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5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

What really causes you to fight with your partner?  Although the triggers are often superficial, the underlying answers are deeper – which is why most couples are stuck in endless loops where they keep fighting about the same things over and over again.

If you want to really understand the answer to this question, it’s paramount to take some time to understand the real reasons that ultimately cause our repeating patterns of conflict.

These 5 books will teach you new ways to understand both yourself and your partner, and what drives the patterns of behavior you both subconsciously follow every day.  They can shed light on many of your questions, backed by countless success stories from readers who have made breakthroughs in their relationships.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married By Gary D. Chapman

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    To most of us, getting married is just another “official” step forward from our current relationship. No one would think being prepared is necessary since going through a normal relationship already seems to be a prerequisite. However, there’s a huge gap between being in a relationship to actually building a life together. Gary Chapman has put together this practical book to teach readers how to build a healthy and loving marriage.

    “I’m a 30 year old male about to propose to my girlfriend. I picked up this book on a whim. I cannot overstate how much I have learned from this book. I started highlighting things that I thought were important to me or that really hit home or made sense. I wrote notes in the margin. I ordered a copy for my soon to be fiance and she is going to do the same thing with her copy. Then we’ll switch so we can both learn from each other. Anyone that wants to be a better partner, regardless of weather or not that includes marriage, should pick this book up and read it front to back. I really can’t say enough good things about this book.”- Ryan on Amazon Review

    Get Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married from Amazon at $ 8.69.

    The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts By Gary D. Chapman & Jocelyn Green

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      Joined with Joycelyn Green, Gary Chapman has published this book that decodes the secret of love. It’s one of the top selling relationship books on Amazon. Gary talks about what signals us as “love”, how partners can see the same action differently and brings out the importance of understanding your partner’s love language in order to aid better communication. The love language doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, it’s also equally applicable to building sustainable friendships and family relationships as well.

      Get The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts from Amazon at $ 10.99.

      Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Emerson Eggerichs

        Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides advice from a psychological perspective on how to maintain a healthy and loving marriage. In his book, he cracks the relationship secret by teaching readers how to shift their focus from only their relationship to the whole family perspective. He also addresses some commonly experienced marriage problems such as dealing with affairs, how to regain the romantic spark, and how to protect and nurture mutual respect.

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        Get Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs from Amazon at $13.89.

        Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love By Sue Johnson

          Hold Me Tight is one of the most insightful books about human relationships that you’ll ever read, backed by solid empirical scientific proof and a ton of success cases.  In an engaging and easy-to-read style, Dr. Sue Johnson introduces psychological concepts that any lay person can instantly understand.  You’ll gain deep insights into every relationship that you’ve ever had, and understand the underlying forces behind how and why we communicate the way we do.  Filled with simple exercises for practicing better communication and understanding, this book is useful for anyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not.

          Get Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love from Amazon at $17.48.

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          Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love By Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

            Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller (a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, respectively) explain love through the latest scientific theories on attachment.  This book describes the three basic types of attachment that all people have.  These basic types affect relationships at all levels, from how you see intimacy, to communication style, to the types of things that satisfy you within a relationships.  The premise is that understanding the attachment type of you and your partner will help you navigate your relationship with more awareness, avoiding common pitfalls and being able to focus on the right things to nurture a relationship.

            Get Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love from Amazon at $10.84.

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            Published on May 18, 2021

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

            The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

            Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

            Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

            Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

            There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

            Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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            Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

            We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

            Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

            A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

            The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

            Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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            Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

            Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

            Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

            While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

            Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

            These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

            Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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            Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

            Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

            Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

            Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

            Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

            Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

            As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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            This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

            Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

            Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

            These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

            Actions Speak Louder Than Words

            Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

            Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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            Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

            More Tips Improving Listening Skills

            Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

            Reference

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