3 Pieces of Healthy Love
Relationships affect our health, our wealth, our business success, our daily enjoyment, and our life span.
As an adult, you have more control over the health of your relationships than you might realize. First, you get to choose who you spend your time with. Second, you get to choose how you interact and relate to others. In other blogs I’ve written about the “who“. This blog puts the control firmly in your hands by giving you three ways for you to examine “how” you show up in your relationships.
1. Tell the Truth:
Most of us don’t walk around thinking we’re dishonest, however, how many of us tell little white lies all day long. For example, when asked, we might tell our friend we like her skirt even though we think it’s hideous. Or, when you are too exhausted to go to book club, do we say that our husband is running late + our son needs help with his history project?
Yoohoo..stop! Sure, our intentions are good – we are usually telling people what we think they want to hear.
But why? Because we’re afraid of what others would think or are afraid of how they would react. Or maybe we think telling someone the truth would be hurtful. All of these reasons are made from a good place but are flawed in that we can control how another person thinks or feels. Ever. We only control our thoughts + feelings and when we say things that aren’t our truth, we end up hurting others.
2. Don’t Make Assumptions:
-He’s late to pick me up. He must be…
-She didn’t call me back. She must be angry that….
-He never returned my email. He must think…..
-He didn’t offer me dessert because he thinks ….
-She cancelled our coffee because….
In all of the above situations, it’s in our best interest to not finish the sentences in our heads and communicate openly with the other person instead. Why? Because we do not know what the person is thinking. We like to make up a bunch of stories about why things happen but we can not read other people’s minds. The only way we know what someone else is thinking or feeling is if we open our mouths and ask what they’re thinking. Find the courage to ask questions in your relationships and you will avoid drama. “When in doubt, shout it out” is a mantra I use in my coaching and personal life.
How does this work in real life? Take the above example of your friend not returning you call: Instead of making assumptions, be courageous and ask her why she didn’t return your call. What’s the worst that can happen? She’s angry you asked? Well, you already think she is angry so no loss there. Don’t make assumptions about other people, what they’re doing, or what they’re thinking. Communicate as truthfully as you can.
3. Don’t Take Anything Personally:
Nothing others do or say is because of you. If someone is critical of you or judging you for something you’ve done, it’s not about you, it’s about them. Think about it by reversing the roles and considering where you are judgmental in your life. If I’m in a restaurant, I could care less if someone doesn’t put their napkin on their lap before eating but sit me next to a family who spends the whole meal on their phones and boy do I become critical. Why? I don’t care about the napkin because I’m comfortable with my own table manners. However, the family’s phone behavior triggers me because I am sensitive about the amount I use my phone and its’ distraction in my life.
When we can see what we’re judging and how we are judging it because it’s something we’re working on or something, we can see how others’ judgement of us is a projection of their own feelings, their own experiences, and has little to do with us.
Take this week to look at your relationships with an open and un-critical mind. Where are you not telling the truth? Why? Where are you making assumptions? What would it take for you to communicate? Where are you taking someone’s behavior personally? How would it feel if you stopped?The more we communicate in our relationships, the more fulfilling our relationships will be. Click To Tweet