While there is no cookie cutter approach to solving relationships, there are actions you can take that are guaranteed to produce good results in improving your relationships. Here are a few:
1. Blame vs. Expectations
We often place blame and criticize others when we don’t get the result we expected. “It’s your fault this house is such a mess! The garbage needs to be taken out, the laundry folded, I have to do everything!” Your frustration may be warranted, but such a reaction is not helpful in changing the undesired behavior. You can force people to do what you want with manipulation or outright screaming, but humans are naturally motivated through inspiration and positive reinforcement. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings and failures of your partner after the fact, communicate your expectations beforehand in a clear, specific and positive manner. Communicate exactly what you want to see happen and why you feel it is a reasonable expectation. This will give your partner a clear idea of what is needed on their part and because you have communicated what is important to you and their their participation is appreciated, they now have reason to follow through.
2. Criticism vs. Appreciation
It is common to want to criticize the negative behavior of your partner, especially when they are doing something that irritates you personally. But, it is guaranteed that routinely acknowledging the good things you like about your partner will cause a major shift in both your perception of their behavior and the actual behavior. Psychologically speaking, appreciation is a way to reward your partner. They see that you appreciate their effort, perfect or not, and want to repeat the behavior because it feels rewarding, but also makes you happy.
3. Make-up vs. Break-down
Disputes, arguments and conflicts are inevitable in any relationship. How we admit our mistakes and resolve these conflicts is what determines the maturity of the relationship. As Mira Kirshenbaum says, ” When your relationship starts to break down, you need AAA: an Apology, Affection, and a promise of Action. You say you’re sorry for what you’ve said or done to hurt or disappoint your partner. You immediately offer a hug, a kiss—some meaningful gesture of warmth. You pledge to do something that matters to your partner (‘From now on, I will…’). And, of course, you stick to that. This whole AAA thing can take two minutes, but in that time you’ve healed the past, built a bridge to the present, and created hope for your future.”
4. Rekindle vs. Dying out
When we first fall in love our relationships are exciting, full of excitement and burning with passion. All long-term relationships will lose that initial heat and we must make a conscious effort to keep the flame burning. If you feel a layer of frost setting in, it is time to inject some warmth back into the relationship. A romantic weekend away from the daily routine, organize activities you used to do together when you were younger, sparking a nostalgic experience, a special night-out for no particular occasion, or even a steamy evening at home can do wonders for reinvigorating the passion in a relationship. Take the time to plan something special for you and your partner.
Start using these helpful tips and get your relationship back into gear!
Wherever relationships are in need of advice, Relationship Advice Man is there. He has had epic encounters with heavyweight villians such as Greed, Jealousy, Envy, Egotism and Selfishness. For more great relationship advice and tips, visit RelationshipAdviceMan.com