In this week’s blog post, I have written about how having a negative attitude toward your partner and unduly or overly criticizing them comes easily in the muddle of everyday life, but is also something that undoubtedly will have a very negative effect on the relationship between the two of you.
So this week, make it a week (or just a day!) without negativity. Well, admittedly, this might be hard, given how difficult it is to change our habits. How about that - make it a point for seven days to watch out for negativity in your interactions and then act when your chance comes.
How do you do this? Here are a few steps that can help:
1. Are there situations in which you usually hurt your partner or start a fight?
Since we’re mostly acting habitually throughout the day, it’s likely you often have conflicts over the same issues again and again. Think about these issues: Is it worth arguing about them? How can you reevaluate these situations or react differently? Then, watch out for these situations so you can be prepared for action!
2. Talk more about your own feelings.
Instead of blaming your partner (as in, “You didn’t purchase the right shampoo again, and I’ve told you at least ten times which brand I want”), talk about yourself and how you feel (“I get breakouts when I use other shampoos, so it’s really important you buy the right brand. When you don’t pay attention to getting the right shampoo, it really upsets me because I feel you don’t care about my health”).
3. Give yourself reminders.
It’s easy to slip back into old habits. Remind yourself of your project by using a bookmark that has your goals written on it, setting reminders in your calendar or having them pop up on your phone throughout the day, or teaming up with your partner so they can remind you when you fall back into old patterns.
4. Be forgiving of yourself!
People slip all the time, and it’s hard to change behavior, particularly in a long-term relationship when a lot of behaviors and interactions are based on routine and habits. You’re trying, and that’s what matters. If it didn’t work out so well one time, there’s always another time to try again. It’s only a failure when you give up trying!
Good luck! And as always, let us know how things went for you.