Feeling loved puts a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step.
First, you must understand before you can be understood.
This means you have to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking to find out what the other person is trying to say. Then when you know what that is, you can begin sharing your side of the coin.
Have you ever tried responding with, “Tell me more,” after someone has given you an earful, instead of reacting with, “What a load of rubbish”? He or she will be glad to tell you more and then you ask for more again and, of course, he or she will tell you more. You will find the situation will calm down and he or she eventually will say there is no more to say and wait for your response.
Responding to a situation is not the same as reacting to it. Reacting is a response with a negative emotion attached to it.
Usually, a reaction is an immediate negative action following a comment. If you want to change that to a response, all you need to do is pause. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down before you answer and bam! you have control of the situation.
The Chinese have an ancient saying that tells us “Anger clouds the mind.” The one I like, though, is a quote I read many years ago which says, “You will never be in control of your life until you are in control of your emotions.”
When you react with negative emotions (anger being one of them), you cannot think clearly and you often regret it later.
But if you pause, then you benefit in two ways. First, you are able to respond calmly and clearly. Second, you will not have to feel like your tail is between your legs when you apologize for your outburst later. This is a powerful feeling and strategy.
Therefore, I highly encourage you to be aware and apply this approach because it will change your life forever. It did for me and for the many people I know. The most important thing you can do in any difficult situation or moment of stress is the almighty “pause”.
Second, your set of values must be similar to your partner’s set of values.
For instance, how can you see your relationship working if your family is not high on your list but it is high on your partner’s list? Or, you are very religious and your partner can not stand the traditions of the church?
I probably will sound a bit controversial here, but I do not believe the old saying that love conquers all. Love saves all is what I believe.
The reason we have so many marriage break-ups is many people believe if they fall in love and they have problems and different values, love will overcome them.
But the results speak for themselves. More and more people are finding love turns to dislike and even hatred when you try changing or trading your values and beliefs to suit the person with whom you have fallen in love. This is not true love.
You change your values and beliefs only if they are not working for you, not because they are not working for your relationship.
I saw a friend of mine many years ago destroy his life as he knew it because he thought he was in love with his girlfriend, her values and her beliefs.
She was from a very select and strict religious background and he needed to change from his nominated church to a completely different one. He had to accept many rules and regulations to please his fiancée and obtain her parents’ blessing to enable them to be married.
It took him more than twelve months of intense training before he was accepted into his newly appointed congregation and family, but within two years, the marriage was all but over.
Everything was fine until he realized his world as he used to know it had disappeared completely.
His longtime friends slowly had drifted away from him. His family rarely invited or contacted him anymore. He did not like the strict rules and regulations imposed with his married life, which caused many disagreements.
He woke up one morning and found he had lost himself and the world he loved before and traded it for another.
You don’t trade your principles, values or beliefs for anyone. They are supposed to complement, enhance and be in harmony with each other.
Needless to say, his experience left him very sad. He ended up divorcing his “soulmate” with many more bad memories than good. It also took him a long and painful time to get his life back together, but the irony was, it was the love from his family and friends that saved him.
I have covered only two strategies here but very important ones.
I strongly encourage you to explore the possibilities these two new ideas will create in your life when put them into action. It will change your relationships for the better.