Make your relationship work

Making your relationship work takes a lot more than just love. It is all about understanding what we shouldn’t do as well as understanding what we should. Luckily for us, Time’s writer Sally Brampton has a compiled a list of 10 no-no’s in a quest to help us all achieve harmony in our relationships.

1 Don’t blame somebody else for the way that we feel

We should not confuse our own emotions with our partners. For instance, if they come home from work in a bad mood, don’t react by getting aggravated. Simply asking if they are o.k and what’s bothering them will diffuse an argument in a way hostility can’t.

2 Don’t to try to change the other person

Instead of playing the “if only” game, wishing your partner could be tidier, more sociable, less complaining, more generous, we need to realise we can’t change other people. We can only change our own responses to their behaviour.

3 Don’t use the word ‘you’, replace it with the word ‘I’

Take charge of your own feelings, as in, “I feel this when you do that”, rather than, “You did this and made me feel that way”.

4 Ban the words ‘never’ and ‘always’

These are words that place blame. “You never do this, you always forget that”. Both of these words come hand in hand with criticism and this can only poison our relationships. All you need to do is re-think and re-word to appeal to someone’s good nature. “ I wish you would remember this and it really upsets me when you do that.” This will get you a far better result than pointing the finger.

5 Don’t be defensive

It’s simply another form of blame, as in “it’s not my fault” (it’s yours). Trying to see another person’s point of view is not stepping down, it’s stepping forward. It is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

6 Don’t sulk or stonewall

Keeping your head down and keeping silent are just forms of punishment as refusing to engage make’s reconciliation impossible.

7 Don’t keep a battle going

Accepting an apology and learning to apologise are equally as important. Although we are sometimes right to be angry and we don’t need to apologise for the action. It often helps to apologise for the general situation “ I’m sorry we had this fight”.

8 Don’t make assumptions about other people’s behaviour

It is so easy to make assumptions about people without really stopping to consider a few simple questions. How do you know if this is really true? Are you over dramatising the situation? We have all assumed someone is late because they don’t care, but their lateness could be caused by any number of reasons.

9 Don’t be controlling

Constant interference is never going to help a situation. If you partner isn’t great at cooking then you intervening every five minutes and setting them up for a fall isn’t going to help.

10 Have good manners

Be considerate of each other and show your partner the same respect, affection and tolerance as you would a family member or a best friend.

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Written by Emma Hilton
Written by Emma Hilton
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