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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



It’s easy to react in anger and elevate the discussion to the status of argument when feelings are running hot. It’s important to follow some ground rules for communication: Don’t talk over each other, no name-calling and don’t put each other down.

Recalling past grievances is a common mistake when communicating, but it’s essential to resist lingering resentments and vendettas. You must decide that you won’t hold on to the anger any longer, in order to move forward.


Making the Connection

Soon after making the commitment to improve a relationship, you may encounter roadblocks. “There are certain facts of life that we cannot change, unavoidable ‘givens’ of human life and of relationships, especially,” says David Richo, author of The Five Things We Cannot Change and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them. One of these five constants is that things do not always go according to plan.

You may be fully committed to change, but when the other person refuses to cooperate or compromise, the process becomes much more difficult. Experts concede that trying to improve a relationship with a resistant person is a difficult feat. “Many people only want to change if their partner changes, as well. That way it becomes bartering,” explains Sumner. “They are not prepared to change if their partner does not want to change first. It then becomes the proverbial chicken-and-egg situation.”

If you encounter resistance, you may feel frustration because your expectations are not being met. The expectation of immediate change is unrealistic. However, you may be surprised to find that even your most stubborn adversaries are willing to meet you in the middle.

Practice Makes Perfect

Everyone slips up. You may feel goofy fawning over your spouse. You may roll your eyes behind your boss’ back. You may snipe at your mother for prying into your love life. But when it comes to opening the lines of communication, a steadfast earnestness pays off.

Indeed, new methods of communication may seem odd at first, but they work over time. It may take more than 30 days to repair your relationship, but laying a stable foundation makes for future success.

* Names have been changed

Posted: 10/3/07
VAL3214

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  • By VAL3214
  • on 7/27/20 1:07 PM EST
VAL3214

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  • By VAL3214
  • on 7/27/20 1:07 PM EST
katherine00

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  • By Dena01
  • on 4/15/18 7:55 AM EST
AlexPatricia

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lilliede81

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.

buckeyejen

very helpful! excellent!