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Don’t Go Into Marriage If You Haven’t Done These Things

Don’t Go Into Marriage If You Haven’t Done These Things

Congrats, you two are happily engaged!

It most likely was a long path to get to where you are, wasn’t it? Behind every successful marriage, are two people who have done some tremendous things before deciding they’re ready to take the next step. Have you considered a “must-do” list before putting the ring on your finger? Maybe you should, as there are things everyone needs to do before getting married.

1. Get your heart broken.

Sounds cliche, but true. Dealing with a breakup teaches you about what went wrong in your relationship and how you can prevent them from happening again.

2. Experiment With Online Dating.

You need to learn to take credit for all your strengths and general awesomeness right?

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3. Learn From Your Relationship Mistakes.

Look back at your past? What part did you play in the destruction of that relationship? Did you take them for granted? Were you neglectful? Critical? These are all very important things to ask yourself before moving on to a new relationship so you can be a better version of you and not make the same mistake.

4. Fall in Love, More Than Once.

You need to find out what kind of relationship or partner you want for the rest of your life, so get out there and figure it out.

5. Come Up With a Definitive List of What You Won’t Compromise On in a Relationship.

These are normally called deal breakers. You have values that your partner shouldn’t make you compromise just like they have values that you shouldn’t ask them to compromise either. Talk it out and see where each of you stand.

6. Learn to Trust Others.

Trust is one of the most important (if not THE most important) thing to have in a relationship. If you don’t trust your future partner, how will you create a solid marriage?

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7. Learn Not to Make Being Married Your Sole Identity.

You need to be your own person and not to rely on someone else solely to define you.

8. Spend Time Alone.

The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more likely you are to attract someone who will be comfortable with you.

9. Get to Know All the Facts.

You need to talk about all the boring stuff, like financial matters and health before taking the leap into marriage. Would you rather find out your partner is $30,000 in debt before you got married, or after?

10. Live with someone that is not a member of your family.

Think of it as testing the waters before getting married. You want to know if you can live with your future spouse!

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11. Spend some time on your career.

Again, cliche but true. You need to work on yourself before being able to fully commit in a relationship.

12. Spend time around kids.

This will help you decide whether or not you want them and to let your partner know where you stand regarding children before you tie the knot.

13. Figure out why you want to get married.

Do you genuinely love your partner? Or do you just like the idea of getting married? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with them? Do you just want to wear a wedding gown and have a big fancy party? Or do you think it’s just something you now have to do because you’re getting older? Find out your true intentions before making the leap.

14. Learn to fight fairly.

Disagreements will inevitably happen with your future spouse. Learn to fight fairly now before you say something you’ll regret after you’re married.

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15. Learn to love people as they are.

Don’t expect people to change for you. Marrying your partner means you’ll accept for their strengths AND weaknesses.

16. Learn to DIY.

How can you nurture a marriage if you cannot learn to take care of yourself first? Consider learning how to cook or become the handyman around the house.

17. Meet your future spouse’s friends.

You might be able to pick up on red flags that could hint at why you might not want to marry this person. Or to confirm that your decision is completely spot on.

18. Meet your future spouse’s family.

You’re not just marrying your spouse, you’re marrying into the family. Figure out if you can deal with their family drama beforehand.

19. Get to know yourself.

A no-brainer here. If you don’t know who you are and aren’t comfortable in your own skin, how could you possibly know what type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

20. Learn to apologize sincerely.

We screw up from time to time. Admitting it shows your partner that you’re mature and you’re willing to do what it takes to make things right.

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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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