Obviously, I am not just talking about romantic relationships. We also have relationships with our parents, our children, our co-workers, maybe an ex-spouse, etc.
When one relationship is out of whack it can affect all of our other ones as well.
Here are 6 simple ways to make sure that each of our relationships is fulfilling and positive (most of the time).
These tips can work just as well for dealing with your spouse as with dealing with your next door neighbor.
1. Live Without Expectations
Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. When we expect someone to do something, or make us feel a certain way and they don’t we usually feel let down, disappointed, and resentful.
One of the biggest expectations out there is the happiness expectation. Especially with romantic partners, we want someone (really, we expect them to) make us happy.
Then when the shiny newness of the relationship wears off and we start feeling unhappy again (because we have not figured out that we need to make ourselves happy), we resent them for it. We feel they are to blame.
I know it sounds bleak but don’t expect anyone to do anything for you. Even on your birthday. If you want a special day, create one for yourself. Go ahead, make the reservations at your favorite restaurant, buy yourself flowers.
Plan a great day for yourself and if other people do something special for you, then that only makes it even more wonderful.
It sure beats sitting at home, resenting the fact that you are not being treated as the queen you are.
Don’t expect others to find something important just because you do.
For example, in my house the door to the garage gets extremely dirty. Every time I go out the door, I notice the dirt.
It used to bug me all the time. I would think why doesn’t my husband do something about this, he goes out just as much as I do. Is he just waiting for me to do it?
So every time I went out the door, a little deposit would be made in the resentment bank.
You know what I finally realized? It doesn’t bother him, at least not as much as it bothers me. It I want it clean, then I should clean it. It doesn’t matter whose chore it technically should be. Clean it, get it over with, feel better, and move on.
2. Set Boundaries
Boundaries are about you. They are not to be used as punishment. They are about protecting your peace.
Maybe discussing politics with your father always leads to a fight. You could set a boundary that you will no longer discuss politics with him.
Decide what you will do if the boundary is crossed. Maybe go for a walk, change the subject, or cut the visit short.
The next step is to inform the other person about the boundary beforehand.
Read more: Nicole Witt, Pick the Brain