The Law of Familiarity affects you every single day, literally. Your gratitude and perception get altered and distorted when the Law of Familiarity takes over. That is why it is so important to be aware of it, understand how it works and what you can do about it. In other words, how to approach it in a loving way so it wouldn’t be working against you.
This blog post is all about the Law of Familiarity, how it works and how to approach it.
what is the law of familiarity?
The Law of Familiarity is a psychological phenomenon that alters your ability to feel gratitude and the ability to perceive the situation for what it is. In its simplest form, the Law of Familiarity states that when you get exposed to a certain person, thing, place or even action for enough time, you become familiar with it. When you become familiar with that certain person, thing, place or action, your appreciation for it dies down. You start taking it for granted. This happens to everyone and it can affect any area of your life. The Law of Familiarity can greatly affect your relationships, your career, the way you view your possessions and your motivation for a certain repetitive action (e.g. fitness).
HOW THe LAW OF FAMILIARITY AFFECTS EACH AREA OF YOUR LIFE
Let’s take romantic relationships as an example. When you first start dating somebody or fall in love, the excitement can be so big that you really try to do your very best every single day. You sincerely try to make that person feel loved and appreciated and you both essentially go through what many people call ‘the honeymoon phase’.
What happens to most couples after 5 years? You get familiar with each other. Essentially, you just assume that the person is going to always be there no matter what. You start taking them for granted. Certain qualities of theirs become more frustrating than ever. You may start comparing your relationship with other people’s relationships which leads to ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ effect. The majority of such couples brake up way before celebrating those 5 magical years. Some of them stick together but may face challenges within their relationship that require a tremendous amount of energy. The reality is, every relationship is going to wither if it’s not watered and taken care of properly. Relationships require commitment, persistence, and in essence, love.
Remember the saying ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’? Have you ever met anyone that was in a similar situation? Or perhaps you yourself experienced this as well? Your significant other or even your friend leaves your life and you suddenly realize just how important they were.
The reality is, every relationship is going to wither if it’s not watered and taken care of properly. Relationships require commitment, persistence, and in essence, love.
This can be anything from a holiday destination to buying a property or moving to another country. In any of these cases, you first get super pumped and excited but eventually, even the most exciting things lose their shine.
Let’s imagine that you have bought your dream property. I’m sure that the process of getting it to manifest and the first initial weeks or months living there are going to be extraordinary. You will wake up each morning with immense happiness and joy in your heart. What do you think will happen after 1 year? We all know that we simply get used to places, they become ‘normal’ and simply ‘there’. The amazing view that you see through the windows slowly stops being impressive.
Maybe you start dreaming about something better or bigger? Perhaps a new location?
The same thing happens with moving to a new country or sometimes even holiday destinations. The initial excitement dies down.
3. Possessions | lifestyle
This can be explained very similarly. Almost all of our possessions lose their initial appeal when we get used to them. This has happened to me, to you and to all of the people that we know. When we first acquire something, be that a phone, a car or a new dress, we tend to take care of it. Additionally, we get that ‘instant gratification’ high which unfortunately, doesn’t last long. Those who have a harder time dealing with it, may tend to buy a lot of things they don’t need.
The same thing happens to your lifestyle. People often strive for something better, more money, more travelling, more free time, more fulfilment. The problem is that we forget to enjoy the present moment. In addition, whenever we reach the level of lifestyle that we once craved for, we once again find ourselves wanting something else.
Don’t let the Law of Familiarity creep in on you.
Have you ever landed a job and you were so excited to start it, however, after a while you notice that you don’t care much for it? And yes, there are many situations when your expectations are simply not met, whether that would be the management, the team, or the unfulfilled promises. However, we all in a world that is so fast-paced. We want quick results, we want the dream and we constantly find ourselves switching not only partners but jobs as well. Constantly searching for happiness outside of ourselves.
I called this one ‘actions’ because it encompasses everything that starts with a single action. For example, starting a fitness routine or giving yourself a reading challenge. Whatever it may be, anything that is new excites us. It is very easy to feel motivated at the very beginning. It is way more difficult to stick with it because it becomes familiar, boring, and requires commitment. You become familiar with the action you take and it eventually becomes of no interest to you.
We need to enjoy our simple little joys like cooking, showering, walking our dogs, being able to workout, and so many other actions that may seem mundane.
It is very easy to feel motivated at the very beginning. It is way more difficult to stick with it because it becomes familiar, boring, and requires commitment.
how do we overcome and approach the law of familiarity?
You don’t need to overthink or overstretch yourself. Just be aware of the pattern that the Law of Familiarity leaves and remember that you hold the power to change it. It’s like being stuck in a bubble and needing to burst it from time to time. The inside of the bubble is colourless and when you burst it, you realize that there’s so much colour around you. Be prepared for the moment when a specific thing or person doesn’t make you feel as excited anymore. Always evaluate if it’s the thing, place or person that has changed or if it’s simply your mind playing tricks.
2. PRACTICE DAILY GRATITUDE
Whether it would be an evening or morning prayer, or making a short list of a few things that you are grateful for each day, it is a great way to keep yourself grounded. Once you find a method that works for you, you will notice that this forms not only into a ritual but also into a habit engraved in your consciousness.
3. ADD VARIETY
If your relationship, workout, or place gets stale at some point, try adding variety to it. Go on a special date, surprise your partner, try something different in your relationship. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to plan. For example, get your bicycles out (or rent them out) and go for a nice lunch together. Give yourselves a proper day to just talk, communicate and laugh.
If your workout is getting boring and too familiar, change it. Change the program, change your gym, try some new workouts and trainers on Youtube. Better yet, try something you haven’t tried before. Maybe you haven’t ever tried pilates? Do that, even if it’s just for a day, it will help you get out of the funk.
If your home becomes too familiar and you fail to see its beauty each day, cook a delicious dinner, prepare a nice table and create some beautiful ambience with music. Maybe you also are at a place in your life when you can invest some extra money into you place? Change some things up, get creative with the decor.
4. EVALUATE AND THEN MAKE A DECISION
Never make a decision without evaluating your situation first. Do follow you heart, however, always make sure to assess your current situation and where you’re headed. The Law of Familiarity has a way of making it seem like your expectations were not met and certain things don’t interest you anymore. However, we often end up chasing an illusion. Make sure to find happiness within yourself and in the life you have now before you make an important decision.
5. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
We often underestimate how powerful our energy is. Bring your ultimate best into everything you do, every relationship, and every place. You will be surprised how quickly your environment responds back. As soon as we find the happiness within ourselves and share it with the world, the world around us changes completely.
The Law of Familiarity influences our everyday lives. Let it be a wise teacher as you become aware of it. Remember, that you hold the power within. Never take anything for granted. Savour every moment to the best of your ability.
Namaste. I am proud of you.