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Difficult Relationships: 5 Easy Ways To Improve Them, Backed By Research

The Little Things

Just asking people, "Is this a good time to talk?" increases compliance with requests.

Show that you care by doing little things, even if they're ridiculous.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Difficult Relationships: 5 Easy Ways To Improve Them, Backed By Research

Difficult Relationships: 5 Easy Ways To Improve Them, Backed By Research

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/10/difficult-relationships/

bakadesuyo.com

6

Key Ideas

The two sides of a relationship

Sometimes our closest and most important relationships are also the most difficult. Our relationships are both cooperative and competitive. We work together with the ones we love but also have a bit of rivalry going on at times. That is why friends and loved ones can have such a positive influence; these relationships can also lead to envy.

We can get close to the people we love while making sure they feel like we’re on their side, and not a rival to be outdone.

Spill Some Coffee

Doing everything to make your life seems perfect may make you a target for resentment.

People who inspire the most trust are those who show warmth and competence. While we may be competent, warmth may be lacking. To ensure you don't inspire envy, screw up a little. It will make you seem more approachable. Embarrassing yourself makes you a lot more human.

The Little Things

Just asking people, "Is this a good time to talk?" increases compliance with requests.

Show that you care by doing little things, even if they're ridiculous.

Imitate The One You Love

Perspective-taking (thinking about the other side's interests) will help to meet the needs of both parties. Mimicry helps with perspective-taking. Sit as they do, fold your hands as they do, etc. It helps us truly understand what another person is experiencing.

Happy couples that have been married for many years tend to look alike due to perspective-taking and mimicry.

Ask Them For Advice

The way to get others to see your perspective is to ask them for advice. When we ask them for advice, they put themselves in our shoes and look at the world from our point of view.

A common fear is that we may seem less competent, but when we ask for advice, as long as the request is not completely obvious, we appear more competent. Advice signals respect and deference.

Apologize The Right Way

To stop a difficult relationship from getting even worse, apologize in the right way: Promise to change. It is one of the most important components of an apology.

When you're reluctant to apologize, try focusing on the results you might achieve as opposed to who is right or wrong.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Arguing over text

Couples who argue over text; apologize over text; and/or attempt to make decisions over text, are less happy in their relationships.

Not having kids

This isn't to say you can't be happy if you have kids--it's just to understand that it's normal to not feel happy sometimes. 

Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have a long-term partnership with children, but the reality of kids is that they're very stressful on relationships.

Having friends that stay married

Research shows you're 75 percent more likely to get divorced if a friend or a close relative has already done the deed.

Attending to the health of one's friends' marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one's own relationship.

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Resentments Build

Timeliness is crucial for workplace apologies. Tensions can easily escalate to the point of making work unbearable for one or more partie...

Consider Legal Entanglements

In some situations, an apology can equate to an admission of guilt. If there are any concerns about the repercussions of an apology, you may want to consult with your legal department before making it.

However, if you messed up and the results are catastrophic, it's important to own the mistake and accept the consequences. If you try and shift the blame, someone else might pay, and others may lose respect for you. 

Don't Assume Fault that Isn't Yours

If you are wrongly blamed for a mistake, make your case and speak up for yourself. 

You may be tempted to cover for others, and while helping someone else out of a tough spot may seem noble, this could eventually evolve into someone using you as a doormat, or escaping responsibility for repeated mistakes.

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Practice self-care as individuals
Your disappointments in your partner often reflect your disappointments in yourself. Your acceptance of your partner often reflects your acceptance of yourself. 
Thus, the first step to hav...
Stand together
Don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM and no one else.  
The relationship is unique

Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect.  Keep in mind that all relationships have their ups and downs.

Focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be.

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Be sincere

The only time to apologize is when you’re genuinely remorseful. 

Avoid any apology that is forced. The person you are apologizing to will pick up on your ...

Be honest and vulnerable

In order to show your sincerity when apologizing, you must be honest and vulnerable. That can lead to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. It can also lead to rejection, which is what makes it so scary. 

When you apologize, be willing to share openly and candidly, allowing emotions to flow freely, so that you can be fully seen.

Admit fault

Take responsibility for your actions and admit your mistakes or transgressions. State them out loud. Yes, it will be scary. It will feel shameful for a time. But it is worth it.

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Identifying Difficult People
  • The Perfectionist. If you are looking for quick results, perfectionists can be a source of frustration.
  • Control freaks. When you want to do th...
Identifying the Issue

Turn the situation inward and analyze your triggers and reactions to these situations. 

  • How do you react to a difficult person in your life?
  • How does your difficult person react to your reactions?
  • If the other person is the problem, are you growing unhealthy actions and reactions in response to him or her?
  • Are you the difficult person driving others to reactive behavior?
  • How do others react to your actions and responses?
Mitigating These Situations

Separate the facts from your assumptions. 

Separate yourself and your reactions from the negative emotions you may be feeling in the moment. 

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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: res...
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.

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A Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame. 

Saying sorry puts one’s shameful beha...

The Chance to Move Forward

When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize. 

By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation. 

From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.

How to Make a Good Apology

A high-quality apology has three elements:

  1. It accepts responsibility for the wrong and doesn’t even hint that outside forces, or the victim, caused the offender to do what they did.
  2. It’s unqualified. If the apology contains a “but,” it fails. There’s time later—after the injury has had time to heal—to bring up any qualifications that might be relevant to future interactions.
  3. It offers to make amends to avoid the transgression in the future.
Enhance your Relationships
  • Give your undivided attention. Put away the cell phone, set aside your task list and quiet your internal monologue.
  • Check your personal agenda at the door. Resist the urg...
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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We all make bad decisions

While we may not like to admit this, we all are making a lot of bad decisions, be it our personal lives, careers or in our jobs. Here is what research says about making good decisions:

The right information, not more

If there is too much information, we tend to make the wrong decision, and even if our decision is well-researched and considered right, we end up dissatisfied. 

The right information, even if less, provides clarity to make the right decision.

Gut feelings vs logic

A gut feeling, or an instinct, is often the right path, and points towards the right decision.

Ultra-rational, logical and unemotional decision-making does not guarantee that the decision taken will be the right one.

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