Use this relationship advice to inform your approach to your all important relationships:
1. Understand that everyone has a subjective experience of the exact same event. Acknowledge the experiences and feelings of all those involved.
2. Your feelings, behaviours and life results, all begin with the thoughts you have. You control your thoughts and you can change them at any time.
3. The beliefs you have adopted through life’s course, sometimes prevent you from achieving your goals. Question your beliefs, you can choose to release and replace the ones that don’t serve you or your relationships.
4. It’s sometimes difficult to face up to your bad points, but it’s easier than living a life affected by them. Your relationships with yourself and others will improve when you release the excuses that are holding you back.
5. Glancing in life’s rear view mirror is a great way to learn life’s lesson, but remember, the rear view is only for learning, not for living. Staring into the rear view for too long and too often will only cause unnecessary relationship problems.
6. You have to be able to forgive people (including yourself) if you want to move forward. There is no better way to keep yourself or your relationship stuck than by repeatedly focusing on the mistakes and expecting more of them. Let-it-go, if you want to build a better relationship and life.
7. Too much of life can now be experienced in isolation due to technological advances. Make an effort to connect daily with your partner (and frequently with other loved ones) and indulge in frequent activities together to ensure you grow together rather than apart. Divide your waking hours between all the important elements of your life, not just the most immediately urgent ones.
8. All you know is all you see, and many people only show you want they want you to see. Compare with others to assist understanding your own relationship, but not to the point of denigrating your own relationship based on your assumptions of the relationships others have.
9. Communication is everything, and non-verbal communication constitutes more than the words uttered. We are hard wired to detect discrepancies in peoples’ verbal and accompanying non-verbal communication. Your thoughts and emotions seep out from your internal dialogue through your body language so be real, because it’s quite easily detected when you’re not, even if at first another person only senses that “something doesn’t feel right”.
10. Actions always speak louder than words, even if they are masked under words stating otherwise. How you respond to others sends them ongoing messages. Always convey through your verbal and non-verbal communication, and your actions, what you expect and are willing to accept.
11. Anger often stems from an inability, or refusal, to identify with words, thoughts and emotions being experienced. When we do not correctly identify a negative emotion with words, the body enters the fight-or-flight response mode and this in turn puts us into a heighted alert state and sends adrenaline through our body to prepare us to fight or flee. Such anger can be dissipated by confronting our thoughts and emotions and attaching the correct label to them.
12. We always play a role in our own happiness and misery. When others do, we still bear responsibility for how we respond to their contribution to it. We cannot force people to change but we can change and thus force them to respond differently.
13. When words evade you and uttering the wrong thing at the wrong moment could steer your relationship in the wrong direction, make silence your friend. Rather than escalate, silence can help dissipate. Silence can also be a great way for making the actions of others more palpable to themselves. Importantly, silence helps us to find tranquillity and clarity within, which in turn allows us to plan our next move, well.
14. Communicate your needs rather than expecting the other person to be psychic. So what if you’ve already told him/her three times, if it’s important to you, you must keep communicating it and you must find more effective ways of communicating it. Don’t leave your relationship and happiness up to assumptions and chance. Speak up.
15. If you don’t introspect you’re going to get stuck, usually in a life you don’t want for yourself. Your mind should be actively involved in creating the current and future experiences that you want. You cannot create happy, healthy relationships on auto-pilot. You must introspect and reflect so that you can detect and take action in the direction of your relationship goals.
16. We attract what we focus the mind on, consciously and subconsciously. You allow instructions to reach your brain from your own thoughts and self-talk and from the words of others that you allow in. Become a better gatekeeper of information you allow into your brain because the information programming your brain, shapes your relationships and life.
17. Some people are loved by us, but they are not good for us. Learn the difference and balance your time well between good influences and bad influences for the people we associate with, also shape our thoughts, and thus, our life.
18. For best results, happy, healthy relationships require the following essential ingredients: love, trust, respect, communication, friendship, commitment.
19. We all have an internal guiding system which many refer to as a gut feeling, intuition or instincts. This internal guiding system keeps us safe and helps us to move in the direction of our goals, if we have the guts to follow our gut feeling. Use it for personal gains.
20. Where your relationships are now is the cumulative effect of your combined past relationship habits and decisions. The habits and decisions you employ now will weave the future of your relationships. Take conscious charge from this point on, knowing that what you do now can change the course of your relationship, forever.