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7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

How do you imagine the perfect relationship?

I am pretty sure you think about harmonious conversations, long walks in the park, and romantic evenings with delicious candlelight dinners. When you think about your perfect relationship you probably feel all kinds of positive emotions. You think about respect, security, support, passion, and unconditional love that lasts forever.

While all those emotions can (and should) be an essential part of every relationship, it would be naive to assume that a relationship consists of nothing other than looking into each other’s eyes and smiling as if you are on the most addictive drug that this planet has to offer.

A relationship is much more complex than what Hollywood shows you. Every romantic movie that I can think of ends either with a big wedding or with a scene in which two people kiss and embrace each other in the middle of the street.

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The reason why we love those movies is because they show us an ideal image that we would love to see in our own lives. The danger, however, is that it is impossible to fulfill this ideal image. Yes, you heard right. I said that it is impossible to live in the ideal relationship that the movies portrait. The romance genre sells fantasy just as much as The Lord of the Rings movies do.

You might not want to hear it, but the truth is that there are a lot of things that can happen after the director screams “cut!”. Real life provides you with a lot of unforeseen events that have the power to make you question your ideal picture of the perfect relationship. That’s why it is better to wake up and accept the naked truth about relationships, before the false image that you have created in your mind destroys your relationships in the real world.

1. The perfect relationship doesn’t exist

Nobody is perfect – and relationships aren’t perfect either. Everybody who claims the opposite is either a helpless optimist who ignores reality or somebody who has never been in a relationship and only knows the concept from movies and songs.

I’m not saying that you should stop dreaming about ending up in a relationship with the partner of your dreams. I’m also not saying that you should stop trying to find a partner who makes you happy. All I’m saying is that you have to accept that no relationship can be happy and harmonious 100% of the time. There will always be the tiny 1% that isn’t perfect.

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And you know what? That’s absolutely okay. You and your partner are only human. Expecting that you don’t have any flaws would be completely unrealistic. Just make sure that you don’t allow your false image of the perfect relationship to sabotage your current or future relationship.

2. Love can last if you work on it

You clicked on this article because you wanted to know the naked truths about relationships, so I assume that you are also ready for the naked truth about love. The idea that most people have about love is even more unrealistic than the idea they have about relationships.

According to my experience, most people believe that all they have to do in order to reach a state of lifelong happiness is to meet the love of their life and the love will just magically last forever. Well, if it would be that easy everyone who has ever married the love of their life would still be together with this person.

Unfortunately, the high divorce rate is proof that it is not that easy. What most people forget is that love can fade away, especially when you don’t work on it. On the other hand, love can last and it can get stronger if you are willing to work on it. It is your decision if you work on it or if you allow it to fade away.

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3. Support is a two-way street

There is this famous saying that there is a strong and supportive woman behind every successful man. While this may be true, there should also be a strong and supportive man behind every successful woman.

Support is a two-way street. One of the most common mistakes that both men and women make is that they take the support from their partner for granted. Don’t ever assume that your partner has to support you, just because you are in a relationship. I’ll say it again: support is a two-way street. If you don’t support your partner, you can’t expect to receive a lot of support in return.

4. Your partner is not the only attractive person

In case you are in a relationship, I am sure that you are attracted to you partner. They might even be the person you are attracted to the most. However, just because you desire your partner doesn’t mean that you don’t desire other people. One popular lie that a lot of people believe in is that being attracted to another person who isn’t your partner is the same as cheating and that it is wrong to have those feelings.

Are you ready for the truth? It is neither wrong to have those feelings, nor is it the same as cheating. You are a human being; therefore, it is absolutely natural for you to be attracted to other people. There is a big difference between desiring other people and acting upon this desire.

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5. Your sex life will change

In case you think that your sex life will stay the way it is during the first couple of weeks, you still need to learn a lot about relationships. You sex life will change. That’s an inevitable fact. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that the sex in a relationship gets worse over the years.

A married couple who is willing to try new things, to experiment, and to learn everything about each other’s fantasies can have a far more exciting sex life than a couple who is together for two weeks and doesn’t know anything about each other’s fantasies and desires.

6. Hard times lead to a strong bond

I already told you that the perfect relationship doesn’t exist. As a result, you probably agree with me when I say that there are good times and bad times in every relationship. The only thing that separates happy from unhappy relationships is how both partners deal with those bad times.

You only have two opinions. On the one hand, you can quit whenever it gets tough and end an amazing relationship because it wasn’t as perfect as your favorite movie promised. On the other hand, you can support and love your partner during hard times and enjoy the strong bond and deep connection that you eventually have once you have survived the hard times.

7. Your past leads to your future

A lot of people who sabotage every single one of their relationships do this for only one reason. They are afraid that this relationship will end like the last one. They are terrified that their past will repeat itself.

I hope I don’t have to tell you that this fear works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only way to break through this vicious cycle is by realizing that it is your past that leads you to your future, but your future doesn’t have to look like your past. If you regard your frustrating past as the road that will lead you to a bright future, you will be able to embrace the idea of landing in a relationship.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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