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7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Without communication, trust issues can develop. Without talking, you eventually lose touch with your significant other even when you live with them. It’s ironic really because there aren’t words to describe how important it is to communicate. Even something as simple as a well-timed question can save your relationship. Here are some powerful questions that could do just that.

1. What made you feel good about yourself today?

Asking this question can change someone’s entire mood. It makes your significant other think about the good things that happened to them today and that can take their minds off of the bad things. If you’re significant other has been in the dumps lately, they may be thinking of making drastic changes. Drastic changes may or may not include re-thinking the status of your relationship. It’s always good to remind your loved one that you care and that you want to be there for the bad times.

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2. What has been making you feel alone and unworthy?

Save Your Relationships

    Experience dictates that the answer to this question is something that’s very simple to fix. For instance, in my own current relationship, my girlfriend told me she feels alone even when I’m in the room because I play on my phone too much. When I do that, I don’t pay attention. When I finally asked her this question and she told me, I simply started putting my phone down when I spent time with her. Problem solved! A lot of relationships experience turmoil over small lapses in judgement like the one I made. If you figure out what’s been eating at your boyfriend or girlfriend, chances are you can fix it before it’s too late.

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    3. What have I done recently that helped you feel loved and appreciated?

    Much like the first question, this one allows your loved one to think about the good things you do. This can derail bad feelings, end arguments, and put things back on track. When a relationship is going sideways, it’s really easy to point out the bad things but sometimes that gets in the way of remembering the good things. It sounds bad, but sometimes you do need to beat your own drum to let your lover know that you do good things also. The trick is doing it so that they don’t feel guilty about not thinking about it more often. That can just lead to more fighting and more issues. When couples are in bad relationships, they obviously need to talk about the problems to fix them. However, it’s also important to bring up the good things so that you two aren’t just putting each other down the whole time.

    4. What scares you about our relationship?

    Commitment is a big deal, especially for men. However, don’t think that there aren’t women out there who also have commitment problems. Sometimes it helps to ask this question to find out what the deeper problems are. Maybe s/he doesn’t think you’re parent material. Maybe they are scared of commitment. Maybe they simply can’t see themselves spending their entire life with you. If there is a fatal flaw in your relationship, this question can usually flush it out. The best you can hope for is that the problems are something that can be fixed.

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    5. How much have you loved yourself lately?

    Save Your Relationships

      This is also another one that’s happened to me personally. Last year was a tough year for me and my girlfriend went above and beyond to help me through the tough time. Of course, that meant that she ended up neglecting herself. When we started fighting about it, she told me she felt smothered. This can happen to you too! If your significant other cares more about the relationship than him/herself, then they may neglect their own needs. Ask this question so you can figure out if that’s happening to you. If it is, then it’s time you stepped up and started giving back to your partner. It’ll make them feel better and it may very well save your relationship.

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      6. What can I do better?

      Sometimes the problem really is you. It may not be your fault. There may be a habit or a behavioral trait that just drives your man or woman up a wall. A good way to figure out what that thing might be is to simply ask. Pretty much everyone has a laundry list of things they dislike about their significant other. If you can get a peek at that mental list, you can work on not doing those things anymore. Or at least work on not doing them when s/he is around.

      7. Is there anything we need to talk about?

      This is an open ended question but it’s one you should ask fairly frequently. You shouldn’t ask it every day or even every week but you definitely should every few months. Life is an ever-changing ball of chaos and things just go wrong. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may be experiencing a tough time at work or a family member may be ill. It’s important to find out what the problems are as soon as possible. There are some things you can’t fix but you can be there for them while they deal with it. Relationships are all about sharing the joy of life but also sharing the pain of life. If you’re not sharing their pain, your lover is handling it all on their own. Eventually that’ll lead to problems.

      Relationships are fickle things. There are ups and downs and it’s a general roller coaster ride of chaos. Your only defense against things going totally out of control is the ability to open your mouth and aurally express your feelings so that everyone in the relationship knows what’s going on. If you don’t do that, your relationship will inevitably fail.

      Featured photo credit: Yayo MG via yayomg.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Published on September 23, 2020

      6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

      6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

      I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

      If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

      What is Negotiation?

      First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

      Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

      In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

      Places We Negotiate

      I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

      1. Work/Business

      This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

      When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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      In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

      Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

      2. Personal

      I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

      I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

      Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

      3. Ourselves

      You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

      I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

      Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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      Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

      Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

      We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

      My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

      If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

      As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

      6 Negotiation Skills to Master

      Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

      Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

      1. Preparation

      Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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      It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

      For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

      After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

      2. Clear Communication

      The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

      If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

      3. Active Listening

      Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

      If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

      4. Teamwork and Collaboration

      To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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      If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

      When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

      5. Problem Solving

      Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

      Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

      From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

      There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

      6. Decision-Making Ability

      Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

      Conclusion

      There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

      Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

      More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

      Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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