Four Blocks to Happy Relationships
Hi and Welcome to Issue #035 of Devine Online!
The quality of your life largely depends on the quality of your relationships. So why do most people run from one conflict to another feeling defeated and befuddled? If only other people would behave the way they were supposed to, then we’d all be happy....or would we? The answer is much closer to home than you think. The state of your relationships has very little to do with other people. Intrigued? Then read on:
Problem #One: Pointing out the Negatives
‘Jenny is a great person. I love her dearly....but...’ ....And here we go; Jenny snores. Jenny never listens. She’s messy. She dresses badly. She's too loving/not loving enough, too needy/not needy enough, etc...etc....Need I go on? Whatever Jenny’s bad points are, you can be certain of one thing; as long you continue to point out her faults, she will continue to show them to you! Oh but we really believe we are doing Jenny a favor by explaining what she must change about herself, don’t we? We like to think of it as 'Constructive criticism'. I suspect Jenny herself would call it persecution.
Whatever way you look at it, Jenny is certainly not going to be inspired to better herself when she's dodging at tirade of insults. So why continue to do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? When you are angry with somebody you love, it can be hard to remember what it is that you love about them. Yet this is exactly what you must do, because as you focus on these good things, that person will certainly begin to show you more of these things!
To clarify, let me refer back to some basic facts; what you focus on expands. Your subconscious mind will bring into your awareness everything that supports your beliefs to the exclusion of everything else. It does this to help you. I have seen many couples for therapy, and one thing I have noticed is that if one partner is feeling a certain way (rejected, unloved, disrespected or unheard), then usually the other partner is feeling exactly the same way. With this in mind, think about what you are not getting from your relationship and then start to give more of this quality yourself.
For example, if you feel your partner doesn’t do enough nice things for you, then start doing nice things for your partner and watch the transformation
– it is almost magical! As you take down the walls of righteousness and blame, your partner will begin to do the same. Change yourself and others around you will change. Expecting others to change while you sit comfortably up on your high-horse will very likely inspire them to do the opposite of what you are asking of them. Somebody has to make the first move. Will it be you?
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Problem #Two: Always, Every, Never
When we argue with those we love, we like to think big. He doesn’t just sometimes leave the toilet seat up, he ALWAYS does it. She doesn’t just sometimes forget to turn the heater off, she NEVER turns it off. We all do, it, and it is simply our grubby little ego
trying muscle in on the act.
Do you find yourself resorting to superlatives when you argue? If you are, then stay calm; Succumbing to the ‘Always Every Never’ bugbear will only leave you feeling defeated and deflated.
If you’re on the receiving end of the superlative attack, then begin to challenge your partner’s language. A little clarification
can go a long way, but don’t use it to score points. There’s a lot to be said for subtlety. For example, you might say; ‘Never? What about last Tuesday when I turned the heater off?’ As you challenge your partner’s language, he or she will begin to recognise their own tendency to exaggerate.
But it goes both ways. If you are going to use this technique, you must be willing to practise what you preach. Be mindful of labelling your partner or going to extremes. Whatever it is that you want from your partner, stick to the point and be reasonable about your request. Avoid using superlatives yourself, and stay in the present; what your partner did 3 months ago has nothing to do with what is happening now. Tempting as it may be to dredge up the past, it won't get you what you want. So what do you want right now? Ask for it in a logical respectful manner without blaming, and odds are you will get it.
Problem # Three: Mind-Reading
He doesn’t really love me. She thinks I’m stupid. Wow, if we truly had the mind-reading powers that we claim to have with our partners, we’d be kicking some major goals in other areas of life would we not? How many times have you caught yourself analyzing your partner’s mood/behaviour/tone of voice, and reaching conclusions of catastrophic proportion?
'Mind-reading' is dangerous on two fronts; firstly, you cannot, I repeat CANNOT know what your partner is thinking, because you are not your partner! Likewise, your partner cannot know what you want unless you explain
. It is a long-standing myth among couples that ‘if my partner really loved me he would know what I’m thinking’. Nuh-uh. Not now, not ever.
You must take responsibility for what you want, by explaining what you want. Your partner does not have an inbuilt mechanism that sucks out the content of your mind, and that’s why communication is vital. By the same token, if you are not sure how your partner is feeling, you must clarify; ‘when you said X, it sounded like you meant Y….am I understanding you correctly?’ Such a small sentence but so powerful.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all ask for clarification when we needed it? The problem is that we’re so afraid of rocking the boat, that we end up capsizing it. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask ‘what do you mean by what you just said?’ Good questioning will get you answers. Mind-reading will sink your ship.
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Problem #Four: Needing to Be Right
Oh, now here we have before us a big 'ole can of worms. If he is right then that must mean I am wrong…and if I am wrong, then my whole world crumbles. Here lies the problem most of us have with humility.
The truth is, no-one is ever right....and no-one is ever wrong; depending on who you are and how you see things. If you are anything like me, you probably think that the rest of the world is wrong most of the time. But that’s just your ego talking; that little bloke in there that says ‘I am Sonia Devine. I am a hypnotherapist. I am separate. The world should revolve around me.’
It is this illusion of separate-ness that causes us to dig our heels in no matter what the cost. Being belligerent is easy. Seeing things from the other person’s point of view is much more challenging, but ultimately far more rewarding. Be willing to back down sometimes. Learn to say sorry even when it’s not your fault. This frees you from the ego and that freedom is a blessing.
As you start to give more of yourself and relinquish your need to be right, you will find life goes much more smoothly. You will get more from your relationships, and you will find less reasons to be angry. If you are struggling in your relationships, ask yourself one simple question; 'do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?
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So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this issue of Success Express...have a great day!
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