Same Old Relationship Problems — Again!

Have you ever wondered how to keep those pesky issues from your past relationships from cropping up like weeds in your present relationship? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, the same old patterns keep replaying like a stuck record?

It’s an old saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” But, unless you take specific steps to avoid it, it’s just as true that, “No matter where you’ve been, there you go!”

What do we mean by this?

Simply put, people don’t take responsibility for consciously creating a future that draws them to it. More often than not, they take what’s happened in the past and expect that this is most likely what’s going to happen to them in the future. Then they live into that prediction.

We can guarantee that you’re doing this if you’ve ever asked yourself some version of these two questions:

Why does the same thing keep happening to me over and over again?

Why don’t I learn from my mistakes?

Past, Present and Futurepast presnt and future

Without getting into a quantum physics argument, time in the physical realm flows from the past, to the present, and then into the future. But since we human beings have a memory–and are so very, very good at creating meaning–we form opinions about what’s happened to us in the past and apply these opinions to what’s happening to us now as a way to predict our future.

The future tends to be this big, scary, black hole of the unknown, and we don’t like the unknown very much. This leads to the obsession with predicting the future we humans have always had.

In our human perception of time there is our memory of our past, our experience of the present–which is colored by our experiences in the past–and then there is this big blank space called our future. And since we don’t like these big blank spaces we tend to fill our future with predictions that we base on our past experiences.

So instead of past, present, future, our timeline looks more like: past, present, past. In other words, we put our past in our future and then live into that.

Starts to make sense why history repeats itself, doesn’t it?

Predictability = Safety — T’aint Necessarily So

It’s obvious people want to predict the future because they believe this will create greater safety or security. The problem with this is that our prophecies tend to be both: 1) of the worst possible scenario, and 2) self-fulfilling.

This is not a good combination. Whenever you predict a future based on your unpleasant experiences in the past, you are very likely to fulfill on your prophecy of an unpleasant future.

So how do you get your past out of your future?

The first thing is to believe that your future is entirely unpredictable and then make a commitment to stop using your past experiences to predict it. It’s okay to use your past to inform your future, but not to predict it.

Now granted, this is much easier said than done because you can’t ever stop doing anything, you can only start doing something else.

We suggest you start getting very clear about what values you weren’t experiencing in your past by exploring these “recurring” past experiences that you don’t enjoy. Once you identify what you value that is missing for you in these experiences , you can then put all of your attention on ways to get more of this in your future.

Using the information about what you value most in life is how you use your past to inform your future. But first you have to believe that–since your future is unpredictable–it is possible for you to have what you value in the future. We find many people don’t believe this.

The trick here is to make very concrete plans for how you can experience more of what you value in the future, and then take whatever actions you need to in order to have those plans happen.

We can’t guarantee that you will get what you want, because the future is unpredictable!

But, since what you focus your attention on grows–and since you’re focusing your attention on what you value and on specific plans to get it–we’re confident that you’re much more likely to get it than if you keep filling up your future with your past.

With a commitment to your success,
Beth and Neill

Relationship Advice – Tidbit of the Week

Tag: Personal Growth,Relationship AdviceBeth and Neill

This Weeks Relationship Advice Tidbit

Are you enjoying all your relationships? How would you like some relationship advice that is guaranteed to Help.

We believe the quality of our life is created by the quality of our relationships. Think about it, unless you’ve chosen the life of a solitary monk living in a cave, your life is filled with one relationship after another. Your family and friends, the people you work with, the person that delivers your mail. Even all those momentary relationships you have with salespeople, servers and restaurants, and the clerk in the grocery store. The list goes on and on.

How much more wonderful would your life be, if each time you interacted with another person you both left feeling satisfied?

Are there any you would like to improve? Are you enjoying the relationships you have with your all your family and friends, what about your boss, colleagues or employees. How is your relationship going with your kids?

The Gift Of Presence

If you want to improve, enrich and strengthen your relationships, we suggest the very first step is learning to give the gift of presence. Now, we don’t mean anniversary, birthday or Christmas presents…  The presence that we’re talking about is the gift of listening to the other person without thinking about yourself at all.

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.” ~Marge Piercy

Being present for another person doesn’t mean just hearing their words without you talking. It involves you putting your self aside for a moment so that you can really hear what’s important to the other person. When you give the gift of presence, you’re not only demonstrating to the other person that you care about them, you’re also opening the only door to discovering solutions that will be satisfying for everyone.

So next time you notice yourself starting to defend your position, believing you’re right, thinking that the other person is wrong, or giving the other person advice about how to change, STOP… and try giving the gift of presence. What if you got to lose, except maybe a whole bunch of stress, frustration, and pain.

If you’d like to discover other related relationship advice articles, you can start by reading: “Are You Playing Together So That Everyone Has Fun?”

Committed to your success,

10 Steps that Lead to Better Relationships and a Happier Life Part Two

The Quality of Your Equal the Quality of Your Life

Okay, hopefully you’ve had time to practice steps one through five, from part one of 10 Steps that Lead to Better Relationships and a Happier Life. Just in case you missed it see part one here:

To recap, steps one through five are…

  1. Start identifying what [tag-tec]your values.[/tag-tec]
  2. Figure out what it is you “DO” want in your relationships.
  3. Stop taking [tag-tec]your relationship[/tag-tec] partner’s judgment and criticisms personally by remembering that they are only trying to meet some need or experience something they value.
  4. Offer the gift of your presence and…
  5. Help the other person discover what’s most important to them.

Now it’s time to move forward and take step number six.

~ Step Six – Sharing the Vision ~

The next step to [tag-tec]improving your relationships[/tag-tec] is the ability to create a shared vision. Instead of working independently toward your own goal, try finding common goals that you share with your partner.

When you have a shared vision about what you want for the relationship, making agreements and accomplishing results happens much more easily. This step moves you closer to greater success and mutual satisfaction.

~ Step Seven: Line It up ~

Once you’ve identified what you want and value, and you’ve given your presence to your partner and come to an understanding about what they want and value, it’s time to have a very clear, conscious conversation about what you each want to create in your relationship.

Do you want to spend more time together? Do you want to be more appreciative of each other? The alignment conversation is your time to formulate a blueprint for the actions you and your partner agree to take to insure that both of you get what you need.

~ Step Eight:  Take It Easy on Yourself ~

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the steps you need to take in order to be there for your partner. Throughout the process, it’s also important to take care of yourself.  It’s common for alignment conversations to bring up past pain and resentments as you focus on how to change the present situation. When you start to feel any discomfort, or irritated the conversation may bring up – STOP.  Give yourself a breather and take the time to look at the causes underneath the feelings you are experiencing.

As we mentioned before, everything that everyone says or does is motivated by a value that isn’t being experienced, and this includes the voice inside your head. Figure out what may be stimulating your negative emotions before moving on with the conversation. What need of yours is missing, what value aren’t you experiencing.

~ Step Nine: Learning the [tag-tec]Negotiation[/tag-tec] Dance ~

Once you’ve created an alignment with your partner, you’ll need to make some concrete agreements about how to reach your goals for the relationship. For example, if you both agree that you would like to create more trust, perhaps you’ll create an agreement about checking in with each other when you need more information.

The best way to reach these agreements is through negotiation with your partner. Negotiation is a lot like dancing: you step forward, your partner steps back, you turn around and then you both step forward. Perfecting this dance takes some practice, but once you start actively doing the dance, it will get easier and easier.

~ Step Ten: Believe in the Process~

The last, but certainly not least of the steps is learning to trust the process. In order for these steps to lead you where you want to go and then stay there, it’s imperative that you trust the process. Things may not go exactly as you imagine, but that doesn’t mean that your efforts aren’t making a shift.

Trusting the process means putting the brakes on your cynicism, refusing to give in to futile thoughts that may come up, and have faith that it’s really and actually possible for everyone to be satisfied with the end results.

The easiest way to truly have faith in the process is to become an Explorer. An Explorer has faith that there is something to discover, they have made a pledge to discover it, and they are continually taking action and creating strategies that will fulfill on that pledge.

Well there they are, the 10 Steps that Lead to [tag-tec]Better Relationships[/tag-tec] and a Happier Life. Now don’t stop after reading these steps, make a commitment to take them, practice them and start experiencing those relationships and that life you truly desire.

10 Steps that Lead to Better Relationships and a Happier Life Part One

The Quality of Your [tag-tec]Relationships[/tag-tec] 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 [tag-tec]happy[/tag-tec] with your president relationships, or maybe you’re struggling. In any case, you probably know that even the [tag-tec]best relationships[/tag-tec] have room for improvement. With that said, you definitely don’t want to miss knowing about the 10 steps that will [tag-tecimprove your relationship]improve even the best relationships[/tag-tec] 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.

  1. 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:
  2. Figure out what it is you “DO” want in your relationships.
  3. 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!
  4. Offer the gift of your presence and…
  5. Help the other person discover what’s most important to them.

Part Two:  Steps 6 through 10

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Stop Blaming THEM for your Relationship Problems

Tag: Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

There is no THEM. There is only US.confrontation

Do you want to have more [tag-tec]cooperation and caring in your relationships[/tag-tec]?

If you don’t have a sense of genuine cooperation in your relationships, it’s probably because of “Us Against Them” thinking. This mindset is so widespread in our culture that you can’t help but see it everywhere.

How often have you heard things like “people can’t be trusted,” “look out for number one,” “it’s a dog-eat-dog world,” or any number of other sayings like these?

WE are the Way Home…

Consider this [tag-tec]relationship advice[/tag-tec]. In order to create the kind of relationships you want, you must shift your thinking from “Us Against Them” and start fostering a WE mentality. This new kind of mindset can only be truly established on the foundation of alignment.

The process of creating alignment begins with getting clear about what’s important to everyone involved. The first questions to ask are: “Do we want similar results?” and “How can we get on the same page?”

This is how you start co-creating a shared vision of success. Beginning any important conversation by creating alignment paves the way for easy agreements, abundant results, and far greater satisfaction for everyone involved.

“I now see that the major shift in human evolution is from behaving like an animal struggling to survive to behaving like an animal choosing to evolve. … And to evolve, we need a new kind of thinking and a new kind of behavior, a new ethic and a new morality. It will be that of the evolution of everyone rather than the survival of the fittest.” ~ Jonas Salk

Alignment is crucial if you want to enjoy the benefits of a WE mentality in all your relationships.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice. So begin choosing the WE attitude in your life today.


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