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How to Improve Any Relationship by Thinking Like a Therapist

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 validate their struggles, make them feel heard and understood.

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How to Improve Any Relationship by Thinking Like a Therapist

How to Improve Any Relationship by Thinking Like a Therapist

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

nickwignall.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Seeing people like a therapist does is a powerful way to bond with your partner, and have good relations with your children and your boss.

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 validate their struggles, make them feel heard and understood.

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 reason, it helps to understand the underlying problems they usually have in this age, and be compassionate.

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 behaviour in motion.

Example: A certain morning routine like listening to the news can make us late for our work.

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 attention, injecting constructive positivity in your actions, rather than being critical and negative.

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 feeling makes the other person reciprocate, as he or she is able to understand your insecurity and less-than-perfect human aspects.

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Being vulnerable
Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships.

Everyone is vulnerable, no matter how much they try to avoid it. We are born vulnerable and stay that way for our entire childhood. Our relationship with vulnerability is something we are acquainted with, yet abandon as we merge into adulthood.

Vulnerability = courage
Vulnerability is an act of courage because you merge with your authentic self, instead of hiding behind a facade to appease others.

To embrace vulnerability as your greatest strength, you will need to become aware of your pain points. The paintings of Rembrandt are no less beautiful because of its flaws. It is upon examining it up close that you recognise the defects, while ignoring the complete picture.

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