According to Biological Anthropologist, Helen Fisher, relationships can be hard work and it is both people’s responsibility to make the effort.
After all, we can’t maintain a beautiful and thriving garden if we don’t take out the weeds and keep managing the bugs and pests.
Ms Fisher’s research has found that “the three most important traits that were found to be present in happy, long-lasting marriages were:
1) The couple’s ability to feel empathy for one another.
2) Each person’s ability to control their own emotions and feelings during times of great stress.
3) And the introduction of positive illusions.” That means developing the ability to overlook what you don’t like about someone and remember the good things about them: focus on them instead.
And our experience, both personal and professional, tells us that keeping the lines of communication open is vital to the ongoing health of any relationship. Honesty is the best policy, but that begins with honesty with ourselves and
taking responsibility for what we are or are not doing first.
Then, when we do have a quiet chat (not an angry outburst after we’ve been sitting on an issue for some time) then it can be more easily heard by the other person if we begin with positives: one positive, one negative (with an “I”
statement:”I feel…”first) then one positive. It’s called “a feedback sandwich”.
Try it, it’s much more easily digested than a straight out complaint.
Remember, too, to catch people doing something right: for example, “darling, I really like it when you hang up the towel, it makes the bathroom feel more relaxed.”
A good relationship is well worth looking after.
Your Life Clinic