Humans are one of the few species that need relationships. Regardless of background, race, or faith, we are all searching for positive relationships. But often relationships are difficult to maintain and confusing to navigate. We get stuck between taking care of ourselves and our relationships. Sometimes we give up one in favor of the other.
Fortunately, there are some effective, easy-to-follow tips that help create positive relationships no matter who you are.
All of us have pictures in our mind of what we want. These are the ideals we are always seeking out and together these ideals are called our quality world. We have strong pictures in our quality worlds that have developed over time. A woman might have a successful career, a loving husband, and a house with a white picket fence in her quality world. A man might have regular fishing trips, a three-story house, and a big truck in his quality world. Or vice versa.
Share your quality worlds with each other with open minds. Listen to the other person, and listen to yourself without criticizing or complaining. This is often what attracts people to each other in the first place—sharing hopes and fears with someone who listens without judgment. Not being able to do this freely is a sign the relationship is not healthy.
You have the right to make any choice you want. When it comes to relationships, you choose every word, every response, every action. And, indirectly you choose your feelings through these words, responses, and feelings. It might feel like you are out of control. But that is just what you are used to.
Instead, create a positive relationship by taking responsibility for every choice you make. If you have blamed your partner for how you act, now you can take back this control. It takes practice to change your habits, but it is well worth it. You can also own every positive choice you make. Nobody is forcing you to be loving and kind. You are choosing these positive responses.
Just like we have been in the habit of blaming others for our responses, we have also been in the habit of taking responsibility for our partner’s choices. In a positive relationship, you are not responsible for what your partner thinks, says, does, or feels. You can love your partner, but it is not your job to make them feel loved. You can encourage and support your partner, but you are not responsible for your partner’s success or failure. Do not own your partner’s choices.
This liberates both partners to be who they are, and to enjoy each other without manipulating and controlling each other. It is a powerful step in creating a positive relationship.
You are in complete control of yourself. But trying to control the relationship and your partner can become toxic. In a positive relationship, you know you cannot make your partner love you and you cannot change your partner. Give up control of the relationship, and instead focus on how you can contribute positively through choosing your thoughts, words, and actions.
When you give up control, you also let go of controlling the future. The relationship might or might not work out. But all you can control is you. And when you realize and practice this, the relationship will have the best chance to be a positive relationship.
Would you like to learn more about how to create positive relationships and gain control over your life? Our Internal Empowerment Program is a successful, research-based program that is effective for every area of your life. We are looking forward to connecting with you!
IECAST is a 501 (c)(3), Public Benefit, non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating productive and mindful individuals, families, and organizations. We bring this vision into reality by developing diverse, internally empowered leaders who use the principles and practices of Choice Theory® as taught through the Internal Empowerment Coaching program. Our goal is to teach individuals, families, and organizations to reframe, reorganize, and reallocate resources to become effective coaches and leaders.