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How To Have A Healthy Relationship

How To Have A Healthy Relationship

Developing an understanding of how to have a healthy relationship means that you need to be open to changing yourself. You can’t control how your partner behaves, but you can control your behavior. Maintaining a healthy relationship requires hard work and dedication. Here are 10 key tips:

1. Accept Responsibility for Your Part of the Problems

In any partnership, both people share responsibility for success and failures. When problems arise, spend more time focusing on how you contributed to the problem, rather than accusing your partner of causing it. Acknowledge and accept your share of the responsibility before pointing fingers at your partner.

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2. Avoid Reacting on Emotion Only

People make the best decisions when they use a combination of logic and emotion. Avoid reacting impulsively based on how you feel in the moment. Otherwise, you’re likely to say and do things that can damage the relationship. Instead, wait until you are calm and rational before attempting to address or resolve a problem.

3. Develop Healthy Boundaries

A lot of people wonder how to have a healthy relationship when they’ve got meddling in-laws or nosy neighbors. It’s important to protect your relationship by developing healthy boundaries with others. This means maintaining privacy, not allowing other people to come between you, and protecting your relationship. Poor boundaries can lead to serious relationship trouble.

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4. Be a Companion, Not a Clone

Focus on being your partner’s companion by behaving in a complementary way. Don’t constantly seek approval for everything you say and do. It’s healthy to have differences of opinion and it can lead to a healthy balance in relationships.

5. Practice Self-Care

The healthiest people make the best partners. So, take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that you can offer your partner your very best. Make self-care a priority in your life.

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6. Look for the Positive

Remind yourself of your partner’s good qualities. Look at the best in others and don’t assume that your partner intentionally set out to hurt you. Instead, consider your partner’s good intentions and focus on what is working well in your relationship.

7. Focus on Quality over Quantity of Time

A lot of people wonder how to have a healthy relationship when they don’t have enough time to spend together. Focus on ensuring that the time you spend together is quality time. Turn off the technological devices, give one another your undivided attention, and engage in meaningful conversation. Schedule regular date nights and try to plan a weekend get-away at least once a year.

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8. Treat Love as a Verb, Not an Emotion

It’s normal for loving feelings to come and go as your relationship changes. However, you shouldn’t base your relationship on how you feel. Instead, treat love as a verb.

Behave lovingly, even when you don’t feel like it. Show your love through your actions. Focus on making your partner feel loved and it can make a big difference in the health of your relationship.

9. Focus on What You’re Giving, Not What You’re Getting

If you’re not getting what you need out of the relationship, it’s likely your partner isn’t either. Instead of demanding that things need to change, focus on what you’re giving to the relationship. When you start ensuring your partner’s needs are getting met, you’ll likely find that your needs will be met as well.

10. Remember What Drew You Together in the First Place

Understanding how to have a healthy relationship that stands the test of time requires you to recall what attracted you to your partner in the first place. You picked your partner for a reason; however, those reasons can sometimes get lost due the busyness of life. Take time to recall the reason that you chose to be with your partner and keep that in the forefront of your mind as you go through tough times together.

More by this author

Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

10 Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative 12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime 6 Mistakes That Keep You Struggling in Life And Stuck 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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