Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Talk: Let's Rumble

As I said last week, there are 4 key defensive behaviors that can really be dangerous to your relationship when they take up permanent residence -- This week, I want to give you just a few remedies/healthy behaviors that you can work toward implementing into your relationship -- I say work toward, because let's get real... if you're having issues with your partner not even being able to pick up their underwear off the floor, do you expect the deeper side of issues to change tomorrow? Relationships are a process... there are no quick fixes. Period.

Healthy Relational Behaviors

Conscious communication: Speaking the unarguable truth & listening generously -- It is important to make sure you are hearing what your partner is saying, not what you perceive they are saying -- When we become comfortable with our partner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing them a certain way, not letting that go and then continuously respond them in the same manner... It's a good idea to reevaluate your partner every once in a while and recognize where they've grown and changed.

Validate your partner: Let your partner know what makes sense to you about what they are saying and you understand what they are feeling, see through their eyes - You may not agree with what they're saying, but that doesn't make it any less important and so, let your partner know that you feel that way.

Shift to appreciation: Did you know it takes 5 times as much positive feeling & interaction to counteract a negative feeling? Think about how easy it is to remember what the negative of your relationship. I bet something fluttered in and out of your mind just. that. fast. Can you think of something positive about your relationship that quickly? If so... I LOVE it! If not, this may be a great step for you. Shifting to appreciation takes conscious thought and work. Yet, soon, it will become a part of your normal thought process and your relationship will thank you for it.

Claim responsibility: One of the most helpful lessons I've learned is that I can not change my husband or his behaviors. This revelation brought great freedom to my self. When stuff is tense or going awry, a great question we can as ourselves is “What can I learn from this?” & “What can I do about it?” -- Thinking along the lines of "If he/she would only..." can leave us frustrated and things unresolved.

Re-write your inner script: It's easy to get so wrapped up in our daily routines, we don't even realize there is a constant script being rehearsed in our minds. Recognize whether that script is naturally negative or positive. If negative, consider replacing those negative thoughts with thoughts of appreciation and responsibility that are soothing & validating to not only your partner, but for yourself, too.

Practice getting undefended: Boy howdy, this can be a big one for me (who me?) Yes. Me. -- Bottom line? You and your partner are going to blow smoke at some point... My encouragement is to allow your partner’s utterances to be just that: Blowing smoke. Taking a defensive stance to these silly words will only make things worse. If you take every word personally, that's a risky place

Again... ALL of this information can be found in Dr. John Gottman's books -- Why reinvent the wheel when you've found something that works? I eat the meat and throw out the bones... no relationship is the same, therefore no remedy will work for one couple as it does another...


Lindsey said...

Love this advice!!! It's sooo good, thanks for sharing it!=)

Anonymous said...

Great post! And, love the new look of the page.. Maybe it's new or not.. I use Google reader mostly, so it takes me a while to notice these things! :)

Erin said...

Good post. I am going to start working on not taking everything personally. That seems to be mine and my husbands bigest problem. We get very defensive very quickly. I am going to personally try too and try to talk to him aswell about it. I feel that if I can get a good start at changing this the other greivences will fall into place..maybe?! lol

Love the new look Mrs. Realife!

SassyEngineer said...

Thanks for the info! I love being able to learn different tips in dealing with marriage struggles!

Jonathan, Jennifer, and Christian Lucero said...

I love the new look of your blog! :)


I'm Just Me said...

Great advice!! Always good to have a refresher :-) Thanks!

Brooke said...

WOW, I can't get over the new look! I was so shocked when I came to your site but good shocked of course!

Loved the post... always do!

Michelle Hix said...

Hi...I know it has been a while...wow, your blog has a new look...like all the updates. I need to get caught up. Thanks for these reminders...great advice. The innerscript one is one I need to remind myself of constantly. :)