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Relationship Tips

Relationships can be paradoxical.

They can bring out both the best in us and the worst, often at the same time. As two people get closer together emotionally, the greater the chance of touching some of our deeper insecurities and unresolved issues. As a result, an issue can get triggered, bringing out fear, anger and defensiveness.
But that's exactly the time when transparency and honesty and deep discussions held in good faith can deepen the connection and raise maturity. This is also true equally for a friendship as well as an intimate relationship. With this in mind, here are some thoughts to consider. With some adjusting, these might be helpful with other types of relationships also.

  • Own your own stuff.

    As the bumper sticker says, "Take responsibility for what you do and say". If you say or do something wrong, apologize; even if the other person doesn't follow suit. Make this a matter of personal integrity, not of them liking you more.

  • Don't Blame.

    Blaming is a convenient way to avoid our own issues by shifting the focus away from us onto somebody else. Blaming may also try to make the other person responsible for our own emotional wellbeing, which is very unhealthy.

  • Don't Skirt the Issue.

    Along with blaming go various other methods of avoiding issues, such as: escaping into pleasure (substance abuse, food, sex, sports, etc.); escaping into work (long hours at work, taking work home, frequent voluntary trips, etc.); or escaping into hobbies at the expense of a relationship. While sports, work and hobbies are not problems in and of themselves, the point here is not to use these things to avoid addressing real problems.

  • Choose to be Emotionally Intimate - Unilaterally.

    Intimacy is emotionally opening yourself up and giving the other person as accurate a picture of yourself as possible to relate to. Ask for what you like or want. Tell the other person what you don't like or don't want. Initiate interactions and activities, even though you risk rejection in doing that.

  • Have Conflict.

    That's right, have conflict. It is a sure kiss of death to a relationship when people avoid conflict. Consider this: when you avoid conflict, even with good intentions, you are not being honest and transparent with the other person. You are building a wall between you and them. However, how you have conflict makes all the difference in the world.

Employee Assistance services are available to assist you should you desire it.  For an appointment, call 520-621-2493.