Do this one thing to improve your relationship.

A relationship will always experience ups and downs.

The longer the relationship, the more likely it is that you’ll hit more than a few speed bumps along the way. Suddenly the other person’s laughter grates on your nerves, or you seem to see their stuff being left all over the place.

The problem is, once you get tipped over to being irritated by one thing, the more it seems you notice all of the other things s/he is doing. Never helping out! Always talking! Changes the channel without asking! Leaves dirty dishes in the sink! The list can start growing exponentially. And then that happens? Relationship discord, arguments, slammed doors, silence.

We have a choice in what we focus on. Choices about where to expend your energy. (You’ve probably heard it said before as ‘pick your battles’.) Yes, there’s probably a lot of things that you might wish your partner did differently, but there’s probably a lot he or she is doing right. Right?

Here’s the one thing you can start doing to improve your relationship (this is good advice for almost any relationship).

Start noticing when the person does something you like–and comment on it. Voice your appreciation and overlook what’s been driving you crazy. Yes, sometimes that’s easier said than done and of course, you won’t want to not comment when safety is at stake. Set your focus onto finding the good, the positive, the nice, the thoughtful. Once you start looking for it, you’re sure to find it. Say it out loud and say it directly.

Do this one thing to improve your relationship.

Closeness comes with better communication.

The reasons this works is twofold:

1) we all like being noticed in a positive way, it makes us feel good. And if we can identify what makes us feel good (praise), we want more and

2) when we change our focus to looking for the positives, we start finding it thus reducing our focus on the stuff that’s driving us crazy.

Does this change everything? No. It is, however, a good start in the right direction because once a relationship has been in conflict, people stop listening. They’re already expecting to get criticised or nagged so they don’t listen. Meanwhile the other person is becoming more reactive.

When people can change the pattern of their dynamic, they move towards each other in more harmonious ways. Try this in any relationship–focus on what you like about the other person. I guarantee things will shift for the better!

 

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