Have you ever found success trying to get your loved one to change? Usually, not much! Why is this? Most individuals, at their very core, do not change until they are ready. How much time have you wasted pursing change and fell short? Are there more productive ways to create change? The reality is that change occurs in a relationship once the individuals in the relationship begin to change. What are some ways you can create individual change? Here are a few ways to get things started in the right direction.
Change your Assumptions
What assumptions do you carry that get in the way of change? After being together for a long time you know your loved one very well. Maybe you feel like you have mind-reading skills. How often do your beliefs get you into trouble? Or, create arguments? Assuming what will happen next does not leave room for change. Your loved one will only begin to see you differently when you begin to act differently. Your assumptions will only change when you challenge them. Trying new behaviors can open the door to changing your relationship. Don’t worry about making the “wrong” choice. When you try something new you will have some successes and failures. The key being open to fail so you can find more success.
Change your Approach
If you took a video of what you look like when you are frustrated in your relationship what would you look like? I know that visual could be quite scary! The first few words you use can set the tone for what happens next. Your tone of voice truly sets the table for how the conversation will unfold.
A fun exercise I often use with couples is to have them talk to themselves in front of the mirror. If you would like to try it out, here is what you do: Step 1: Choose a topic that you find quite irritating that you often argue about in your relationship. Step 2: Stand in front of your mirror and don’t be shy. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing! Step 3: Begin talking to your mirror as if you are having a conversation with your loved one (please don’t freak out after you see what you look like). Notice your facial expressions and tone of voice. After you are done it’s time to get honest! Did you look approachable? If you were the person on the receiving end of the conversation would you run? What’s your real chance of being heard based on your approach? It can be a real shocker to get a strong visual of what you really look like versus what you think you look like. The picture that you think you project is often quite different from the reality of how you really are. Call yourself out and be honest. It can totally change you and shift the way you interact with your loved one.
Change your Energy
What does your “energy” look like in your relationship? You can sense right away the difference between positive and negative energy. You can feel it! Being mean or pushy because you are frustrated will turn your partner off. If you change your energy you will begin to change your relationship. It’s as simple as that! The greatest challenge is changing your energy when you aren’t feeling positive or hopeful.
Remember, it’s your choice to bring positive or negative energy into your relationship. You reap what you sow. What do you want to reap? Everything will begin to change when you bring the right energy. The beginning steps can often be the greatest challenge. Often, the change in energy may not be noticed or accepted right away. The key is to stay on course and let your loved one know that you aren’t going to give up. You are fully committed to doing things differently and having a better relationship. After all, who said change is easy! Remember, it’s up to you to create the change you desire. If you and your loved one are willing to create individual change, the doors will open for you to have a completely different relationship. The real question is…Are you ready to leave your old ways behind?