They say that owning pets teaches you life and relationship skills while helping your emotional health. While that’s true, pets are basically a family member that requires an equal level of commitment. So if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, how do you develop some of these personal skills?
By getting a houseplant, you’re getting a living being with a lower level of commitment that can also aid in your personal development.
So, what leaves can you take out of your plant’s book to be a better person and partner?
1. You learn to be patient
Of course, you could buy a grown plant and put it on your desk, but where’s the fun in that?
But to grow a houseplant from a seed or seedling, there’s a whole bunch of work to be done. You have to take note of the potting medium, how deep to sow the seeds, how much water to add and how often.
Simply doing research on houseplants and how to grow them takes considerable effort and patience. It takes time to learn about the different houseplants and their likes and dislikes. Some houseplants require more water, others might need less sunlight.
It’s really like how different people are different. Every person has different likes, dislikes, personalities etc.
It takes time and patience to get to know someone, and rightly so if you plan to spend the rest of your life with them.
You have to take note of what the person likes to eat, what they enjoy doing, what goals they have, and well…how they like seeds to be sown as well 😉
Each houseplant is different and takes time to understand and grow, just like a relationship. No two houseplants are (usually) the same, and neither are two relationships.
Growing a healthy houseplant takes time and effort. It’s a good stepping stone for learning how to have patience in nurturing your relationship!
2. You’ll learn to pay attention to the little things
Growing a houseplant is like nurturing a relationship.
If you forget to water your plant, it’ll die (most of the time). If you forget to water your relationship, it’ll die (most probably).
Plants, despite their annoying inability to interact with you, require attention and time to nurture. Relationships, despite their ability to provide comfort and companionship, require attention and time to nurture.
Regular watering and the occasional fertilizer boost is required to keep your houseplant alive and healthy. Regular communication and the occasional extra mile is required to keep the relationship alive and healthy.
While dealing with another person is obviously more complex than dealing with a houseplant, the fundamental remains.
A relationship, like a plant, doesn’t magically grow on its own. You have to understand how much water, sunlight, and fertilizer the plant needs.
Similarly, you have to understand how much space, attention, and communication the other party in the relationship needs.
3. You’ll realize the importance of communication
Plants, in fact, are major drama queens. You’d think they would all be low maintenance because all they need is water and sunlight.
But since they can’t speak, the only way they can show you how they feel is by wilting or literally dying.
They’re not going to tell you how they feel or what they need. They’re just going to start wilting if things are going wrong. If you’re not careful, your houseplant might even die before you even have a chance to rectify the problem.
Luckily, people are different from plants in this regard. Unlike a plant, people can speak. You don’t have to wait for them to wilt or die to realize that something is wrong.
Now, one of the top reasons that causes couples to break up is a lack of communication. Hell, one of the top reasons that causes people not to get together is also a lack of communication.
A houseplant teaches you to identify problems early before it gets out of hand. But not only does a person display these signs more obviously (looking at all of you paggro people), people can speak!
Instead of acting like a houseplant when you feel annoyed at your partner, learn to communicate your frustrations clearly. And similarly, speak to your partner often to identify any issues early so that your relationship doesn’t have to wilt and die.
4. You learn to pick the right person
Contrary to popular belief, some houseplants can be really high maintenance. Some plants require certain soil acidity, sunlight at the right hours, or just the right amount of water.
For those who are busier or aren’t willing to put in the effort, you might need a lower maintenance plant. Perhaps a succulent that only needs to be watered about once a month.
But for those that enjoy the pain of a high maintenance plant, you might enjoy spending hours researching the type of potting medium you need or finding the perfect spot for your plant to get the right amount of sunlight.
Similarly, there are those who give and expect to receive a huge amount of effort or attention from their partners. Then there are those who just want to spend Valentine’s Day cuddling on a sofa eating ice cream.
Whatever your commitment level is, there’s always a plant for you. Just like whatever it is that you need in a partner, there’s always someone for you.
And if you can’t handle a high maintenance houseplant, don’t buy a high maintenance houseplant. If you can’t handle a high maintenance partner, then look for someone that suits you!
Personal development doesn’t always have to start with growing a houseplant
Growing houseplants is one way to nurture your personal development. But there are also countless other ways to develop as a person other than growing a houseplant.
Sometimes, the first step to self development is by simply speaking to like-minded people and figuring out what you want for yourself. Being able to speak to individuals who are going through something similar makes you feel less alone and could even motivate you.
And that’s exactly what some of the Sharers on Kalpha are: people who are going through the process of personal development and growth or have overcome their challenges and would like to guide others.
Personal development takes hard work, effort, and a certain amount of pain to become a better person and partner but for lack of a better phrase, it’s truly worth it in the end.
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