A Guest Post by Naomi Stillinger
Who says relationships can be easy?
From ups and downs, to togetherness and times apart no relationship is easy. Every person who has been committed or in love understands the painful facts that relationships can be trying and testing – even the best of them. Oftentimes, it’s not that you disagree on so much, it’s how you disagree and how you work to keep both of your feelings in first place that is what makes even simple issues more complex and heated. This is due to issues such as simple personality flaws that can become problematic for two people. Luckily, those can be improved upon.
We often get attracted to the media representation of effortless relationships, from being in a marriage or any other type of relationship for that matter. All of us want to feel as if someone who’s got our back and can stand all attacks that any of us face together, but sometimes we fall apart. Another wish about relationships is that they are unconditional, and strong enough to withstand whatever may come. However, at some point in our lives most of us need to face the fact that relationships require effort to keep them strong and positive, and that even wonderful, strong relationships can be destroyed by neglect, or what Dr. Gottman refers to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse for relationships; Criticism, Contempt, Defenses and Stonewalling. Those should be avoided like the plague they are.
The characteristics of our partner
Every relationship trouble is specific to each and every person’s character traits which is what we sometimes fail to see through. Sometimes we end up expecting something at a deeper level and connect less whereas the other times we connect and are not able to communicate well with the other person, simply because we don’t fully understand how they approach and perceive the world. It is helpful to learn as much about each other as possible so you can better understand and work with them in a way that is the most beneficial for them, and vice versa of course. You can find a full range of tests in the Inspir3 resources pages.
Work at pinpointing your strong points and strengthening your weak points. Not only for your relationship, for every other aspect of your life as well. Also, ask your partner to take the tests and have fun discussing your similarities and differences. You may learn helpful information such as one of you has more of a need to talk things out while the other prefers short and concise conversations. See how you can work together to meet both your needs.
Communication is the key – Or is it?
While you should certainly use good manners when you are communicating with your partner, whether you will get along has less to do with communication skills and more to do with how hard you work to understand each other and facilitate decision making that you are both happy about. That is why listening comes in first place over talking. What’s more than simply listening is asking questions and reflecting back what you think you hear to figure out if you are getting the true message of what your partner is saying, or if it is being filtered through your own issues first.
Sometimes working way through simple personality traits is enough to fix a relationship, especially if you notice that criticism, contempt, defenses and stonewalling have entered into your relationship due to character defects such as selfishness, low self esteem, or other not so wonderful traits. Be very careful about monitoring your own character defects though and allow your mate to look at themselves because no one wants to hear someone else pointing out what is wrong with them.
Thank you for this Guest Post Naomi!
Author Bio: Naomi Stillinger is a brand consultant for Chatmasher and feels there is a lot that she has learnt while strategising their branding activities. She handles development of infographics website upkeep and content strategy.