Relationships are a vital part of our lives. Having others to share our thoughts and feelings with makes life more meaningful. To have healthy relationships, it is important to know how to nurture and care for them. If you want healthier relationships, the following statements will give you insight into which behaviors come naturally for you as well as which ones you may need to practice. Count the number of "yes" answers you have:
- Instead of criticizing or showing contempt for my partner/best friend when I am upset with him or her, I use "I" messages to express my feelings.
- I never become physically aggressive or threaten harm.
- Instead of shouting or yelling at my partner/best friend when things start to escalate, we take time outs.
- I don't call names or label actions (i.e., that is a man or woman's thing or stupid mistake).
- When something needs to be talked through or resolved, I don't avoid my partner/best friend or withdraw. I don't avoid issues altogether either.
- I keep my communications as simple and clear as possible to avoid sending double messages (i.e., I need your help/leave me alone).
- I listen. I make time and stay in the present.
- If issues come up that we can't work through alone or communication breaks down, I am willing to seek outside help.
- I say "I am sorry," "I forgive you," "Excuse me," "Please" and "Thank you" appropriately.
- I say "I love you," "I appreciate you, " and/or "You are special to me." often.
These statements are good reminders of the ingredients in a healthy relationship. Remember, no one is perfect. How many "yes" responses did you have? You may not be able to answer yes to all of these every time. However, you can say "I'm sorry when it is appropriate. Remember, short time outs are also helpful to calm yourself. They give you time to think about how you want to respond to someone who is important to you. If you think your communication skills can use some tuning up, my Private Strategy Meeting will help you. Visit http://pattencoaching.com and see Option 2 – Tap Your Potential for my Private Strategy Meeting. It will give you a jump start in being successful in an area of your life that is important to you. Comment below about the ingredients you find helpful in healthy relationships. To your success, Maurine