2 Relationship Hacks

Ever seen one of those relationships where both people just 100% totally understand what the other person needs all the time, and both partners just effortlessly read minds and live in perfect harmony?

Me neither.

It’s hard to know what the healthy boundaries in relationships are.

The old myth goes that if you’re in love with the right person, everything will just feel “natural” and you’ll be so connected that you won’t have to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate.
But back on planet Earth, it’s probably likely that you have some different expectations, even if only a little.

For example:

+How much independence do you both need? i.e. if s/he wants to spend every night at your place, whereas you need some private time a couple of days a week.

+Behavioural boundaries: does s/he constantly show up late to things? How does s/he act with your friends? Does s/he flirt with other women in ways you consider inappropriate?

+Is s/he thoughtful and caring in the ways you need?

To be clear: it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to sit down and hash all of your expectations out when you first decide to date someone.

Maybe you’ll off-handedly mention some during your early dates, e.g. “I love being with someone, but I definitely value my time on my own some days as well”.

But in general, some boundaries in relationships won’t be made clear until they’re violated. That’s when it’s time to set your boundaries and make it clear what you expect in future.

When this happens, be very clear about exactly what bothered you.

++DON’T: go silent, ignore, call names, or make passive aggressive attacks toward your partner.

++DO: Take time to say how you feel about it. E.g. “When you arrive late all the time, it makes me feel like you don’t value my time, which then makes me feel angry. Could you please come on time in future? I don’t mind it once in a while, but when it keeps happening it becomes really frustrating…”

That way you’re communicating, (a) what you’re feeling, and (b) how s/he can change to solve the problem.

Be sure to join the new online group for Ladies looking to turn their lackluster relationships into the relationship of their dreams. There’ll be an opportunity to join me for weekly Q + A’s along with monthly webinars highlighting the ways you can start showing up as your best self in your loving relationship – so you can build the relationship you’ve always dreamed about with your amazing partner!

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Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubepages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

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Assert Yourself – And Enhance Your Relationships

I recently connected with Dr. Julie Hanks for the “Beyond the Couch” podcast to talk about assertiveness tips. Dr. Hanks is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist specializing in women’s emotional health and relationships. She is the founder and director of Wasatch Family Therapy, author of The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women, a blogger, a local and national media contributor, an online mental health influencer, a life coach and a private practice consultant, and an award-winning performing songwriter. To learn more visit DrJulieHanks.com or connect with @drjuliehanks on social media.

Dr. Hanks and I discussed the ways that our relationships can actually be strengthened with assertiveness so that we can go on to connect in more loving, fulfilled ways with our loved ones. She shared three top tips for asserting ourselves in relationships:

1) Before you can be assertive ask yourself these four questions about the situation:

  • What do I think?
  • What do I feel?
  • What do I want?
  • What do I need?

2) OSCAR Assertiveness Tool

  • O – Observe the Situation
  • S – Sort Thoughts and Feelings
  • C – Compassionately communicate
  • A – Ask Clarifying Questions
  • R – Request Directly

3) When Communicating Choose the “Lantern Stance”

There are three communication stances: doormat (passive), sword (aggressive or passive aggressive), and the lantern.Imagine yourself standing with your feet shoulder width apart, centered and balanced, holding up a lantern as high as you can reach illuminating the situation. Envision yourself standing up straight, feeling strong and not easily swayed. Imagine inviting the person you are interacting with to step into the lantern’s light with you and ask this person to describe his or her experience and perspective.

Dr. Hanks explains that many people fear that asserting their needs will jeopardize their relationships. She goes on to describe how the five steps in asserting ourselves actually serve to improve our relationships with our loved ones.

You can access a free chapter of Dr. Hanks’ Assertiveness Guide for Women at assertivenessguide.com.

You can also listen to our discussion here. Be sure to let me know what you discovered as you tried these tips.

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you celebrate? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!