“You know what I love about you?”
If you want a great relationship, use this line as often as you can!
I learned it from my husband.
In fact, asides from his great lines, I learn a great deal from him all the time. There is a very clear line that separates who I was before I met my husband and who I am now.
Before I met him I was going through relationships in my life either leaving people hurt or getting hurt myself. I had my heart out on my sleeve and would get into emotional entanglements without much forethought.
My husband, however, exhibits the exact opposite patterns and tendencies. He always kept a safe emotional distance from the other sex, using remarkable restraint, knowing how to avoid pitfalls in his relationships and stay away from the ones he sensed were not for him.
Living with a person so different from me in all things emotional has taught me so much. Sometimes it’s difficult when our approaches conflict with each other, but on the whole, the integrating of our two personalities has helped me gain a perspective on relationships that is much more complete.
What We Should be Learning from Relationships
Unfortunately, in our days it’s so common for people to steer clear of relationships. The number of unmarried people in our culture is unprecedented, and the number of single young adults who say no to any relationship at all is rising.
Yet, ironically, it is especially today that being in a relationship has a huge benefit for our lives.
We are living in an interconnected world where knowing how to interact well with others is paramount to our success at every level.
Research shows that social skills may be the key to career success, and the jobs that are least likely to be automated in the future are those that require them most.
A long-term romantic partnership is exactly the place where one can hone the skills that they need to upgrade their approach to others.
Developing the emotional intelligence necessary to relate well to your partner can help you to understand everyone else better too, and harmonize yourself with the world around you.
It’s with your partner that you can discern all those fine details of your character, your outlook on life and learn how to use all that is unique about you, in a way that complements and fits well with others.
In addition to the natural integration that takes place between your characters and personalities, a partnership can be a great laboratory where you can proactively improve your social skills.
You don’t need to wait for change to happen, you can seek it!
Steps to Improving your Social Skills in a Relationship
How, in a nutshell, can we proactively work on our social skills within a relationship?
To begin with, two people are just two individualists, who are very far from one another. We need to develop the ability to change our initial self centered, limited perspective and begin to feel and know the other person’s reality.
- Get to know your partner better. A first step is to make the time to regularly talk to your partner about their likes and dislikes, their ambitions, desires, and future hopes. Try to wholeheartedly listen, to really take them in. This will gradually help you become a little more tuned to the other person’s needs and inner world.
- Respect your partner’s point of view even if it’s different from your own.It’s not just about hearing, but also respecting your partner’s wishes and perspective. It doesn’t matter if you have different opinions on politics or anything else, you just want to know your partner better. Practicing this kind of attitude will allow you to leave your own starting point and begin to come closer to your partner.
- Create an inner map of your partner. Initiating talks where you take time to learn more about your partner with respect and openness, will gradually enable you to form aninternal imageof the other, a kind of inner map of them. This includes their needs, their wants, their tendencies, what makes them happy, what makes them sad and what they yearn to achieve.
- See the world through your partner’s eyes. Using the inner map you created, try to feel your partner “from the inside”. Do this by blocking out your own judgments and trying to objectively sense what your partner is feeling and desiring. Use this inner map as often as possible to figure out how to make your partner happy, and how to avoid making them feel bad. Use it when you are thinking of how to help them and love them better. When you intend to feel the other person’s desires, thoughts, and passions in order to make them happy, it expands your perception, you begin to see the world through another’s eyes.
These steps can help you learn all you can from your partner. It can also help you become a more evolved, empathetic and sensitive person, enabling better relationships with every person you meet.
You will soon begin to experience that people around you find you more pleasing to be around, more easy to work with and more attractive as an employee and business partner. You will find that you can learn more from everyone around you.
Making your relationship a laboratory for improving your social skills is a huge benefit, that can lift you up from a world of fighting, and endless power struggles — or the alternative of just being alone- to fulfilling your fullest potential as a human being!