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11 Things That Happen When Your Partner Is Your Best Friend

11 Things That Happen When Your Partner Is Your Best Friend

Calling someone your partner sounds wonderful, but it becomes even more enjoyable when that person is also your best friend. I discovered the joy of sharing life with your best friend when I married mine. You can find this joy too. Here are 11 things that happen when your partner is your best friend.

1. When You Make Each Other Laugh.

Great friends know how to get giggles out of one another. Because you understand each other’s sense of humor, you enjoy bringing it out. Laughter lightens the worst of days. Best friends don’t laugh at each other, they laugh with one another. You may prefer slap-stick humor or embrace sarcasm as your love language. If you can laugh together, you can also face tough stuff together. Laughter bonds people in an excellent way. Having a shared sense of humor makes life more fun just because you’re with each other.

2. When You Cheer For Each Other.

We all need our own personal cheerleader. Having someone who believes the best in us helps us to aspire to bring out the best in ourselves. Real friends recognize our strengths, even when we don’t. They root for us and encourage us when we feel like pieces of litter crumpled on the street. A great friendship trades back and forth. When one feels down, the other lifts them up. You know your partner is your best friend when they know how to make you laugh so hard you find liquid bursting out your nose.

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3. When They Bring Out the Best In You And Vice Versa.

Some people spark parts of ourselves that we don’t enjoy catching on fire. Then, there are others. When we spend time with them, we feel better about ourselves. Something about their presence makes us want to be better people. If your partner brings out the best in you, you become kinder because of them. You act nicer. You like yourself. This is the sign of a best friend. Because you are friends, you also desire to bring out the best in them.

4. When The Friendship Isn’t About Me Or You, It’s About Us.

Have you ever found yourself starting all your sentences with, “I want,” or “I do,” or “I can?” There are people in our lives that bring out our insecurities. They make you feel as if you need to prove yourself each time you get together. As a result, you become self-focused and always hear the word, “I,” spewing from your mouth. We’ve all been around people like that. Those kinds of friendships don’t tend to last because they always lean one way. Best friends don’t just lean one way, they hold each other up. Being best friends involves teamwork, and as every coach on the planet always says, “There’s no ‘I’ in team.”

5. When You Share Your Inner Nerd, Geek, or Dork With Confidence.

We all have a nerd, geek or dork living inside us somewhere. Many of us hide this part of ourselves, because we fear rejection. It exists none the less. Maybe part of you secretly wishes you could go to Comic Con dressed as a superhero. Or maybe you have a secret fascination with the paintings of Manet. Or you regularly watch the weather channel hoping to observe the formation of a tornado. When you bravely reveal these pieces of yourself, you demonstrate how much you want to develop a closer friendship. If you find out that your partner accepts your hidden side, you will trust them more. You become more genuine. This real friendship draws you closer to one another.

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6. When Chores Aren’t A Chore.

Need to take out the garbage, clean the cat litter, or scrub down the car? Good friends come alongside to lend a helping hand. They don’t complain (unless it’s a joke). They see the need and help to fill the need. As you work together, you discover how much more happens when two tackle the task. And,occasionally you get the extra bonus of having fun while you work.

7. When You Become Totally Truthful. (in a kind way)

When a girl asks, “How do I look in this dress,” many men fear answering this question. Over time, if you’ve built a strong friendship, you can confidently tell her how the dress does or doesn’t bring out the best in her. Because of the genuine love and friendship that’s shared, this isn’t taken as the much-feared insult. It’s one friend confiding in another. When you build trust and respect, you get completely honest with your best friend. Because of kindness and caring, you do this gently. Friends rely on one another for this kind of honesty. After all, who else could point out the spinach caught between your teeth and still make you feel like a million bucks?

8. When Germs Cannot Separate You.

Flu, we don’t like you. This applies to the common cold and many other illnesses too. Bacteria make us feel uncomfortable,even fearful. We wonder if they will leap from one person to another and land firmly on us. No one wants the germs to spread, but when the sick one is your best friend, you’ll take that chance. You’ll bring soup, read books, watch movies, and clean dishes. You’ll get them tissues or whatever it is they need. They matter so much that you’ll risk catching an illness. That’s what best friends do.

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9. When You Fall Fearlessly.

Some of the worst injuries to skiers happen because they fear falling. They fight the fall and end up hurting themselves more as a result. Life is full of times where we fear falling. We fear failure. We fear disappointing ourselves or others. We fear the unexpected. When your partner is your best friend, you know they want to catch you if you fall. You also want to help them. If, for some reason, you cannot save each other, you can at least help one another to get up and try again. This gives you confidence. It’s the sign of a great friendship.

10. When You Want To Listen More Than To Talk.

Most people prefer talking over listening. We long to be heard. And yet, a best friend doesn’t focus only on their own words. They enjoy learning more about their friend. We’ve been given two ears and one mouth, which implies that one should be used twice as much as the other. A best friend longs to listen more than to speak, because everything you hear is something you value. You really care about how your partner’s day progressed. You want to know what they prefer to do when they find time to rest. When your partner is your best friend, you become better at listening than talking. Eventually, you get to share your story too, because your partner also listens.

11. When You Embrace The Power Of Forgiveness.

No one achieves everything on this list all the time. We all falter. As you discover these strengths within yourself and your partner, there will still be days when you fail. They will also fail. The best of friends do enjoy great fun together, but they also suffer through failure together. You continue to be great friends when you develop the skill and power found in forgiveness. When you realize your limits and accept the limits of your partner, you become kinder and more compassionate. This is the real glue of any friendship. No partnership will be complete without it.

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

Do you know other things that happen when your partner is your best friend? Share them in the comments.

Featured photo credit: pair_of_pears/hotblack via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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