Why Do Relationships Work – Final

It’s Valentine’s Day … Happy Valentines may the future bring to you the relationship you truly desire.

Over the last week I’ve been sharing with you the Seven Key Ingredients that I know are essential in making a relationship successful.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that today is the last of the series. If you’ve missed any click here http://bit.ly/yp2Rur happy reading.

Numbers 5 – Successful Relationships Are Aware of Their Triggers

We are triggered by associations on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis. Our brain associates information to other pieces of stored information continually – it’s how it works.

Do you remember a time when you were driving along and a song played on the radio that took you back to a moment in the past or the time you smelt bread baking in the oven and it reminded you of a time when you were younger or a road that you drove down that reminded you of the house you lived in when you were younger? In these moments we re-live the past experience as though it were happening in the moment. It becomes momentarily a reality.

A trigger is caused by events that remind us of something we’ve already experienced and in that moment we re-experience that memory, that time, that feeling and subsequently react accordingly.

So how do triggers affect our relationships?

Our partner’s can trigger memories within us unintentionally. They can do/say something, or not do/say something and this triggers a memory, a feeling is then created and we respond in a particular way – positively or negatively.  They are not aware of what they’ve done/not done; they simply face an unexpected reaction which could be positive or negative. The issue isn’t your partner triggering you; the issue is the trigger itself. You may have noticed the feeling you have will be something that you’ve had for a while, long before they even came along. The idea is for you to desensitise and ultimately remove your triggers.

It is therefore especially important to become aware of situations that trigger negative memories, recognising that they are simply memories and that we can make them unimportant.

How do you desensitise a negative trigger?

The first step you have to take is to be willing to realise that the only person holding onto the negative memory is you.

If you want to make it less important then simply ask yourself the following questions and note down the answers so that you can begin the process of distancing yourself from the memory and allowing you to be free to respond differently

  • What am I getting by holding onto this memory
  • What do I need to learn or know so I can make this unimportant

Number 6 – Successful Relationships Teach Each Other How They Like To Be Treated

I am sure you know how you like to be treated or perhaps not? Have you taken time to define how you like to be treated? What is acceptable behaviour? What is unacceptable behaviour? What will you put up with? Do you know? Or do you simply react and then it’s too late – the damage is done.

We learn from when we are really young that how we behave is sometimes not ok even when we think it is. I remember a time I was so excited when I got home because I had walked home from school all by myself – I was 5 yrs old – and instead of getting a big hug from my mom for having done something outstanding, I got a hiding. I can’t tell you how absolutely flabbergasted I was … here I was in my uniform feeling proud and excited and suddenly I get a hiding!

Yes we are often taught how to behave, what is expected of us, what is unacceptable even when we don’t believe it, even when it contradicts how we truly feel. We adapt and adopt so we keep ourselves from getting that metaphorical hiding and inside we are sad and unhappy.

How do you teach your partner how to treat you?

The easiest way is to set aside an hour of relationship time, perhaps weekly.  Set the time, make the environment as lovely and as comfortable as possible, add in some good food perhaps, whatever works for you, just no TV, ambient noise or distractions.

There is only one rule – simply accept what the other person has said, no questioning, no arguing, no defending, no commenting – simply listen and take it on board (yes I know this can be a little difficult in the beginning and I promise you it gets easier)

Select who goes first and then ask the following questions, when that person is done, swap

  • What do you like that I do?
  • What don’t you like that I do?
  • What can I do to make it even better for you?

Have fun with it – humour and laughter are great ways to help you through this process.

Number 7 – Successful Relationships Forgive Each Other

We don’t always get it right … forgive yourself and others and move on. Without the baggage life and relationships just get sooooooo much easier.

If you have found this of interest then please do let me know and if you have any questions or would like to discuss something then please get in contact. It would be lovely to hear from you.

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