How to Fix a Broken Relationship
Thrilled to be featured this week as an expert contributor for Upjourney. Check out the article here, where a bunch of experts weigh in on How to Fix a Broken Relationship.
This was my contribution below, enjoy!
Flip The Script
Try to remember that the way we see things is based on our own personal perceptions. And our perceptions are based on our interpretations of what we observe. Each person being completely unique will have different perceptions of a situation.
So try to literally see things from your partner’s perspective, by trying to look at the situation through their eyes. Think about exactly how they are different than you, and how they’ve told you they feel. Have empathy for their perspective.
Just that simple shift of focus can have a powerful impact over how you come together as a team.
You Can’t Criticize Someone Into Changing
You can’t criticize someone into changing into the version you want them to be. Period. It’s a negative cycle of doom that will only make things even worse between you and cause a lot more pain.
Switch your criticism for appreciation and watch as things transform.
“No-one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal.” – Marilyn Ferguson
Feel To Heal
Relationships can be a roller coaster of emotions, and depending on what kind of person you are you may be over or under processing your feelings. Our emotions provide us with valuable information about ourselves and what we are going through, so it’s very important when learning to compromise, that we understand our emotions and express them in a healthy way.
A guide I use with my clients is to explore the following three questions:
What do you feel?
Identify emotions that you’re feeling. Think about thoughts you’re having & connect an emotion to it. Sometimes imagining you’re talking to a small child will help you to connect with your own vulnerability. Make a list of emotions and then choose your Top 5.
What do you want?
For each of those top 5 emotions that you selected in the previous step, journal a response to this question, “What do you want?”.
What do you need?
Now again for each of the 5 emotions, journal a response to this question, “What do you need?”
Your responses should give you clarity around your emotions, so you can communicate effectively with your partner. This tool helps you to cut the fluff, and get to the root of the emotional need, which is almost always about compassion and love.
Remember that regardless of whatever emotions you are feeling, you always have a choice as to what kind of action you’re going to take, if anything!
Every two weeks, my husband and I have a standing calendar booking that reminds us to have a check-in. We do this to remind us to connect and have a chat to see how things are going. If there are specific things that have come up in the past that we’re working on, we touch base about how the other is feeling about it.
It’s a beautiful opportunity to really connect with your partner and show your commitment to one another. No relationship is perfect, but it’s how we show up for the one we love that can make all the difference!
Use this as an opportunity to listen, and to give, that which you want.
Always be working on yourself!
As human beings we are biologically coded to cooperate with one another, but life experiences can alter that inclination. Since one needs cooperation in order to compromise in any relationship, that starts in the mirror!
Where can you grow? What parts of yourself can you improve on?
Find a coach or mentor that you trust, and let them inspire and guide you to a better version of yourself.