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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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      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

      Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

      In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

      Step right up, don’t be shy!

      Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

      The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

      Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

      Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
      So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

      A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

      Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

      Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

      When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

      Culturally Conditioned

      We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

      I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

      The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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      Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

      Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

      Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

      1. Broadens Your Network

      After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

      2. Improves Your Communication Skills

      I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

      Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

      3. Continually Learning

      So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

      Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

      4. Increases Self Confidence

      Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

      Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

      So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

      How to Talk to Strangers

      Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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      1. Say Hello

      Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

      Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

      Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

      2. Ask About Them

      Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

      You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

      As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

      3. Just Do It

      One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

      When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

      Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

      4. Don’t Take It Personal

      One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

      When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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      5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

      I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

      One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

      6. Detach

      A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

      Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

      7. Share Your Stories

      Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

      To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

      So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

      8. Give a Compliment

      Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

      When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

      9. Relax Your Body Language

      If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

      When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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      If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

      10. Practice, Practice, Practice

      Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

      Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

      After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

      The Bottom Line

      As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

      There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

      Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

      Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

      More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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