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11 Common Mistakes In Relationships That You Can Avoid

11 Common Mistakes In Relationships That You Can Avoid

So you have gotten past the initial dating stage and are now in a “relationship.” This can be the best or worst part of your life depending on how you proceed. I am coming at this topic with a five year (and counting) relationship with many highs and lows. Learn from my mistakes and triumphs and do not fall into these common relationship mistakes.

1. Losing the romance in the relationship is one of the key reasons why relationships fail.

It is easy to become complacent and slack on making an effort for romance. The truth is, relationships are work. Not that you won’t have any fun along the way, but you need to remember it takes a focused effort to be romantic with your partner.

2. Trying to control our significant other.

Many of us either have control issues or things that the other person does that drive us crazy. Both of these scenarios can lead to us wanting to control or comment on every move the other person makes. Think about it though, would you like someone telling you what to do every waking minute? You are not this person’s parent. If he/she is a grown adult, treat them like one.

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3. Expecting perfection.

We are all human. We all make mistakes. Do not hold your significant other to some unrealistically high expectation. This is especially hard for those of us who hold unrealistically high expectations for ourselves, but that’s another topic altogether.

4. Avoiding confrontation.

Fighting is not the way most of us want to spend our time, so it can be tempting to just brush all of the problems under the rug. The flaw with that plan is that the problems collect and multiply. This will ultimately end up in an explosive argument, or a parting of ways with the other person baffled as to what went wrong. Communication is huge in any relationship and should not be avoided.

5. Fighting about everything.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, do not make everything an argument. Think about all of the problems you have with your partner and really consider whether these are deal breakers or if you can build a bridge and get over them.

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6. Trying to change the other person.

In relationships, we need to realize we are unique individuals. Often we are drawn to someone who is completely opposite to us and after a while we can be tempted to try to change them to be the same as us. Take a step back and remember why you fell in love with this person in the first place. My boyfriend is for the most part carefree and funny, but sometimes his jokes start to drive me nuts or I wish he was more organized. I have to remember that I love that he can make me laugh and that he has such a positive outlook on life.

7. Keeping secrets from your loved one.

This is something that goes along with keeping communication open—do not keep secrets. Not that you have to tell the other person every minute detail about your life, but you should not intentionally keep something major from them. You know it is a secret that needs to be shared when you feel even slightly guilty for not telling them. It will come out eventually and sooner is always better than later.

8. Not taking time for yourself and being too co-dependent.

If you spend every waking moment with your significant other, you will ultimately lose who you are as an individual. Things like going to the store on your own will be hard and you will find yourself consulting that person for every small decision you make. Take some time to do what you love. Have your own hobbies, interests and friends. You will both benefit from this and have a richer life as a result.

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9. Not taking differences in core values seriously.

Even though you like the same music and enjoy spending time with one another, you will still have a hard time getting past major differences. Core values include things like religion, morality, and the importance of things like family, friends, careers and money. Take some time to discuss these things before you move your relationship forward or you might be in for disappointment later.

10. Not talking about money.

Money is always a tricky subject. You might have come from different backgrounds. If one person grew up wanting for nothing and the other has always had to pinch pennies, there may be some disagreements over how money is spent. If you are in a serious relationship, even if you have separate money, be sure to discuss these things as money issues are guaranteed to come up eventually.

11. Forgetting to appreciate your partner.

Lastly, never forget to tell your significant other, “thank you” or “I love you.” At the beginning of the relationship you surely noticed all of the kind things that he/she was doing for you and praised him/her accordingly. You said you loved each other all of the time. Sometimes we forget how awesome the other person is until we think about it. Tell your significant other right now how you feel about them!

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Now that you have been warned about these common relationship mistakes, you have a much better chance of surviving as a couple!

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Amanda DeWitt

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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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