WARNING! At first this post could seem to be focused towards those who are on there second or third marriage, so those of you who are not in that situation might want to discard the information. However, I bet everyone can see a little bit of themselves in what I am about to say. Stay with me for a second.
Don’t over complicate things. You don’t have to learn the in’s an outs of NLP. No need to be a master of body language. If you want to build a relationship of trust, especially with your spouse or your kids, just follow these 5 simple steps.
1. Let them know you care about what they have to say. – They can tell if you are actually listening or if you are just waiting for your turn to speak. If they feel that you actually want to hear their opinion, then they will be more open.
2. Don’t get distracted. Cell phones, televisions and other people can be huge distractions. The moment you glance down at the phone because you heard a ding, you’ve lost them. However, if the phone dings and you don’t even flinch, they will know that your conversation with them is more important than a text from someone else.
3. Ask questions: The more the better. Just like the layers of the earth, it usually takes about 7 to get to the core of the conversation. At about question 4 their subconscious takes a mental note by thinking, “wow, this person actually cares.” It will go a long way in their connection with you.
4. Balance the give and take: No one wants to fee dominated in a conversation, nor do they want to feel like they are dominating. When you have a good balance of opinion you both walk away with a feeling of trust.
5. Be willing to disagree with a desire to understand: Don’t be fake but don’t be a dishrag either. If you don’t agree with them, it’s probably because you don’t fully understand their point of view (see #3). However, it is impossible to believe you will agree with everything they say, all the time. So make sure you are clear that you not agreeing doesn’t mean you don’t like them. Tell them that you appreciate their opinion and that they are willing to share it with you.
In a marriage, as a parent, in sales or just in meeting someone new, building relationships is vital. Learning to build one based on trust and mutual respect is achievable rather quickly if you are willing to follow these steps.
In every conversation over this next week try to include all of these steps and see how fast your relationships improve.
In honor of Valentines Day I thought I would share a video training I did for a private group on the gift of Emotional Currency. You might be spending time and money getting chocolates and flowers and all she wants is for you to sit and talk with her. Or you might be thinking all I have to do is have sex with him, when what he really wants is of you to tell him how awesome he is.
Emotional Currency goes one step beyond the Love Languages and shows you how your “currency” changes and what to do about it.
You heart is pounding harder everyday it gets closer. You wake up in the morning with the stunning realization that it’s getting closer and you have yet to get your special lady anything. You are not 100% sure if when she said, “Hey, don’t worry about it this year” she actually meant it.
Knowing your co-workers are going to be asking you what you are planning on doing for her, your impulse is to lie, because you haven’t done anything yet, or to exaggerate so you come off looking like Romeo amongst your peers.
The cards, the candy, the restaurant, the flowers, the sitter, the sex (and the aftermath if it doesn’t go right) can amount to a lot of pressure. Sometimes you think your chances of survival might be better if you were on a soldier on D-day rather than standing at a her doorstep, or walking in your home, with a card and flowers you hurriedly picked out at the local supermarket on V-Day.
Will your relationship survive yet another let down? Is there an easier or alternative to the “normal” way people celebrate Valentines?
Don’t stress! You can survive Valentines day. In fact, you can knock her socks off just by tweaking a few of the things you are conditioned by society to do. The main request I hear from women is that they want you to communicate more- show her how you feel about her.
Demonstrate to her that you care about her enough to do more than just buying something off the shelf. The key is to customize your efforts! Here are a few quick and easy alternative Valentines day ideas on how you can make this and any day you choose, one that shows them appreciation and love.
1- Instead of buying a card, write them a letter. Even if it’s just a simple note that tells them how much they mean to you. You can include things like your memories of the first time you met, your first kiss or the first time you knew they were the one for you.
2- Instead of buying candy, make or bring home their favorite desert. If you are not a good baker, get something made by a local baker that means more than just a heart shaped box that anyone can by.
3- Instead of flowers, make a mixed tape. It’s fun and with itunes its really easy. Of course you can pick songs like, ” Every Rose Has it’s Thorns”, “Kiss from a Rose” and “The Rose”, but you might want to stay away from “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore”.
4- Instead of going out to a crowed restaurant, bring home dinner- Have a candle light dinner together, just the two of you. If you want to make it a family affair, enlist your kids to be your waiter and dining staff. They will not only love it, they will learn a great lesson from you. If you want it to become a romantic night, send the kids to grandparents, a babysitter’s home, or splurge to send them to a movie with friends.
5- Instead of buying a gift like a ring or a necklace, give the gift of touch- draw her a bath or set up a massage table and give her the gift of relaxing. (Ladies, you can also draw a bath for him and set up a massage table, I’m not discriminating here). Set up candles and soft music. Let them be 100% focused on themselves for a while. I know it’s Valentines, but make this all about them, with no agenda of your own other than letting them enjoy it.
Valentines day is a day of remembering and celebrating. Even if you are not into it, or think it’s too commercialized, or feel like its too much pressure, simple gestures from your heart can show her how much you care without the hoopla.
Hopefully you can take some of these substitute suggestions and use them throughout the year, not just on this one day in February.
What other customizations can you make to Valentines traditions so that you create a unique, romantic and special night for your lady?
Share them with us below.
I don’t know what it is about lists, but we seem to love them. Top 10 this, Best 21 of that. We like to have something to check off. I think it makes us feel like even if we can only get a few things checked off, we are on the right track. One of the most popular segments of our training is when we give our list of the 13 Traits of Happy Couples. I’ll share that one tomorrow. For now. Here is a list from Yahoo and Redbook that gives us some insight into the Secrets of Happy Couples. Do you agree or disagree with them? If so, which ones?
They look lovingly at each other across rooms, finish their partners’ sentences, and playfully poke fun at one another. Here’s how those blissful twosomes keep the romance alive. REDBOOK.
1. They celebrate a unique anniversary
Your wedding anniversary is a lovely date to remember, but it’s not the only milestone that matters. It’s even more intimate to celebrate less public moments of which only you two know the true meaning, such as your first kiss, first vacation together or – hey – even the first time the pregnancy test turned blue.
2. They stash pleasure money
Sure, you have funds earmarked for bills and savings, but every couple also needs a just-for-fun account to fund the occasional, much-need indulgence, says Brown University psychiatry professor Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men. “Put some money aside that won’t destroy your budget when you use it,” he says. Spend it on a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip, a pricey bottle of champagne or front-row tickets to a concert you’re dying to see.
What is the number one thing you think that can improve your marriage? How do you get from breakdown in your relationship to build up?
We often talk about how turning your spouses little things that “bug you” into silly little quarks in your mind is a very powerful tool in stay in love with your spouse.
In her report, Julie Hanks explains that one of the most important things you can do is to show empathy for your spouse.
The following article gives you an insight into the 10 things happy couples do to increase their empathy for one another.
On a rainy night in February, Dino and I braved the traffic and drove to downtown Salt Lake to spend an evening with Jack Canfield. I have heard him speak before, but I was optimistic that I’d get a deeper understanding or a new perspective on something if I went.
And boy was I right.
Of course the presentation was meant for individual, personal development and business strategies, but I saw them through my marriage mentor eyes, and immediately applied them into my own relationship.
8 nuggets if wisdom for increasing my marriage:
1. Take 100% responsibility- act as if I created it all. If I am willing to accept how I created, or allowed every circumstance in my life, then I’ll also realize I have the power to change it. Instead of being a victim to my spouse’s actions or attitude, I will be able to create my own reality of the situation.
2. Event + Response= Outcome- This is a classic Success Principle out of Jack’s book. Instead of blaming the event, I need to change my response. So much of my mentoring work with couples is spent trying to apply this in their relationship. Even if your spouse does something “wrong”, the way you react largely determines what will happen next. Will this be a learning/come together moment? Or will your emotions flare and create disconnect between the two of you?
3. There are 3 steps to my successful & happy relationship:
- Stop doing things that don’t work
- keep doing the things that do work
- try on new things that I’ve never tried before
4. Have to give up the evil twins of blame & complain. These are 2 of the most toxic elements in a marriage. This echoes back to step #1 – stop projecting my negative feelings and results onto others, and taking ownership of them myself.
You can’t complain about something you can’t change. We only complain about stuff we know can be different & changeable.
A more honest definition of Complaint is, “I have something to change, but am not willing to take the time or effort to create it.”
Dino & I have a motto that “There are no obstacles, only problems to be solved.”
5. 3 responses we have control over:
- behavior- How I react, the actions I take.
- thoughts- What I allow to linger in my mind, belief systems I accept.
- imagery- Mental pictures I use to create my outer world.
We have the ability to affect matter through our mind, and I don’t think most of us, including myself, completely comprehend how much power we truly have or we’d utilize it better.
6. Replace “I can’t” with “I won’t”- This one stings sometimes when I own it, but man it’s powerful. Anytime I catch myself saying “I can’t”, I replace it with “I won’t”, which is a more accurate description of what’s really going on. Ouch! Again, it goes back to the 100% responsibility for myself, and not blaming others.
7. Eliminate guilt. Man, can you think of a more debilitating emotion than guilt? According to Jack, a good definition of guilt is: Having a belief that I, or my spouse, are supposed to be different than we are. That’s a no win proposition.
Instead, I’m choosing to:
- Change belief that I’m supposed to be is different than I am
- Live up to belief of who I really am
8. Take action daily- It’s one thing to learn great principles, and it’s another to actually put them into practice. What I’m doing, and I suggest you do as well is to take 5 steps daily towards creating the marriage I want.
Some ideas for taking action daily:
- demonstrate gratitude
- give compliments and praise liberally
- acknowledge my spouse for all the little & big things they do for me and the family
- laugh and find the humor in life
- connect emotionally, spiritually & physically every day
These are some starting tips for how to proactively strengthen your marriage, and they’ll create amazing results.
Final thought I have for you:
Keep your feet pointed forward. Usually breakdown in marriage comes when we are looking back at our evidence from our past instead of the future we want and can create. When I am confused, cranky or unhappy in my marriage, a great question I ask myself is: ” What am I not seeing because I’m focused on what is or has been, rather than my desired vision?” That usually shifts my perspective to where it needs to be-forward thinking.
I hope you find value in this relationship advice, and that you will incorporate them into your marriage.
I am curious, which nuggets resonated most with you? Please share in the comments below. I read every one of them, and I’d love to hear from you!
“Don’t ask for easier problems in marriage, ask for a greater you.” -Jim Rohn