The truth is, you can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions. If you think that you will be able to change your partner and mold them into someone else you are in for a lot of disappointment. Simply wanting to change your partner is a red flag that you don’t like them. You may be infatuated with certain parts of who they are but you are unwilling to accept them as a whole. Or maybe what you found once endearing now gets on your nerves! Instead of focusing on what you want your partner to change, I challenge you to make the changes you wish to see in your relationship.
- Take responsibility for how you contribute to your relationship; in every way. Often times, people get defensive and list reasons: “why” they do what they do. Instead, take your responsibility for the good and the bad that you bring to the relationship.
- Complain without blaming or criticizing. A complaint starts with an “I” statement and focuses on the behavior. Blaming and criticism focus on your partner and can be a personal attack on the person. For example: “I was so worried about you when you didn’t call” this is a complaint. Blaming/criticizing looks like this: “I was late for work because you are so inconsiderate”; this statement will only result in your partner becoming defensive and then the fight begins.
- Focus on fostering more compassion, appreciation, and empathy for your partner. Think about what it would mean to be them for 24 hours. Do you gain anew perspective?
- Learn your triggers and how to self-soothe when you are feeling overwhelmed. Your mental health (and that of your partner) plays a vital component in the overall health of your relationship. Do not neglect your mental and emotional health. The ability to self-regulate is one of ht most important (and life long) skills you can develop. One that will be necessary if your relationship is to grow and evolve over time.
Which one of the four traits listed above do you need to work on?