20 Jun 7 ways to have an amazing relationship
via Eric Barker
Everybody would love to have an amazing relationship. But most of the advice you get isn’t from real experts. Whaddya say we just go ahead and fix that?
Albert Ellis was quite a character. He was controversial. Outspoken. A bit of a rebel. In fact, the book he’s most famous for was titled: How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything-yes, Anything.
Clever but a bit unprofessional, right? Here’s the thing: according to a survey of psychologists he was the 2nd most influential psychotherapist ever. Sigmund Freud came in third.
And he also covered romantic relationships, most notably in his book, Making Intimate Connections: Seven Guidelines for Great Relationships and Better Communication.
What did Ellis have to say about making your relationship amazing?
Let’s get to it…
1) Accept Your Partner “As Is”
No, you’re not going to change them. And as long as you think you will, you’re going to be causing yourself — and the relationship — even more grief.
Everybody has flaws. We’re all human. The goal is to be with someone whose flaws you can deal with.
Avoid blaming. Determine that you are in your relationship to enjoy yourself, not to try to fix, reform, or straighten out your partner. Be responsible for your own feelings. Allow yourself to influence your partner, but do not demand that he or she must change. Also give her or him the freedom to influence you.
And the research backs Ellis up. Trying to change your partner not only doesn’t work, it harms the relationship:
…when participants (N = 160) focused their relationship improvement attempts on changing the partner, individuals reported more negative improvement strategies, lower improvement success, and, in turn, more negative relationship evaluations… results suggest that targeting the partner may do more harm than good despite that relationship evaluations pivot on whether the partner produces change.
And what does John Gottman, the foremost researcher on marriage, say happy couples do? They accept one another as-is:
These couples intuitively understand that problems are inevitably part of a relationship, much the way chronic physical ailments are inevitable as you get older. They are like a trick knee, a bad back, an irritable bowel, or tennis elbow. We may not love these problems, but we are able to cope with them, to avoid situations that worsen them, and to develop strategies and routines that help us deal with them.
Accept reality. Accept your partner.
(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my new book here.)
So you can accept your partner’s flaws. Awesome. You’ve dealt with the bad — but what’s the best way to handle the good?
2) Express Appreciation Frequently
Show admiration, not criticism.
Avoid steady criticism. Acknowledge your partner often for small things. Find, discover, or even create things you really value about your partner. Say them. Honesty is important here. Avoid the main relationship “killer” — frequent criticism of your partner.
Again, Gottman agrees 100% with Ellis. Gottman spells out 4 things that spell doom for love, and take a guess what #1 is? Yeah, criticism.
Complaints are fine. Criticism is more global — it attacks the person, not their behavior. They didn’t take out the garbage because they forgot, but because they’re a bad person.
And what does Gottman say is one of the antidotes? Admiration.
Ever listen to someone madly in love talk about their partner? They sound downright delusional. They act like the other person is a superhero. A saint.
And research shows that is perfect. Gottman consistently found that people in happy relationships see their partner as better than they really are. Those in lousy relationships see their partners as worse than they really are.
And they didn’t just feel admiration; they expressed it:
Happy couples tell their tales with warmth, affection, and respect for each other… Spontaneous compliments are common…
(To learn the four things that John Gottman says kill relationships, click here.)
So you can cope with the bad and you’re expressing the good. But how do you communicate?
…keep reading the full & original article HERE