Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To change your relationship, change the way you relate.

Give your relationship a boost - let your partner know what you're thinking!

All relationships need attention and with the right tools you can create an exciting, happy and rewarding partnership.  Is your relationship at a stalemate?  Is it hard to know what to do next, where to turn, how to change things?  When your outside circumstances seem impossible to address, the easiest way to start any change process is to do some personal research.

To that end, here are some questions to ask yourself.  Be as honest as you can.  The purpose of these questions is to help you get a new perspective.  If you have reached an impasse in your relationship, the answers will certainly give you something to talk about!  

1.  List 3 things that annoy you about your partner.
2.  List 3 things you admire about them.
3.  List 3 judgements you have on your partner.
4.  List  3 things you appreciate about them.
5.  Name 3 things you haven't forgiven them for.
6.  Name 3 events with them you cherish/hold dear.
7.  What 3 things does your partner not know about you?

Can you see a pattern in your relationship?  Is it easier to see the negative rather than value the positive?  Are you holding on to old hurts, refusing to forgive? Or wishing you could go back to happier times?  Do you with-hold information in order to protect or to punish?  

The first step to healing a relationship is communication. The most important question to ask yourself is 'Do I want to be right or would I rather be happy?'.  I used to think being right was the thing that made me happy, but being right just reinforces the distance between me and another.  It is connection that makes us happy.   You can't buy it, you can't demand it, all you can do is be willing to drop your defences and want an honest connection.

Author and researcher, Dr Brene Brown talks about shame being the biggest block in relationship.  It is a feeling we hate to acknowledge and acts like a vice around our heart. As we try and move toward another it grips us and prevents us from making those final steps to connection. Shame is generated from the belief 'I am not enough'.  It's in all of us and is the death knell to intimacy and connection.  It drives our addictions, our personalities, our lives.

Sharing hidden judgements and thoughts with the opening statement of "I'm telling you this because I want to find a way out of thinking like this" is the first step to overcoming shame.  It opens up communication at a new level, acknowledging vulnerability and signifying a willingness to change.  It is the first line in the song of re-connection.   

It is important to build on what works in a relationship and clean up the areas that need improvement.  Learning to communicate openly and honestly, with a clear intent to achieve mutual understanding and forgiveness may take some time, and requires vulnerability, but it can bring a dull relationship back to sparkling life.

Be Happy.

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