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9 Things All Great Relationships Have In Common

9 Things All Great Relationships Have In Common

Want to know if your relationship is a great one? Check out the top features which all great relationships have in common.

1. You feel loved

This is the lifebelt of your relationship. This fact alone will stand the test of time, disasters, ups and downs and everything else that destiny throws at you. You feel serene and comfortable and there is no pressure on either of you to change.

You are both happy with your body image, while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You feel totally accepted. The shocking fact is that 80% of women in the US are dissatisfied with their physical appearance and are increasingly at risk for eating disorders.  Figures for men are generally at around 45%.

“I’m imperfect, you’re imperfect and that’s perfect.” – Anon  

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2. You make a great team

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity’.” – Epicurus

The real challenge comes when you have to face financial ruin, a serious illness or a tricky career move. Getting through difficult times by mutually supporting each other can be tough and heartbreaking. You both already learned that compromising on finances and career will make things easier. You know that you are self-confident as individuals but as a team, you rock!

3. You give honest, loving and constructive feedback

When there are moments of criticism or negativity, you are both able to give honest feedback. The mark of a truly great relationship is that you can do this constructively.

Here are some tricks you use:

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  • Ask to talk about it: ‘Is this a good time to talk about our redecoration project?’
  • Empathize: ‘I knew you were having problems with that.’
  • Praise: ‘You did a great job there.’
  • Criticize less – learn to let minor things go.
  • Keep it brief.

You avoid using the following phrases like the plague:

  • ‘The trouble with you is…’
  • ‘How many times have I told you…’
  • ‘You never listen.’
  • ‘We never talk about these things.’
  • ‘You’re so cheap – I just cannot understand why you did not tip the waiter.’

 Constructive feedback is like the rain and sunshine on a plant, helping you both grow in love.

4. You organize date nights

Yes, you are still dating your partner and it is truly something to look forward to. Organizing a dinner out, cinema or whatever reminds you of when you were dating each other is one of the best ways to keep a relationship alive and flourishing.

5. You allow each other space to grow

Any great relationship allows each partner to grow as a person and pursue career and hobbies, without having to be there all the time. No great relationship thrives when one partner is clingy, overdependent or too bossy.

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“Basically my wife was immature. I’d be at home in the bath and she’d come in and sink my boats’.” – Woody Allen

6. You always do one activity together

Leaving each other space is essential, but it is equally important to start doing one activity together. When you are in a great relationship, you always do something together, whether it is running, shopping, yoga or a new hobby. The bonding that comes from this fun activity strengthens your commitment and affection.

7. You trust each other 100%

Jealousy and mistrust have never been an issue and you trust each other 100%. So much so, that the idea of checking each other’s emails or text messages has never been a possibility. Openness, reliability in keeping promises, and honesty are the pillars of your relationship and that is why you completely trust each other. It is when these are eroded when relationships start to crumble.

8. You are both feminists

Men who support feminist issues are much more open about their partner’s career goals. The fact is that women appreciate the support. Women who are feminists are more relaxed about taking the initiative in sex. Read about the fascinating research done by the Rutgers University in New Jersey.

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9. You know when to switch off your phone

You are attached to each other and not to your cell phones, Twitter or Facebook. You know when to switch off and spend prime time with each other. You cannot make love to a screen. Research done on 100,000 people by OkCupid.com, showed that the keen tweeters were less likely to have a long relationship.

When you are in a great relationship, you arrive home and you switch off your phone before you come in. Then you greet your partner and start getting attached to him or her. Of course you do that, don’t you?

Featured photo credit: Happy couple/knittymarie via Flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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

Reference

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