The quality of your home life affects every facet of your being. That’s why your rela-tionships should be supportive and positive, allowing you to grow and be the best that you can be. But don’t be fooled, relationships take work. And, just like everything else in life, what you put in is what you get out.
- Give the gift of kind words.
When last did you compliment your partner? We all want recognition and appreciation especially from the people we love the most. So make the effort to compliment your partner and to verbalise your gratitude for the things they do and the qualities that make them special.
- 2. Manage conflict.
Conflict is a normal, healthy part of any relationship. However, problems arise when disagreements cannot be discussed, leading to stress, resentment and tension. So what can you do about it? The best approach is to listen, address and resolve conflict in a respectful manner by managing your words and emotions. Also, try to see things from your partner’s perspective and be willing to compromise if need be. “Having to be ‘right’, or needing to ‘win’ all the time, blocks the possibility of a compromise, or a real solution. Allowing yourself to see an issue from another person’s perspective can produce solutions that you may never have thought of alone. There is not always a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ way; each point of view can be valid,” says Psychologist, Claire Newton
- Keep communication open and positive.
Greet your partner with a kiss and show interest in them by asking questions about their day, while sharing your own day’s experiences. “I always say that a relationship is based on communication, and that means sharing your thoughts and feelings. While its good advice to stop and think before you speak so as not to hurt people’s feelings, it’s also import to not bottle up your own feelings as it can lead to resentment and anger. Speak up sooner rather than later – and usually you will find that the reaction you were scared about never materialises,” says Godfrey Madanhire, Life Coach and Motivational Speaker.
- Think before you speak and act.
Don’t make unfounded assumptions about your partners feelings and motivations when things don’t go as planned. “Assumptions and guesses are based upon our own interpretations and motivations, rather than the other person’s, and they are often faulty and negative. An example of this is assuming that someone arrived late because they don’t care about you. Such assumptions just cloud the issue and create hostility,” says Claire.
- Something so simple…
This may sound silly, but ask your partner what you do that makes them feel happy and most loved? (Your assumption of the answer may be far off base!) Now make the effort to do whatever it is he or she loves most and you may be surprised at how appreciative they can be
What shouldn’t you do during an argument? Bring up past injustices! “Bringing up past conflicts is often an attempt to move the discussion off-topic and avoid responsibility for one’s own actions or lack of engagement. Stick to the topic at hand. If you are resolving conflicts as they arise, you won’t have any past injustices to bring up!” Says Claire.
Smart strategy for strengthening friendships
Rianette Leibowitz, TV presenter, public speaker and CEO of Owitz Communi-cations takes the time to appreciate and listen to her friends and applies the following approach to build lasting friendships: “Listen, hear and make note of dreams, concerns and challenges and look for ways to support the person with these. I usually make a note in my diary of the things my friends dream of and ask them about it every two months or so.”