The month of love is over…Now what?

Speak your mind by Dr Guru Kistnasamy

To all those who love, are loved, and are in love, continue the Valentine’s Day spark forever. Valentine’s Day may have been commercialised, but it presented to you the opportunity to take your relationship to a higher level.

Here are some ideas to improve your relationships and continue the bond you felt when you were showered with love on Valentine’s Day.

(Ref. Psychcentral. C. Power).

  • Try first to understand before seeking to be understood. When you perceive something your partner says as being criticism, do you become defensive? If you do, you lose the opportunity to understand what your partner is thinking and feeling. Consider that your perception may be wrong.
  • Keep calm when discussing points of disagreement. The constant exchange of criticism and defensiveness can lead to anger and loss of control. When one or both of you become too emotional, take a break and resume your conversation later.
  • Be curious about your partner’s perspective. You may disagree but focus on how, why or where this view is coming from. This helps to ease the tension between you and leads to better understanding.
  • Identify your emotional triggers and learn to control them. Our upbringing, growing up experiences, and previous relationships shape our perspective. You may hear something that triggers an emotion from your past, but may have nothing to do with your partner. Recognise the trigger and you will be less reactive.
  • Practise using empathy in your relationship. View the situation from the perspective of your partner. When you respond empathically, a deeper bond of trust and safety is created. In this climate of openness and trust, problems can be more easily resolved.
  • Listen for the unmet need or emotion. When your partner complains or you feel criticised or blamed, your partner may have an underlying unmet need, desire or unexpressed emotion . Go below the surface and try to identify this unmet need.
  • Anticipate issues before they become problems. Learn from past mistakes and avoid repeating them. Talk about small issues lest they accumulate to form resentments that can explode. It’s time to retrieve your CDs and listen to lyrics made famous classics.

 

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