Dr. Henry Cloud Explains the Startling Effect Others Have on Our Minds

Maria Shriver sat down with clinical psychologist and best-selling self-help author Dr. Henry Cloud for a Facebook Live conversation to talk about his latest book The Power of the Other, which examines how the people we surround ourselves with affect our growth and success.

We often forget how the energy of those around us—at work, at home, and in our relationships— has an impact on us, Dr. Cloud said.

“Our thriving in every area of life largely depends on the connections and the dynamics of the kinds of people we surround ourselves with,” he explained.

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Whether we realize it or not, Dr. Cloud said, our relationships influence our own thought patterns and behaviors. Many of our behaviors, he noted, reflect the influence that previous decisions and relationships have had on us.

“Somehow, especially in personal life, we will think, ‘I’ll go figure this out. I’m going to go make a relationship work on the wiring that I have.’ And a lot of times what we don’t understand is a lot of our wiring and our powering happened in other relationships that weren’t good,” he said.

Dr. Cloud stressed that we can and we must break those patterns.

Every person we come into contact with–those we grew up with and those whom we interact with–can have a positive, encouraging effect on our brains and our lives, or a discouraging, toxic effect.

In his book The Power of the Other, Dr. Cloud describes what he refers to as “The Four Corners”—an idea that every relationship in our life is made up of no connection, a bad connection, a pseudo-good connection or a real connection.

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When we seek connection because it’s lacking in a certain area, Dr. Cloud advised us against supplementing that need with a bad connection. Instead, we must seek out relationships that nourish us—whether that be with friends or in support groups.

Shriver agreed.

“We need each other in the positive way,” she said. “We need people around us who bring out the best, who lift us up, who are honest… That is all about the power of the other.”

Learn more about how all of our connections affect us by reading The Power of the Otheror by watching Shriver’s full Facebook Live conversation with Dr. Cloud below:

We’re sitting down with Dr Henry Cloud to talk about how people in your life sub-conciously affect you and his book The Power of the Other (tap the video for sound)

Posted by Maria Shriver on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

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Kelsey Ducklow is the Social Media Manager at Shriver Media. She'd love to hear your ideas and feedback for the Architects of Change digital community! Connect with her here.

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