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How to Improve Any Relationship by Thinking Like a Therapist

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https://nickwignall.com/improve-your-relationships/

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How to Improve Any Relationship by Thinking Like a Therapist
In my work as a therapist, I see daily examples of relationships slowly dying-and occasionally exploding. While tragic, these examples give me some insight into a common set of factors that tend to ruin relationships. And with a little reverse engineering, they also shed light on how we might strengthen and improve relationships.

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See Relationships Like A Therapist

Relationships nowadays are regularly in the doldrums, with certain factors that tend to ruin them. These same factors can be ‘reverse-engineered’ to help us strengthen and improve these relations.

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Validate, Not Solve

When someone talks about their problems, we are jumping in the problem-solving mode straight away. While dealing with people, this approach can backfire. A better approach is to just listen and...

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Actions Have Underlying Functions

Many times, the external appearance of behaviour isn’t the full story and has underlying functions. It is just a symptom and not the problem.

Example: When a teenager is mad for no reaso...

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Look For Triggers

Sometimes our behaviour is tied to invisible environmental triggers we have around us, the habits and routines that we no longer realize. We need to be aware of these triggers that set our behaviou...

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Focus On The Positive

Differential reinforcement is a method in which instead of focusing on bad behaviour, we intentionally celebrate good behaviour. Simply ignoring the negative makes us stop feeding it with at...

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Be Vulnerable

Being vulnerable in a relationship provides it with trust, intimacy and mutual admiration, as the partner is comfortable sharing everything with you. 

Opening up with the pain you may be...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Deduction and Mindfulness Go Together

Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his ini...

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story.  Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.

Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.

Be Relentless

Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.

Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.

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Interdependence

Being dependent on another person can be unhealthy. Independence, taken to an extreme, can actually get in the way of us being able to connect emotionally with others in a meaningful way.&nbs...

Codependency

A codependent person tends to rely heavily on others for their sense of self and well-being. There is an enmeshed sense of responsibility to another person to meet their needs and/or for their partner to meet all of their needs to feel okay about who they are.

Traits of a codependent relationship

  • Poor/no boundaries
  • People-pleasing behaviors
  • Reactivity
  • Unhealthy, ineffective communication
  • Manipulation
  • Difficulty with emotional intimacy
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Blaming each other
  • Low self-esteem of one or both partners
  • No personal interests or goals outside the relationship

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Knowledge

When forming deep, intimate relationships, we share a vast amount of personal information that we wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable sharing with others. 

We feel safe sharing ou...

Interdependence

Intimate relationships also tend to be highly interdependent, wherein each partner influences the other meaningfully, frequently, and vastly, in terms of topic and importance.

Care

While the display of care can differ from one person to the next (as a function of communication style or differing displays of affection, for instance), intimate partners tend to display genuine, selfless care for each other.

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