Want to better the relationship? Work on yourself first with 4 resolutions.

1.  Listen.  

2.  Don’t  expect others to change.  Concern yourself only with what you can manage.

3.  Don’t react out of emotions.  

4.  Seek help.

Let me explain.

1.  Listen.  It’s easy to get offended when others express their feelings.  Too often the recipient takes feedback as a personal attack.  Many times the feedback recipient jumps in only to cut-off the person giving feedback.  This is a defense mechanism.  Rather than listening and trying to understand a viewpoint, people too easily become offended.  As the saying goes, they need to leave their ego “at the door.”  Resolution– moving forward, listen without biases.  Actively seek the other persons viewpoint.  Realize, they may air their frustrations.  Realize their condemnation is not an attack.  Rather they’re frustrated.  Accept their frustration and allow them to get it off their chest.  Finally, repeat back what you’ve heard.

2. Don’t expect others to change.  Manage what you can manage.  It’s pointless to get frustrated and expect others to do things they’re not inclined to do.  Resolution– instead of trying to change others, focus only yourself.  Example, you wanted family time but your spouse wanted to include friends.  Focus on you- you can be more flexible and accommodate a night with friends.

3.  Don’t react out of emotions.  Emotions are pointless. They do more harm than good.  Remain neutral.  Feeling irritated or getting irked?  Resolution– take a 5 second inhale and a 5 second exhale, breathing through your abdomen.  Use those ten seconds to calm yourself.  Think of the beach, remind yourself why your thankful, sing a Sheryl Crow song, whatever, just breath.  Breathe deep and compose yourself.  Breathing helps to regulate emotions.  When people feel anxious, breathing becomes erratic.  Oppositely, when people are calm, their breathing is slow & rhythmic.  If you can regulate your breathing, you can control your emotions, and you can make a better choice how to react.

4.  Seek help.  Go through your health insurance and look for behavioral counseling.  This gives a person the option to speak to a professional over the phone, or in person.  Another option is speaking to a Priest.  Your church is a great resource for counseling.  And they’ll tie the council to a higher purpose, incorporating spiritualism.  Resolution– got a smartphone?  Download your health provider’s app.  We all have our cellphone on us at all times.  This makes it easy to find and schedule.  Call your parish office during normal hours and schedule a visit on your way home.

Remember, if you really care to improve a relationship, whether personal or professional, you must focus on improving what you control.  It’s work.  But the results will be worth the effort.



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