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The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems -- And How To Fix Them - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

The "Story Of Us"

The best predictor of relationship success is how you and your partner tell your “story of us.”

Do you focus on the negative aspects or on the positive ones?  Do you present your partner in a good light or in a bad light?

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems -- And How To Fix Them - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems -- And How To Fix Them - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/12/relationship-problems/

bakadesuyo.com

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Key Ideas

Relationship Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of The Relationship Apocalypse:

  • Criticism: is staging the problem in a relationship as a character flaw in a partner.
  • Defensiveness: responding to relationship issues by counterattacking or whining.
  • Contempt: acting like you’re a better person than they are.
  • Stonewalling: shutting down or tuning out.

Building "Love Maps"

It means getting to know your partner really well, including his/her internal psychological world.

Ask questions, deep and personal ones. Get past“When will you be there?” or “Don’t forget to pick up milk.”

Show Admiration

Admiration is about the story you tell yourself about your partner.

Masters see their partners as better than they really are. Disasters see their partners as worse than they really are.

The "Story Of Us"

The best predictor of relationship success is how you and your partner tell your “story of us.”

Do you focus on the negative aspects or on the positive ones?  Do you present your partner in a good light or in a bad light?

Conversation

... is the most important part of a relationship.

How you start those serious relationship discussions predicts how the conversation goes. Start off positive and calm. And then listen.

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A “power imbalance” in a relationship

Power in relationships is the ability of each person in the relationship to influence each other and direct the relationship.

Being in control makes people feel good and may place the ...

Negative relationship dynamics

  • The demand-withdrawal dynamic. One partner seeks change, discussion and a resolution to issues within the relationship, while the other partner is withdrawn, and tries to avoid the issues.
  • The distancer-pursuer dynamic. One person tries to achieve a certain degree of intimacy with their partner, while the other considers this affection to be "smothering."
  • The fear-shame dynamic. The fear and insecurity of one partner would bring out the shame and avoidance in the other. 

Positive power struggle

Not all power struggles are destructive. Some types of power struggles allow growth within the relationship and encourage a deeper understanding and respect for each other.

While it is still a struggle, by the end of it, you have reached an understanding about which lines can be crossed, which not, and how much each partner is able to compromise.

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Good Relationships Take Work
Good Relationships Take Work

Merging your own ever-shifting life, needs and wants with those of another person takes work if it is to succeed.

How much work it actually takes might ebb and flow, but expect to inve...

Your Partner’s Flaws

Loving your partner's flaws is not always realistic. Some people have habits that are slightly disgusting and impossible to "love." 

Simply accepting them and learning how to shrug them off and minimize their importance is much more realistic.

Going To Bed Angry

The context might be such that you just can’t solve a problem before bed. Be realistic and settle for an agreement to never go to bed without at least deciding when to continue the discussion or argument.

Also, some people actually need to cool down before they can continue a productive discussion, so taking a break could be wise.

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Unresolved conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth. The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes.

Being honest

The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the person you love.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel-good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right.

Being willing to end it

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. 

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

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The Negativity Bias
The Negativity Bias
... or the Negativity Effect is a tendency most of us have to respond more strongly to negative events and emotions than to positive ones.
Any further action that is ...
Magnified Faults

The Negativity Effect magnifies and distorts your partner's faults, whether real or imaginary.

The partner starts to wonder why isn't there any appreciation for all the good that is being done, and why the focus is only on the one bad thing.

Going Downhill

Relationships, especially long-term ones, don't get better with time but are kept intact by avoiding decline.

Married couples find contentment in other sources and remain satisfied with each other, and if not so, then the marriage breaks down.

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Soft language vs. hard language
  • Soft language: it uses “I” statements and focuses on the actions that took place, how they made us feel, and what we want to happen.
  • Hard language: it starts wi...
Create space

It's useful to agree in advance to call a “timeout” or “press pause” before arguments begin.

It will give you the time to work through what happened. Because arguing when you are in a low emotional state is not going to help you.

What if…?

Ask yourself these questions: “What if the other person had a point? What if I wasn’t being honest with myself? What if I wasn’t taking responsibility for something?”

This will provide a new lens through which you'll see the situation. You might realize that there are things you could take responsibility for, that you were probably ignoring based on your initial triggered response.

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Humor In A relationship

A sense of humor is desirable in a relationship, as people, especially men seem more desirable if they are funny.

The humor effect is not universally the same, with short-term relationships g...

Humor During Stress

Generally, humor is a great ice-breaker and social lubricant, but if there are stressful situations in a relationship, humor actually increases the chances of a break-up or divorce.

Laughing With Your Partner

An intimate relationship requires opening up with your partner and being vulnerable, something that may feel uncomfortable to some people. Relationship satisfaction is affected if:

  • Couples like to laugh at others.
  • Partners like if someone laughs at one of them, or if the other partner makes fun of them.
  • Partners dislike if the other makes fun of them.

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Cherish your life
Cherish your life

Everybody is aware, in a certain measure, of the different truths life provides us with. One of them, which is also the scariest, is related to the fact that eventually, we all die. 

How...

Work hard, live longer

One of the biggest truths you will ever come to realize is that hard work, ambition and targets give actual meaning to your life. 

Furthermore, once you have given a purpose to your work, you will most certainly see that motivation goes a long way into making someone's life more interesting to live.

There is a limit to happiness

Whoever believes that happiness knows no bound is in for a big surprise: happiness, like everything in this world, knows limits and very often we perceive this fact maybe just a bit too harsh. 

In order to enjoy life and to get to feel happy, as much as it is possible, one should first be able to deal with difficult situations. Therefore, maturity tends to be seen as the key to ensuring a satisfactory life.

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Behavior is contagious

Context is the most powerful catalyst for changing your life. And the persons you associate with often determine the type of person you become. 

For people who want improved he...

Making friends = Making happiness

Time spent making friends has a higher happiness Return on Investment than time spent making money.

Also, introduce friends to friends. Friends becoming happy increases your chance of happiness by 45%. Keeping the network happy protects you against unhappiness.

Friends are family

A few studies looked at the genetic similarity between friends and found that on a very deep level you resemble your friends genetically. 

What this means is that, basically, your friends are kin that you choose.

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The "kindness pandemic"

Viruses aren’t the only things that spread through networks of people. Attitudes and behaviors do too. And we should take advantage of it. 
Spreading happiness and kindness right now is ...

Spreading connection

70% of our happiness comes from your relationships with other people. And the social distancing situation has left some with zero people around them. 
So reach out. Extended time without social contact is bad: Send a text, make that phone/video call, anything you want to let people know you care and are thinking about them.

Spreading help

Ask people if they need anything.  There are people out there in need of a little more than well wishes right now. And when people see others helping, they’re more likely to help. 

Also, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

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Communication needs improvement if:
  • You are having trouble getting through to your spouse; you talk about the same issue over and over again without coming to an agreement.
  • You seem unable to have a decent conversation...
Just Communicate

It is difficult to discuss some sensitive subjects, and we are tempted to avoid them. Other times we simply expect our partners to know what we are doing, thinking or what we want.

It is much better to get things out in the open regularly rather than waiting to have big rows that might damage your relationship.

Listen actively

Be curious about your partner’s point of view rather than trying to anticipate every situation. Active listening involves:

  • Paying attention to your partner.
  • Tolerating your silence.
  • Paying attention to your partner’s nonverbal communication.
  • Reflecting and paraphrasing what your partner is saying: I hear you say you feel angry when I ….. Is that what you are saying?

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