Is your relationship just good or is it great?

Is your relationship just good or is it great?

Take the time to stop and think about your relationship. If it’s more than 6 months old think about what it was like when it first started, full of excitement, laughter, fun and flirting, now think of how it is today. Lots of people make the mistake of becoming just two people in a routine, or worse, two people who fight all the time. If either is the case then maybe you should think of how to improve your relationship.

Improving your relationships begins at the level of conversation. Every relationship you have is built and sustained through conversation. So if you want better relationships, you have to alter the way you approach conversations.

To begin, you need to understand that conversations are governed by “rules” in our society. These are all unwritten rules, but they are rules nonetheless. For instance, “Don’t ask too many questions,” “It is impolite to talk with your mouth full” “Don’t make too much eye contact” and so on.

We use these rules unconsciously and you can uncover a lot by stopping and thinking about things like this.  If you could stop halfway through an argument and sit down and think about why it was started etc then you’d probably end the arguement right there, but we don’t get that luxury most of the time.  So take some time to think about the unwritten rules you follow in your life, write them down, think of times you do follow them and times you don’t. 

Knowing they are there can help you identify when you are acting on them, and then you can wean out the ones you don’t want and reinforce the ones you do and you will begin improving your relationships. Which rules are serving you well and which ones are not? For example, take the rule: “Don’t share your inner most thoughts.” This rule may have served you well back in school, but will it serve you now in your relationship with your spouse?

There are many unwritten rules that prescribe when and where it is appropriate to have a particular conversation.  For example, most people would agree that the grocery store is a very appropriate place to have chit chat or average conversations. And most people would think it is a very inappropriate place to have a serious argument, for example. But what about really speaking from your heart? Is that ok in public? What rules are you following?

If you want to be improving your relationships, you must speak from your heart. Speaking from your heart means speaking what is really true for you.

It is my observation that most people I met on login believe it is not appropriate to speak from their heart most of the time. That is rule. You can change it. It is time that we took a closer look at this social rule. Who determines when and where it is appropriate to have a particular conversation? Who made up these rules in the first place? Does society at large force them upon individuals or can individuals make up and follow their own rules?

To help you get started breaking old rules on improving your relationships and adopting new ones that will start improving your relationships, I have included five powerful questions to ask during conversations:

  • 1. How about if we break the normal conversation rules and try something really new and different?
  • 2. Even though what I’m about to say might be hard for you to hear, are you willing to hear it anyway?
  • 3. Are there any unwritten rules you are following right now?
  • 4. Could I interrupt you and have you just listen for a while?
  • 5. How about if we take turns talking and listening for a while?

    Start asking these questions more often, and see what happens.

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