The Quality of Your Relationships Equal the Quality of Your Life
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your relationships influence how happy and satisfied you are in your life. And, we’re not only speaking in terms of romantic / intimate relationships, but, rather, all of the relationships we have in our lives. Each person we interact with plays a vital role in how we interpret ourselves and the world around us, so you can see how essential it must be to care for and nurture your relationships.
Perhaps, you’re happy with your president relationships, or maybe you’re struggling. In any case, you probably know that even the best relationships have room for improvement. With that said, you definitely don’t want to miss knowing about the 10 steps that will improve even the best relationships in your life.
~Step One: Identify What You Value Most ~
Before you can begin to improve a thing about your relationships, you must know what is most important to you. Discovering this involve you to go deep inside and identify what you value most in a relationship. Understand that values aren’t the same thing as strategies.
Strategies have to do with very specific information (I’m going to being in a committed relationship in the next six months); while values are much broader in scope (I value caring and consideration.) Once you identify what it is that you value, you’ll be clear enough to start getting those things from your relationships.
~ Step Two: Know Your “Do” Wants Instead of Your “Don’t” Wants ~
Frequently, people focus primarily on the things that they “Don’t” want in a relationship. This kind of thinking produces ideas such as, “I don’t want my significant other to spend all their time at work” or “I don’t want my mother to put me down about everything I do.”
While not wanting these things is reasonable, it’s very hard to get results when you’re dealing with all the things that you don’t want. Instead, think about what it is that you “DO” want. Maybe what you really want is to spend more time with your spouse and to receive more appreciation from your mother. Clearly understanding what you “DO” want is the only way to start getting what you want in your relationships.
~ Step Three: Don’t Take It to Heart ~
Getting your feet to move forward and taking the next step can be difficult for many people because, as humans, we seem to react negatively to situations where we feel hurt, or helpless. In order to learn how to stop taking things personally, it’s important that we understand that everything people say or do are driven by a desire to meet their own needs, or to support something that they value.
In other words, while it may seem to you that they’re launching a personal attack, what’s really happening is that something they need or value is missing from the situation. Once we understand that their actions are all about them—not us—it’s easier to move forward and solve the problem instead of reacting to it.
~ Step Four: The Gift of Presence ~
Step number four is all about putting your own judgments and opinions aside and really listening to what your partner has to say. So much of our communication is clouded with our own feelings, desires, and agendas; it’s easy to miss important clues about what the other partner really needs to make the relationship work. Giving the gift of your presence to someone else shows that you truly care about making a deep and lasting connection.
~ Step Five: Now It’s Their Turn ~
After you’ve discovered what’s most important to you, it’s time to explore your partner’s values. It’s just as important that you identify very clearly what the other person would ideally like to have in your relationship – what they value most and want to experience. Once you and your partner have an understanding about what you both want from your relationship, you can move forward and take the next step.
Well that’s probably enough to practice for now. Take a few days; practice what you’ve learned here. Then when we post part two of this series, you’ll be ready to move on to step number six.
A recap of the first five steps to practice.
- Start identifying what you value most. You can use our values exercise as a guide if you need help. You can find it by going to:
- Figure out what it is you “DO” want in your relationships.
- Stop taking your relationship partner’s judgment and criticisms personally by remembering that they are only trying to meet some need or experience something they value. It’s not about you!
- Offer the gift of your presence and…
- Help the other person discover what’s most important to them.
Part Two: Steps 6 through 10