Anyone who has ever been in a relationship – that means almost all of us – knows that while cruising along life’s highway in tandem with someone else, you are likely to come upon some bumps. There might even be some potholes or roadblocks.
We also know that relationships are an important part of feeling happy and being successful. There are three psychological needs in life:
- Autonomy (feeling in control of your behavior)
- Competence (feeling you can handle what is going on around you).
- Relatedness (feeling satisfied with your interpersonal relationships).
Healthy relationships provide you with a social support system that you can depend on. These are people that you trust and respect. They appreciate your values and are there in the fun and the challenging times of your life.
Take the following quiz to find out how healthy your relationship communication skills are. For each “yes” answer, circle the number:
- I don’t assume my partner/best friend can read my mind. I say what I am thinking and feeling.
- I acknowledge my partner/best friend for being, not just doing. I often say, “What I appreciate about you is ….
- I am specific about issues I want to discuss.
- I stay in the present rather than bringing up the past. I try to resolve one problem at a time.
- I try to bring up concerns or objections as soon as they occur or at the first appropriate opportunity.
- I focus on the positive aspects of our relationship rather than dwelling on the negative or hard times.
- I speak in “I” messages rather than “you” messages, saying “I feel hurt,” rather than “you hurt me.”
- When I am wrong, I apologize. When my partner/best friend apologizes, I readily accept it.
- I don’t blame my partner/best friend when I am having a bad day or take it out on him or her when something goes wrong.
- Just like I don’t expect my partner/best friend to read my mind, I can’t expect to read his or her mind. When I have questions about something, I ask.
These statements are good reminders of the ingredients in a healthy relationship. 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. Short time outs are also helpful when you are upset or angry. They allow you to calm yourself and give you time to think about how you want to respond to someone who is important to you.
Look for my next blog post for ten more ingredients for healthy relationships.
If you think your communication skills can use some fine tuning, my Private Strategy Meeting will help you. Visit http://pattencoaching.com and see 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.