The New Year is here (well, almost!) and as we all know it’s time for resolutions. What’s a better resolution to make than to create a better relationship?
It might be one you actually keep, too!
Here’s our list of 5 things to STOP doing to create a better relationship
1. Right Fighting
If there’s one way to lose-win an argument—this is it. Fighting for the sake of being right. We can all bring to mind someone who is notorious for this. It’s so frustrating, (and hurtful) right?
In a relationship, you’re a team. That means that if one of you is “right” the other is “wrong”, then your team isn’t very strong is it?
Great relationships know a better way to argue and have conflict is to separate the issue from the person. This eliminates the need to be right, and for them to be wrong. The two of you can tackle the issue together—as a team. (And a strong one at that!)
Hey we’re not just talking sex here, (get your mind outta the gutter!) even though this applies in that area too.
What we’re talking about the things that create real intimacy, the things that, if we don’t have them, corrode our sense of intimacy and trust. We’re talking the big guns.
Withholding these things is like starving your relationship.
Now, when you think of withholding, we normally think hostage-taking-cold-shoulder-making-fun-mass-weapon type withholding. To serve a purpose of punishment or retaliation. Yes, it’s a good idea to stop that, too. But where withholding becomes sneaky—that’s what we want you to focus on.
When your partner asks a difficult question and you answer with a glazed truth because you don’t want to upset them.
When you’ve had a bad day and don’t feel like telling them—again—that they really look beautiful in that dress.
When you’ve worked all day and touching another human being is so far down on your list, it’s in the fine print.
That’s what we are talking about. Those sneaky withholders. Let’s stop that.
Interrupting if you didn’t catch that. Ooooh. If there’s one way to really get one someone’s last nerve, this is pretty close to it.
It’s a small thing to change, but oh-so-hard. Here’s where we recommend to start (from a chronic interrupter to another) figure out why you’re likely to interrupt.
Is the idea just too good to wait?
Are you worried you will forget?
(gulp) You don’t value what your partner is saying?
If you’re anything like me, it’s usually a combo of the above. Determining the reason why allows you to combat the enemy at the weak spot.
Too good to wait? Ask if you can interject, if not—wait.
Worried about forgetting? Ask for a pause and write it down for later.
No filter? Ask your partner to check you when you interrupt, constructive reminders are helpful!
You don’t value the topic? (bravely and kindly) say that. Ask for a change in topic, if not—wait. (Hint: it won’t kill you!)
Remember practice makes perfect and patience makes smooth—whatever that means.
4. Involving others into your relationship space
We can all think of that couple that talks more about their issues to others than they do with each other. It’s not so comfy, right? Not only is that icky for the other person, but it doesn’t usually serve the relationship any better.
Its disrespectful and breaches the inherent confidentiality that is crucial in a great relationship. Because yes, in a relationship you do have a mutual agreement of confidentiality. You expect them not to tell people how stinky your farts are, your problems fall under that same umbrella!
When you have intrinsic issues in the relationship, source the ones involved in the relationship only. If you want to go outside the relationship for advice, guidance, support, clear that with your partner first. You’ll avoid disrespect and confidentiality breaching. It’s time to nip this behaviour in the bud.
5. Keeping Score
(Insert groan here) This kind of goes unsaid, but like #2, it can be sneaky.
So, of course keeping score isn’t healthy in a relationship, it adds unwanted pressure and attaches expectation to every deed. A relationship isn’t 50%-50% it’s 100%-100%. That means doing things for your partner because it’s the nice thing to do. Because you love them. Because they, of their own expression, will do nice things for you.
Keep tabs on your thoughts when you’re doing tasks or favours for your partner.
Are those sneaky score-keeping thoughts coming in?
Are you subtly resenting your partner as you are working?
Are you secretly expecting they will do something in return? (Ahem, clean up those socks!)
Shoo those thoughts away, and remind yourself why you are doing this kind thing—because you genuinely love them. (Guess what, they probably love you back, and will end up doing something kind, too!)
There you have it. 5 things to STOP doing (or continue to STOP doing if you’re ahead of the curve!) to create and maintain a better relationship!
Share this info with your special someone, they’ll be glad you did. Remember to comment and let us know if we missed any points!