Relationship Help: Am I Being my Best Self?Author: Rhoberta Shaler PhD
Am I being my best self, or am i just reacting to my partner? That's a big question, especially when applied when we are having relationship problems at home.
Self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence play a large part in the answer. Reacting often comes with a very high price tag!
Relationship problems are intricate, complex and usually historically well-endowed. When something happens for the first time, it seldom gets the gusto it engenders after the fifth time. And, then we pull out those fearsome–and inaccurate words–"You always…" and "You never…!"
When I'm working with folks in my office to bring a relationship back together, or to end it peacefully through mediation services, I hear a lot of history. People need to tell their stories when they come for counseling. They seldom need to tell their story when they come for mediation. But, be that as it may, I hear a lot of stories from the past in either case. They need to talk. They need to be heard. And, often, the relationship problems they do have stem from everyone talking and no one listening!
And, then, most of that talking is about justification for their actions:
"I only did that because you did this."
"Your mother did that which was outrageous, so…."
"I didn't think you would notice me if I didn't…."
"I was sick and tired of your doing ______!"
All these statements are justifying their actions based on what someone else did. This is not what grown-ups do!
Grown-ups take the time to reflect on their values, vision, beliefs and purpose to know who they are. Once they know who they are, they then can think about how they demonstrate who they are by what they say and do. Alignment is either present, or it is not. Grown-ups, though, take it a step further: they monitor their own behavior by asking themselves two questions, one as the day begins, another as the day ends:
• What will I bring to this day that demonstrates who I am in the highest and best way possible in every relationship?
• What did I do today that demonstrated who I am in the highest and best way possible in every relationship?
That's the inner work, your own work.
The next natural step, then, is to look at your relationship problems with new eyes. Instead of starting with your partner's behavior, reflect on your own.
Were you your best self in the problematic situation that's now on the table and coming between you? It's likely you were not, because you were reacting. That's old learned behavior, and once you have done your own work, you will have the courage to take your new self to the street! That means, that, no matter what anyone does or says, you still get to be you. No longer do you turn green and expand out of your clothes when things don't go your way…even metaphorically!
Now, you can re-visit any communication or conflict management skills you have and see them in a new light.
- They are not there for proving that you're right and blowing the underpinnings out from under your partner.
- They are not there to give you control, charge or superiority over your partner.
- They are there to create learning through conversation, to learn about each other and the perceptions, perspectives, assumptions and contradictions that go with being human.
And, as you do this, there is a very good chance your relationship will become more than you ever thought possible.
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, makes it easier to talk about difficult things. Founder of Sow Peace® and The Optimize Institute & Center, she works with couples and teams worldwide to improve conscious communication and collaboration. Trained as a psychologist and professional mediator, Dr. Shaler offers clients the insights, skills, strategies and solutions to sow peace. Learn more and follow her blog at http://SowPeace.com
Relationship Self Help - Basic Relationship Advice to Help You Get ThroughAuthor: Johnny Wayne
There are actually some easy relationships self help methods that you can use in your own relationship to recover the intimacy you once felt for one another. It is really too bad that day to day challenges get in the way of the love you have for each other and put it all on the back burner.
If things are not switched back to the front burner, tendency is that it would all fade like a distant memory and would be hard to reacquire. It is as if you went from not being able to keep your hands off of each other in the beginning to rarely ever touching each other after five years.
A touch from your partner is what keeps the relationship alive. It shows the other that even though there are a million and three things that need to be dealt with, you are trying to stay connected, even in some small way. Hold her hands whenever the two of you are together, wherever you may go. Even as you just pass by, reach out to touch your partner. This will make them feel loved and let them know you care.
Did you know that research shows that if you talk to your partner about anything and everything throughout your relationship it is less likely that either one of you will explode over something huge. Know why? Because when the line of communication is open for the small things, then the bigger things can also make it through the line. Learning to communicate effectively is the single most important relationship self help technique you can do to improve or maintain your relationship.
Another technique you can use is to try to remember the things you like and love about your partner. Stop thinking about the things that annoy you focus on the reasons why you fell in love to your partner. Those little irritations may grow inside you and just start to piss you off until it ruins your relationship.
Last of all, do you always or do you not spend time with each other? Either way can affect the relationship. Irritation may be the result if you spend too much time with your partner and would end up being bored with each other. Don't try spending too much time with your partner because you could end up having nothing to talk about anymore. So, spend some time away from each other every once in a while. Allow yourselves to miss each other. Then come running back with new appreciation in your relationship and share some good stories you've obtained while away.
Using one or all of these relationship self help techniques will help keep your relationship strong and healthy and your love alive and well.
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Johnny has an interest in helping people to solve their relationship problems. He hopes that his articles not only provide useful information for those searching for answers but also some invaluable resources that will help people follow their chosen path.
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