Threatening or Trusting

If a partner needs to work late, do you threaten them that they’d better be back on time, or that they’d better be telling the truth about their plans? 

Learning to trust your partner’s commitment can ease a relationship’s path. 

@carlos_tb483

Love & Family

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Criticizing or Listening

Do you tend to hear your partner out when she’s sharing his or her perspective or do you jump in quickly to point out the problems with their views? 

Try listening and giving your partner space to share their opinions—it’s easier to find a compromise or the best solution when everyone has a chance to share their thoughts.

Blaming vs. Supporting

When things go wrong for your partner—on the job, with friends, or personally—do you tend to identify the faults in them that may have led to their difficulties or do you offer support and a willing ear? 

Tearing down your partner when the world is doing a good job of this already does no good for your relationship.

If your partner is taking on a new challenge or trying to solve a problem or fix something that’s broken, do you complain about their success and pace or do you offer encouragement and act as a cheerleader? 

Improve your partner’s chance of success by giving them space and positive encouragement. You should view yourselves as a team, not as rivals.

If you have a set way of looking at the world or doing things that are 180-degrees different from your partner’s, don’t nag them to change how they do things; respect the differences that exist and let yourself off the hook for being the “expert” in everything. 

If your partner forgets to pick up groceries on the way home from work or forgets to set the alarm on a Monday morning, do you tend to insult or belittle them? 

Learn to accept the imperfection of others, as you expect others to accept in yourself.

When you want to convince your partner to do something your way, do you try to bribe them with promises of giving in to their requests later? 

Healthy adult relationships don’t function well when disagreements feel more like payoffs than negotiations or mediations. 

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RELATED IDEAS

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

It’s easy enough for someone to get defensive when they’re given constructive criticism. But when your criticism comes from a destructive place, it’s a communication killer.

9

IDEAS

Making up after an argument is central to every happy relationship.  A simple, honest “I’m sorry” is usually the most important step.  

When a child grows up in a dysfunctional home with unavailable parents, the child takes on the role of caretaker, learn to put the parents need first, and repress and disregard their own needs.

As the child becomes an adult, he or she repeats the same dynamic in their adult relationships.

Resentment builds when you don’t recognize your own needs and wants. A common behavioral tendency is to overreact or lash out when your partner lets you down.

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