1. Change Yourself and the Relationship Changes
Forget about waiting for others to change. The power you have is to change yourself.
Instead of focusing on how another person needs to change, consider changing one small thing about yourself. When we change the way we typically react or respond to another person, this small adjustment will likely cause the other person to change. If you frequently do something the same way, try changing it up and notice what happens.
For example, try smiling when someone enters the room (instead of focusing on your phone, computer, etc.).
Relationship success happens when you focus on changing yourself in ways that positively influence your relationship. When you make even a small change, there will be some reaction from the other person.
Success Tip: This works best when you avoid telling the other person about the deliberate change you’re making!
Doing one small thing differently can shift a relationship and give you an opportunity to have a more pleasant connection.
2. Think Before Speaking
There are times in every relationship when we’re caught off guard by a critical comment, negative facial expression, or lack of empathy or understanding. If you find yourself blindsided by something another person says or does to you, pause and take a few moments to consider how you want to respond.
Remember, once the words fly out of your mouth (or out of your fingertips) they don’t come back. One unfriendly barb can wreak havoc on your relationship for weeks. The more grounded you are, the more likely you’ll be able to respond in a way that elicits communication versus conflict.
Conflict occurs in all relationships, and it’s healthy and normal to take a temporary time out from heated discussions. It can also be reassuring to know that you can disagree on a number of things without damaging the relationship.
Relationships are like gardens; in order to blossom and grow they need some attention every day.
3. Practice the Stranger Standard
Human beings are far more likely to critically snap at a partner than a complete stranger. Consider how you interact with strangers at the grocery store, boarding an airplane, or waiting in line. Chances are you smile, say hello, thank you, or excuse me. That’s the stranger standard.
Now consider treating a family member, partner or close friend by the stranger standard. Even when you’re at odds with another person, it’s still possible to treat them with respect which communicates that the relationship is important to you.
Dawn Nelson, MSW, CHT, CPC
Professional Coaching Services
Dawn offers opportunities to move forward through improvement, advancement and enhancement. In order to get what you've never had you have to be willing to do what you've never done. Sometimes that's knowing when to get professional assistance.