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On the Relationships Blog

3 Ways Families Are Like Conveyor Belts

Conveyor belts are a great asset to businesses, whether they're used in warehouses, assembly lines, or other applications. In the same way, families are a great asset when each...

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Our Improving Relationships Experts

Brenda Della Casa

Brenda Della Casa

Internationally published author of Cinderella Was a Liar...

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Sue Blaney

Sue Blaney

Communications expert; empowers parents of teenagers

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Gay Hendricks

Gay Hendricks

Founder of The Hendricks Institute

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Finding Relationship Help

Perhaps this is the third time this week you’ve butted heads with your boss about how to load paper in the photocopier. Or maybe the thought of spending Sunday dinner at your parents’ place—and answering their pointed questions about your personal life—is sending you into paroxysms.

Of course, there’s no such thing as the perfect relationship: Even happy and healthy relationships contain some degree of struggle. But we can strive to improve the troubled relationships in our own lives—the key is to embrace the challenge and make an honest effort to understand the person with which we need to reconnect. Using tips from the experts, you can create a useful blueprint to help during your first 30 days of improving any relationship.

Stay Versus Walk Away

All troubled relationships aren’t created equally: Bickering with your spouse about an upturned toilet seat is a far cry from nursing yet another bruise after a physical altercation.

If you’re a victim of abuse, or are involved with someone with severe drug or alcohol addiction or violent, untreated mental illness, your focus should be on self-preservation. Please seek the outreach and self-help groups within your community that can assist you.

On the other hand, many weakened relationships of a non-violent and more stable nature are worth improving.

Placing Yourself Under a Microscope

Relationships are composed of two individuals with differing backgrounds, thoughts, beliefs and expectations. Presumably, each personality shares equal responsibility to make that connection; acknowledging this prevents you from blaming the other person or taking complete responsibility for the failure, or even success, of the relationship.

However, understanding others requires an honest understanding of ourselves, and most experts agree that self-examination—which often takes days and weeks—is the crucial first step in the process of improving relationships. For some, counseling is an excellent resource that aids in self-reflection.

Ernest* couldn’t understand why dysfunctional women kept entering his life. Then he realized all three of his failed marriages had one factor in common: him. “I felt horrible that I wasn’t the kind of person who could sustain a committed relationship,” says Ernest, who admitted his own degree of culpability after a period of reflection. “I had to finally admit that something in me needed fixing. I couldn’t blame the problems on them completely.”

Posted: 10/3/07


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I agree with MaryMary.
Each person can recognize, if they wish to, areas they can improve within themselves -- especially in communication, trust, optimism & consideration.
The only person you can change is you, so be good to yourself.


very helpful! excellent!