A relationship is only successful if you put in as much of yourself in the relationship as possible.Ilze Alberts
Our lives revolve around relationships.
The relationship between partners.
The relationship between a parent and child.
The relationship with a family member.
The relationship between friends.
And so the list goes on…
Learning how to manage these relationships is key to living an extraordinary life.
When the relationships in your life are going smoothly, does your heart not expand with an abundance of love?
And when those relationships are struggling, does your mind not get filled with worry and anxiety?
I want to share with you 8 things you can do to have powerful, dynamic relationships with the people that are most dear to you:
1. Know yourself and the other person
Knowing what is of high value (of highest importance and priority) and priority to YOU as an individual is vital. But it is equally as important to know and understand the other person’s values (of highest importance and priority) so that you both may communicate in each other’s values, thereby pulling closer instead of pushing each other away.
For example, if I value spending time with my husband and he doesn’t give me that quality time because he doesn’t consider what is of importance to me, I will push him away and pull away from him, and the space between the two of us will become contaminated.
2. Care enough to be the change you want in a relationship
If you desire to see your relationship go in a particular direction, the responsibility is on YOU to be the change you wish to see.
3. Don’t push the other person’s buttons
Identify what exactly pushes your buttons as well as your loved ones. There are certain things that are guaranteed to elicit a strong emotional response in a loved one, and it is unwise to push those buttons as it will cause your loved one to respond by whipping out his/her claws and pulling away from you.
Deliberately pushing your loved one’s buttons when you are upset can destroy the relationship.
4. Understand that conflict is normal
Every relationship will experience conflict; it is completely normal. Conflict occurs when one person in any relationship does not acknowledge what is of importance to the other person. If you wish to have less conflict in your relationship, ask yourself, “What is it I am doing that is challenging the person I am in a relationship with?”
Conflict can become destructive when it is handled in an unhealthy manner. On the TV series Saving Our Marriage, of which I am the anchor psychologist, one of the couples I work with (Thabang and Nonhlanhla) handles conflict in an unhealthy manner, with Thabang retreating and giving Nonhlanhla the silent treatment for days on end.
Saving Our Marriage is currently on SABS 3, Wednesdays at 19h30. Catch up previous episodes on this link: https://ilzealberts.isorise.com/saving-our-marriage
5. Listen more, talk less
Learn the art of listening. When you listen, it says to the other person, “I’m here for you.” “I hear you.” “I care.”
When my husband had contracted Covid and was really going through a difficult time at the beginning of this year, he said to me,” I can see that this is heaping a lot of extra responsibility on you. I am really grateful for the way you are looking after me and this household and for making sure everyone is safe so that I can recuperate.”
Upon hearing those words, my heart just swelled, and I thought, “I will continue to do that.”
When you talk, give more messages of encouragement, acknowledging the good or positive in a person.
6. Beware of relationship destroyers (criticism, anger, pointing fingers, blaming)
We all love to be praised. I have not met a person who loves to be criticized. Criticism can come out so quickly when we are feeling challenged by another person. Keep in mind that when you criticize, the other person is going to react by either fighting with you or fleeing from you.
And when you get angry without giving a second thought to the other person’s feelings, he/she will pull away from you and push you away. Whenever you react with anger, take a moment to pause and reflect on why you become angry. If necessary, acknowledge that your anger was not appropriate and apologize to the other person.
It is wise to have a self-made rule — no name-calling, no finger-pointing. When working with my clients, I use this mental model, “What I spot in others, I have in myself.” Remember that when you point a finger, three fingers point back at you.
When there has been a 3rd party in a relationship between partners, blaming and shaming will only worsen things. In episodes 2 and 3 of Saving Our Marriage, I help a couple deal with having had a 3rd party in the relationship. If you are interested to catch up on episodes, use this link: https://ilzealberts.isorise.com/saving-our-marriage
7. Invest in your relationship
Ask yourself what you are willing to invest in the relationship in order to repair or strengthen it. Perhaps you could invest more time in learning about relationships by reading or watching videos about them. Perhaps you could ask for expert help. It is up to you to decide what you are willing to invest.
8. Take the steps needed to bring about restoration
Restoration comes in when:
- You care enough to bring about a change in yourself first.
- You stop blaming, shaming, button-pushing, and breaking the rules of relationships.
- You acknowledge and appreciate the other person for who they are.
- You apologize when at fault.
- You honour the gift of relationships.
Is there a particular issue in you relationship that you just cannot seem to resolve no matter what you do?
Are you at your wits end, unsure if anything can be done to save your relationship (be it with a spouse, child, family member, or colleague)?
I would love to help you overcome your relationship challenges, no matter what they are.
We can set up an appointment so I can help you.
I will respect your privacy and keep your identity confidential.
May the relationships in your life be as powerful as they can be.
From my heart to yours,