Every person I know wants to have an amazing relationship. This relationship may be with your significant other, family or even friends. Whatever relationship it is, here are some of the tips according to research. I am not a relationship expert but I know someone who is. Albert Ellis, author of How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything – Yes Anything. But it’s not the book we are referencing. Today we are summarizing his book titled Making Intimate Connections: Seven Guidelines for Great Relationships and Better Communication.
This post will list down the tips on how to have an amazing relationship. Behold:
1. Do Not Attempt to Change Your Partner.
Everybody has flaws. It’s part of being human. The end goal is not to change your partner but to deal and live with it. Also, do not blame your partner. You are in a relationship because you enjoy the company of your partner. Remind yourself that you are not in a relationship because you want to change your partner. Be responsible for your feelings. You can influence your partner without desiring to change them. In the same respect, allow your partner to influence you.
Accept your partner as it is. Accept reality. In addition, attempting to change your partner produce negative results. For John Gottman, a researcher on marriage, tells us that
…couples intuitively understand that problems are inevitably part of a relationship, much the way chronic physical ailments are inevitable as you get older. They are like a trick knee, a bad back, an irritable bowel, or tennis elbow. We may not love these problems, but we are able to cope with them, to avoid situations that worsen them, and to develop strategies and routines that help us deal with them.
2. Express Admiration Frequently.
Now that you have dealt with the bad, also learn to accept the good. Show your appreciation for event the smallest of things. Find and discover things that you appreciate in your partner. Avoid criticism, it’s the number 1 killer of relationships.
Complaint is different from criticism. A complaint is directed towards behavior, criticism attacks the person. What did Gottman say is the cure for criticism? Admiration.
Have you ever heard a person madly in love? They sound crazy. The other person is a saint despite some blatant mistakes. Gottman shows us that people in happy relationships see the person better than they really are. Persons in dysfunctional relationships see their partner as worse than they really are.
3. Allow Your Partner to be Wrong
Are you perfect? Of course, not! So is your partner. Don’t forget this when things get heated.
You are both fallible. It is your right to make mistakes and learn from your experiences and errors.
If you refer to their mistakes every time you fight, they are going to hide it from you. Do not punish them for being a bad person or correct them every time they make mistakes.
You are not perfect nor your partner is. Which is good. A perfect relationship does not equate an amazing relationship.
Perfectionists – people who believe they are always correct and who desires to find a partner with similar traits, are less likely to describe their relationship status as satisfying.
4. Support Your Partner’s Goals
Albert Elis, author of Making Intimate Connections, tells us not to surrender our integrity, desires and views even in a relationship. But it does not mean to say that you should not support your partner’s goal. Honestly support your partner even if you clearly disagree.
Arthur Aron, another popular author about relationships said this: ” “
5. Turn Your Non-Negotiables into Negotiables
Non-negotiables in a relationship causes a lot of distress. When you say something “should” happen, you are basically telling other people to obey your rules. And if you have lived long enough, you know you couldn’t. So you get stressed, frustrated and angry.
Turning your non-negotiables into preferences helps avoid these negative emotions. Also, changing demands into goals also has the same positive effect. Demands make both you and your partner crazy. But turning these demands as goals makes it workable for both of you. Both of you works toward something without stepping on each other’s freedom or making each other stressed out.
Many of the things you think are “non-negotiables” in a relationship is really not essential. Expectations in a relationship similar to those in movies and fairy tales are unrealistic. Research shows that having non-negotiables in a relationship is a recipe for disaster.
6. Agree to Disagree
Maybe they believe something you think is wrong. Blurting it out and judging them is not going to help. “Always assume your partner has a position worth considering,” says Elis.
You can agree to disagree but do not avoid the hard talk. Neither should you be dishonest about your thoughts just to avoid confrontation.
Explore disagreements with your partner and agree to a resolution that would accept BOTH your views. In short, agree to disagree. Be ready to compromise your position without pretending that you agree when in fact you disagree.
Don’t jump into conclusions and telling people they are wrong. Hear them out and confirm that you understand what they are saying. This strategy even works for people you don’t love.
Chris Voss, the famous FBI negotiator, says that you can summarize the other person’s perspective when they are able to reply to your summary with “that’s right”. That’s the magical word.
That’s a really powerful connection to be able to establish. They’re telling you they feel connected to you, and they feel a great rapport with you. If there’s anything that’s going to move them in your direction swiftly it’s when they say, “That’s right.”
7. Communicate from Integrity
Be honest just as you expect your partner to be honest.
Be honest regarding beliefs and evidence that conflict with your own views of what is happening. When your partner is right, admit it. Be both honest and tactful. Allow different perceptions to exist. Agree to stop penalizing each other for your honesty as you now often may do. Agree that both of you will be honest and let the other “get away” with honesty.
When you are in an argument, you are not being honest. Neither are you telling the truth or admitting you are wrong. You are trying to win.
If you want to have an amazing relationship, take the high road.
Accept your fears that honesty and integrity will not always make you look good and have as your objective the resolving of the conflict, and not the gaining of advantage.
To summarize, there are the tips to have an amazing relationship:
- Do not attempt to change your partner
- Express admiration frequently
- Allow your partner to be wrong
- Support your partner’s goal
- Turn your non-negotiables into negotiables
- Agree to disagree
- Communicate from integrity
Do all of these and experience an amazing relationship ahead.
Having an amazing relationship leads to a screwup if it does not involve both parties. Both of you must commit to improve your relationship.
When one partner fails to follow one of these seven tips, you should not raise your hands up in surrender. Someone, most probably you, would need to lead the relationship into what you think is amazing. A relationship is a journey. You learn and grow together. Sometimes you may have to start alone at first. But if it’s the right person, and you practice these methods consistently — you will have an amazing relationship.