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4 Bonding Tips For New Couples

4 Bonding Tips For New Couples

The ability to form deep and meaningful relationships has always been one of the most important traits of humans. We enjoy love, comfort, and sharing together. However, strong relationships are formed after a long period of tolerance, acceptance, and acknowledging differences. Therefore, being in a new relationship can become stressful and frustrating these days.

There are many ways couples can ensure their relationship stays together and moves past the initial phase. However, many often give up within a few weeks, with little or no effort put into ensuring the relationship’s longevity. “Couples who play together, live together” isn’t just a saying — it’s a mantra for new couples.

There are tips and tricks one can use to create a lasting bond. However, effort should be put in by both partners at the same time.

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1. Place Less Importance On The Word “Me.”

In the beginning of the relationship, we feel responsible for showing the best of ourselves. We put on our best face and constantly focus on the words “me,” “my,” “I,” and “mine.” We fail to acknowledge our partner and their needs and we tend to ignore until the bubble bursts.

In order to create a bond, one has to take the initiative to get to know their counterpart. Instead of focusing on your strengths, ask your partner about theirs. Play to their strengths and allow yourself to be vulnerable. If the best of you is the only part visible at the beginning, when your flaws do show up in the midst of your relationship they may be a surprise to your partner.

None of us are perfect beings, so let your partner see the real you. You should both place a focus on each other rather than on yourselves.

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2. Practice A Hobby Together.

Shared hobbies are the best way to create bonds. We use hobbies as a way to bond with ourselves and understand ourselves; therefore, creating one together allows you to better know one another. The best way to find the perfect hobby is to indulge in activities where you can fail, learn, and grow together while still having fun.

For example, initially in my personal relationship, we were both terrible at cooking. We decided the best way to get to know one another would be to take cooking lessons and try to prepare dinner for one another. Our first dinner gave us both food poisoning, but eventually we got better. Now it has become a tradition that we make Saturday night dinners together.

3. Get A Pet Together.

Pets are great for bonding. They give you the incentive and need to cooperate and make decisions together. When you’re new in a relationship, fights over differences are common. However, many fail to realize that having a pet together could actually be a solution.

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Animals are generally very intuitive towards their masters; they understand their moods and auras around them. A negative ambiance makes them react differently compared to a positive one. Having a pet can allow a chance for better communication because instinctively your pet might initiate the reconciliation to avoid anymore negative energy.

4. Experience Extreme Adventures Together.

The couples who are capable of constantly creating memories together are the couples that are able to make extreme decisions. However, the terms “extreme” and “adventure” may bear different definitions to different individuals. For an adrenaline junkie, writing letters and going on a quiet walk may seem like a new adventure, while for those quiet gems, going on a hike or jumping into a bottomless pond may seem quite extreme.

Understand your partner and take them on an adventure they will never forget. You may fail, you may laugh, you may talk, and you may be forced to make decisions. Overall, you’ll create memories with one another. These memories may help you to develop a tolerance to your partner’s habits and serve a purpose as reconciliation tools in the future.

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Overall, we are all instinctually tuned to put on a mask to impress. However, as the mask wears off and our flaws surface, we fail to realize that flaws are part of being human. We avoid or quit the one adventure that could be our companion when we’re 70 and gray.

Therefore, make an effort to create a bond at the start of your relationship to ensure a great adventure until the end.

Featured photo credit: Shenkeri Chandramohan via facebook.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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