You may read all the greatest relationship advice rules (side note – have you noticed that many of the most well-known relationship gurus have divorced multiple times??? – just sayin’) but somehow it doesn’t always work? Well, check out my suggestions below that break several of the myth’s out there. Ya know I don’t mind breaking the rules…unless they actually work!
MYTH: Never go to bed angry.
It’s okay to go to bed angry. When your anger or frustration is elevated, your brain goes a little haywire. Often we’ll say things we regret, that causes long-term damage. It’s a better strategy to get some sleep, then approach the issue with a rested and clearer mind. One should never operate heavy equipment while drowsy, nor should one try to solve problems on a tired brain.
MYTH: If you can prove you’re correct, your partner will have to back down.
Tell your partner they’re right…even if they are super wrong! It’s human nature to want to win a competition. When we are not in agreement with our main squeeze, we will fight to be heard. The problem with this pattern is no one wins, and it’s an easy way to start a battle. Next time you find yourself in a disagreement try saying, “Ya know, you may be right.” You can follow it by saying something like, “You’ve made some good points. Let’s talk about this without arguing and try to listen to each other better.” It will instantly disarm the other person, and they will become less combative. A more calm, and respectful discussion can then ensue.
MYTH: Speak to others the way you want to be spoken to.
Learn to speak ‘Their Language’. The Golden Rule, “Do to others what you want them to do to you,” has been replaced with The Platinum Rule, “Do to others as they’d want to be done to.” Individuals respond to different communication styles depending on their personality type. Here’s an example of how this works. If you received a job offer of a lifetime and you want to pack up and move the family, the manner in which you deliver the message can be met with resistance and fear, or excitement and support. Someone who is quiet and guarded will respond more favorably when they are approached in a calm, organized manner. On the other hand, one who is a social butterfly enjoys spontaneity and a fast pace. When you understand how your partner prefers to be approached, you’ll have the knowledge needed to help you communicate more effectively. Btw – this works equally as well with your kids and boss!
MYTH: Never take ownership of problems you didn’t create.
Try this instead – “It’s my fault because…” Stay with me on this one. When we take responsibility for challenges, concerns, etc. in our relationship we gain more control. If your partner is hurtful, disrespectful, or unfair, ask yourself how is this my fault? Your role may be that you are allowing the behavior to continue to avoid a fight. If you notice the problem is not getting better and you’re feeling like a victim, come up with a plan of action, to combat that which is upsetting. Maybe it’s as simple as throwing all his/her dirty laundry in their closet because they continue to leave it on the floor (honesty alert – I did do this…once!). It could be more serious, and you need to get outside help. Once you have your strategy, you’ll feel empowered and able to deal more effectively with the issue.
So there you have it. Go ahead and break the relationship advice rules, and use what works most effectively for you! I’ll agree that it will feel strange for those of you who are used to going for the gold medal in conquering every argument, but just watch what happens when you incorporate my suggestions above. You may end up happier and with a partner that thinks you’re sexier!