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10 Things Every Couple Needs To Stop Doing

10 Things Every Couple Needs To Stop Doing

Most couples develop some bad habits over time that can wreak havoc on the relationship. Here are 10 things every couple needs to stop doing before they damage their relationship.

1. Giving Your Partner Your Partial Attention

Checking email, texting, or watching TV while your partner is in the same room doesn’t constitute quality time together. However, many people have difficulty unplugging and giving their partner their undivided attention long enough to hold a real conversation. Give your partner your full attention so you can truly connect with one another.

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2. Skimping on the Compliments

You can never give too many compliments. However, as a relationship matures, compliments often begin to dwindle. Give your partner plenty of encouragement. Offer praise and genuine words of encouragement to help your partner navigate each day with confidence.

3. Keeping Score

Keeping score and trying to ensure that everything is fair can make couples argue more like siblings. Everything doesn’t have to be fair in your romantic relationship. Trying to keep a tally of who has done the most or who has earned something will only damage your relationship. Focus on giving to your partner rather than worrying about what you’re getting.

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4. Not Being a Person of Your Word

Your partner needs to know you are trustworthy. Make promises that you’ll follow through with. Don’t say things that you don’t mean and don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Building trust, loyalty, and security in the relationship means that your partner needs to know you are a person of your word.

5. Talking More Than Listening

Communication should involve listening more than you speak. However, most people focus more on getting their point across rather than truly trying to understand what their partner has to say. Focus on listening to your partner and developing an understanding of your partner’s point of view before trying to express your opinion. Listening to your partner can reduce a lot of conflict caused by misunderstandings.

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6. Listening Passively Only

Listening should be an active process. However, many people treat it like a passive activity. Not talking doesn’t constitute listening. In order to actively listen to someone, you should ask questions, nod your head, and seek clarification when you don’t understand. Get rid of other distractions and focus on what your partner has to say by showing you are actively trying to understand what is being said.

7. Making the Relationship Lower on the Priority Scale

Relationships often top the priority scale in the beginning but over time, a relationship can slip down the priority list slowly. Kids, jobs, extended family, and friends can all take precedence over the relationship if you’re not careful. The lower the relationship falls on the priority scale, the more likely the relationship will suffer.

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8. Offering Criticism

Giving too much criticism can break down a relationship quickly. Offering your opinion about what your partner doesn’t do right or should be doing differently can create a wedge in the relationship. Offer feedback in a way that is tactful and diplomatic and make sure you are giving more positive feedback than negative.

9. Nagging One Another

Nagging is an annoying habit that can make a relationship become more painful than joyful. It’s okay to ask your partner to do something but avoid nagging if the job doesn’t get done according to your time frame. Treat your partner like a responsible adult, not a child who needs parenting.

10. Trying to Change Each Other

Trying to change your partner will only backfire on you in the long-run. You can change yourself only. Focus on changing your own behavior and it may or may not lead your partner to change. Accept that you can’t force your partner to change and accept that your partner does not have to do what you want.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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