Making Positive Change in Your Relationship

Sometimes, life seems so complicated especially when it involves your relationships with other people. How should you act? What should you say? Should you continue to do what you’ve been doing? Is what you’ve been doing or saying the best way to go about what you’re hoping to accomplish?

If someone means something to you, you certainly want things to go as smoothly as possible. At times, the individual you’re dealing with may not have personal emotional significance but it’s still important how your interactions go because (s)he is your boss, important to your significant other, or will somehow have an impact on those who matter to you.

Yes, personal interactions are delicate. So, how do you figure it out?

A slight diversion, if you will. Have you ever heard the expression that “one of the definitions of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?” For our purposes what this boils down to is that if you’re acting a certain way with someone and you’re not getting the results you want, to keep doing the same thing would be insane: you’re not going to get better results!

Let me put it another way: Is what you are doing working? So, now you are likely asking, “How will I know if it’s working?” Indeed, there are indicators:

1. Check in with your own body. Do you feel relaxed rather than feeling a sense of tension? If you do feel calm, there’s a good likelihood that the other person does also.
2. How is the conversation going? If it is flowing, that’s an indication that there’s no upset.
3. Is the other person smiling and nodding? This is another good sign.
4. How does the energy feel between the two of you? You can actually sense when the energy is bad or heavy.
5. When the interaction is over, how do you feel? Again, if you have a general sense that it was good, then it probably was.

But, what if things are not going smoothly? Clearly, you want to be aware of what you can do to make things better. I offer you the following suggestions:

1. Depending on your comfort level, you might want to speak directly to the person and ask what can be done to improve things between you. I’d suggest that you start by saying that the relationship is important to you and you’re feeling like it could be improved. Ask if (s)he agrees and if (s)he has any ideas.
2. Become an observer and see how others who seem to get along well with this person relate to him or her.
3. We often make the mistake of giving to others in the way we’d like to be given to rather than the way they’d appreciate. You can ask directly how they’d like to be given to. Or, try a different form of giving (here are some different types: words, actions, gifts, physicality) and watch to see if you get different results.

As I’ve so often said before, relationships take work but by putting the work into it, the rewards are very fulfilling!