The three keys to transforming your relationship
Recent stats show over a quarter of people are considering changes to their relationships post lockdown. So, here are my three top tips for transforming your relationship.
1. Stop using the word ‘why’
This may seem like a strange place to begin, it’s just a word, right? Well, take these examples:
- Why didn’t you take the bins out?
- Why are you late?
- Why did you put the ketchup in that cupboard?
When we use the ‘why’ question in this way, we absolutely don’t care why – what we’re really saying is you’re wrong, you’ve done something wrong. And what do humans dislike more than anything? Being wrong! All you’ll get is your partner coming back on the defensive… hello, conflict! Sound familiar?
So, what can you do instead? Well, how about replacing ‘why’ with ‘how’ to find a solution – it’s going to feel pretty different, and be more successful when you say… How can we make ourselves remember that the ketchup goes in the fridge? Shall we put a post-it note up?
2. Understand your map is not their map
A map? What are you talking about? We’ve all had completely different experiences in our life to date. We’ve had varying childhoods, seen and experienced different things, had different relationships, interactions, heard and been told contrasting facts, worked unique jobs etc.
All these experiences in our life have added up to what we perceive to be our reality, our perception of how the world around us is, and what people in it ‘should’ be like – our own map if you like.
But this is our map, not a set-in-stone territory. Every single person on this planet has a different map and view of the world, based on their unique experience. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just their map. But we so often get frustrated that we’re not always on the same page as our partners, which leads to conflict.
How different would it be if every time you felt triggered by something they said or did, you took a step back – put yourself in their shoes and reflected on how their map and understanding of the world is totally different to yours, and that’s OK?
3. Treat your partner how they want to be treated
How often have you heard the words ‘I always treat people how I would like to be treated’? Whilst incredibly well-intentioned, when you think about it – especially in relation to the map metaphor above, it’s very flawed…
What if you love being cooked for on your birthday but your partner loves eating out for it. Which approach is going to give them the best birthday experience when it comes around?
We all like to be treated differently, so spend some time getting clear on how your partner loves to be treated, and then you can do that - in a way that still feels authentic to you.
The next steps
If you’re finding trouble or conflict in your relationship and would like support to transform it, I’d love to help. You can book a free 20-minute consultation to get started through my profile, or discover more about relationship coaching.
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