(AscendHealthy.com) – Many of us may have a goal of making our relationships better, but how should we do that? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some great life hacks may make a big difference in the quality of a relationship — and they come down to communication.
1. Speak in a Non-Defensive Way
When people get defensive, they may not listen with understanding to the other person in the relationship. Speaking defensively is also tricky because it leaves no room to acknowledge when we’ve heard the other person or that we understand the harm the situation has caused.
Because of that, temper and resentment may be struggles for both people. By speaking and listening in an open way that’s honest but not defensive, we can show that we care how the other person feels. It becomes less about justifying actions and more about fostering mutual understanding and agreement.
2. Stay Calm
Yelling and other agitated behaviors generally don’t help relationships. These kinds of issues may cause the relationship to become toxic and might mean that one or both people want out. By staying calm, we show that we are there for the other person and want to allow that other person to express their feelings.
A calming presence may be just what a person needs when they’re feeling sad, upset, angry, or vulnerable. At the very least, staying calm means we don’t get pulled into anger and drama. That provides the chance to talk through issues. Fights, yelling and drama let problems linger and build.
3. Validate the Other Person
People need to feel heard, and there’s more to that than just sitting quietly while they talk. When we validate the other person in the relationship, we acknowledge that they have a right to their thoughts and feelings. Even if we don’t wholly agree with them or really don’t understand how they feel (or why), it’s important to validate them.
Ignoring a person’s feelings or negatively acknowledging those feelings may mean that person could feel unsafe or uncomfortable communicating going forward. That breakdown in communications might lead to anger and resentment, but it may also lead to a person who withdraws and doesn’t talk about their feelings anymore. Relationships like that stand very little chance of being successful in the long term.
4. Complain (Yes, Really)
Complaining is actually a good thing when we do it constructively. Overall, it’s generally not a good idea to just let things build up until one person explodes because they’re angry over something. Making smaller, more frequent complaints makes it possible to address and work through behaviors before they cause significant problems instead.
That doesn’t mean people should complain about every little thing all the time or that it’s a good idea to tear others down about the things they do. But when we complain and make our voices heard, the people in our relationships know that these things matter to us. Addressing conflict is important.
5. Overlearn What Matters
When we’re tired, stressed, or otherwise overwhelmed, we may forget to do some of the things we would otherwise think to do. If we “overlearn” behaviors, that’s less likely to happen. Overlearning something means reinforcing it so much, it becomes automatic. That way, we react in specific ways, even when our body or brain is operating on “autopilot.”
In relationships, if we overlearn things that are important to our partners, we’re far less likely to ignore those things when we’re not functioning at our best. That may reduce conflict and lead to relationships that are happier, healthier, and more stable.
There’s no reason we can’t improve our relationships. There are some great ways to learn new skills and internalize them to make things better for ourselves and the people we adore. It takes a little bit of work, but with the right life hacks, it’s easier than we may have thought — and very rewarding, as well.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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