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10 Relationship Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Themselves

10 Relationship Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Themselves

Every now and then, it’s a good idea to do a ‘health check’ on your relationship. When we neglect our relationships, problems can arise and before long you may realize that you aren’t getting along as well as before. In order to nurture closeness and be sure that you are in the right relationship, rather than just going through the motions, ask yourselves the following questions to gauge whether or not you are still on the right track.

1) Do you and your partner fight or argue with increasing frequency?

If you are arguing more than usual, ask yourself what the source if the conflict is. Nip it in the bud and deal with it before it becomes a bigger problem. Letting problems stick around can lead to resentment and a loss of loving feelings towards one another.

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2) Do you feel that your emotional needs are not being met?

This question is very important. If either of you feel your emotional needs are not being met, now is the time to change things. When emotional needs are not being met, it has a destructive effect on the relationship. We start assuming that the other person doesn’t care, and we begin to do less for our partners with an attitude of, “they don’t do it for me, so why should I do it for them?” This inevitably will lead to bigger problems. Sit down with your partner and make a list of three to five things that they can do to meet your emotional needs. Make an effort to incorporate those actions listed as often as possible to restore goodwill in the relationship.

3) Are you physically frustrated in your relationship?

Affection is part of the whole package. A complete lack of touch and affection leads to a disconnection whether you realize it or not. If all tactile behavior has ceased, make an effort to give one another a foot rub or shoulder rub. Tap them on the shoulder as you walk by–focus on touch to reconnect and feel closer. If sex is non-existent, talk about it and re-introduce touch slowly. Begin with baby steps–be sure not to pressure you partner.

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4) Do you think that your partner places their job or other priorities ahead of you?

When we don’t feel important in a relationship, our thinking begins to change and we find ways to feel important in other ways. Often these ways can be non-productive and lead to more problems. Discuss your feelings with your partner–they may not even realize how you feel. Try to compromise and find ways to work around the circumstances so that you may feel important again. Everyone likes an attentive partner. Consider too, whether this situation is temporary and calls for a little patience in the short term.

5) Do you feel that you are being used?

If you feel used on some level, this suggests a trust issue. Trust your instincts. If your partner ignores your needs and always puts themselves first, it’s not a good sign. Every relationship requires give and take in order to survive.

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6) Do you feel there is more to life than that which you are living in this relationship?

Are you feeling restless? Do you look around at other people and fantasize about being in another relationship? Sometimes we do this when we are angry with our partner, but if this is developing into a regular behavioral pattern, it suggests that there are underlying issues. Ask yourself whether there are things you could be doing together as a couple. Make the effort to do something fun at least once a month to keep the fire alive

7) Have you had to stop being yourself in order to keep the peace in the relationship?

When you stop being yourself, you start living a lie. When a partner tries to change you consistently, they are sending you a message that you are not good enough as you are. Trying to be someone you’re not is a losing game–you need to be loved for who you essentially are. That is what we all wish for. You can’t change your character, but you can compromise and change some behaviors–know the difference.

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8) Is guilt a major factor in your relationship?

Do you stay in your relationship out of guilt? Do you feel a duty to stay for some reason? If you aren’t staying out of love and friendship it might be time to question your motives. Guilt is never a good reason to continue a relationship and the long term prospects of a relationship based on guilt are not good.

9) Do you feel that you give while your partner takes?

Who makes all the effort in the relationship? Every relationship, without exception needs to be nurtured. I like to think of relationships like gardens. If you don’t tend to them, ‘weeds’ start to grow. If you feel that you are the only one that legitimately works on the relationship, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Often, there could just be a miscommunication and once the topic has been discussed, you can both find ways to feel that equal effort is being rendered.

10) Are you in this relationship today simply because it feels safe and allows you to stay in your comfort zone?

I have come across many people who stay in relationships, not because they are happy, but because it is all they know. They stay out of fear of the unknown. Don’t allow self limiting beliefs to stop you from leading a full life. Be brave. Get out there and make sure that you are living the best possible life for you.

Relationships take work. Two unique individuals with their different personalities, backgrounds and preferences always makes for an interesting mix. Compromise, communication and consideration go a long way to keeping a relationship healthy. Develop your own interests and you’ll have more to bring to the relationship. Above all, have fun and communicate regularly. All too often we make assumptions about what our other half is thinking, and this is often wrong. We get annoyed, assume and then become angry. Speak openly, express your feelings and above all make time for lighthearted activities. Too many chores and too much monotony and routine are never good for a relationship. Go out and have some fun together!

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Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a Psychologist/CBT therapist who believes getting through life is easier with a robust sense of humour.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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