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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

More by this author

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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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