Questions: Thoughtful questions lead to meaningful answers. Matt encourages delving deeper by asking open-ended questions that invite others to share their thoughts and feelings. By understanding one another on a deeper level, relationships can flourish with genuine communication and connection.


  1. Turn Thoughts into Action: Don’t just think about it; act on it. Matt emphasizes the power of translating our thoughts and intentions into action. Whether it’s expressing gratitude, reconnecting with a friend, or resolving a long-standing issue, taking concrete steps can alleviate anxiety and strengthen relationships.


As we incorporate these relationship truths into our lives, we can create a more compassionate and connected world. By assuming rapport, spreading positivity, managing reactivity, asking thoughtful questions, and taking purposeful action, we pave the way for healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

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