July/August 2012 - 10 Top Tips for Better Relationships
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Relationships are one of the trickiest issues most of us face. When you stop and think about it, you’re in relationship with your spouse, your significant other, your boss, your friends, your kids, your neighbors, your college professor, your extended family, etc.
The biggest problem we bring to relationships is that we all have our own beliefs and programming which affect how we respond to others or see things. We’re constantly assessing and viewing events, situations and people through the lens of our past experiences and limiting beliefs. If you’re not aware, you react on automatic and you don’t actually see things for how they actually are.
Relationship issues are a common reason clients come in for hypnosis. Hypnosis can help release old patterns and limiting beliefs you bring to your relationships. This article also fits in perfectly with my 5 part series at the beginning of this newsletter on: “Taming The Drunken Monkey”
The following Top Ten Tips offer you some simple advice that you can begin to apply right now. Thanks to Colin G Smith a licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and author of 'The NLP ToolBox'
1. Remember that however unreasonable someone is acting
their behavior is derived from a positive intention. When
you 'act as if' all behavior has a positive intention
behind it, through discovering it, your life will become
more pleasant. An example: You meet an angry person and you
think how childish and silly they are. But if you were to
ask yourself, "what is the positive intention behind this
persons angry behavior?", you could come up with something
useful that allows you to feel more comfortable. For
instance people often act angry because behind this they
believe it will protect them from harm.
2. When you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in an
interaction 'get some perspective' by disassociating. In
your minds eye see yourself and the other person interacting
over there, rather like you would if you were to see a movie
of the situation.
3. Step into their shoes. This is one of the most powerful
methods for gaining wisdom about your relationships. To
begin you imagine communicating with the other person,
noticing how they talk, observe their facial expressions and
so on. You then 'step into their shoes' and see through
their eyes and hear through their ears. So of course you
will be looking at yourself! Run through a conversation
you've had before that could of been better. Notice
'yourself' and become aware of how seeing things from this
other persons perspective gives you knew insights into the
relationship. This method is described in more detail in my
4. What assumptions are you making about the other person?
Are you willing to challenge those assumptions? Pick one.
What is the opposite of that? Example: Narrow minded/Open minded.
Now imagine interacting with the person with this new
5. Step into the 'WE' frame: Think about a person you want
to get along with better. Disassociate: Picture both of you
interacting in your minds eye. Now allow yourself to find a
common purpose between the two of you. Of course if you
can't come up with anything you can always fall back on the
fact that you are just two human beings who are trying to
experience more happiness.
6. 'Funify' your boss (or that irritating colleague): Many
people experience difficulties communicating with their
boss. It's often due to being too serious. So here is a
simple, quick way to inject the antidote: FUN! Ok, picture
your boss or whoever. And then notice their facial features.
What stands out? Is it their nose, their eyes, eye brows,
chin? Now you simply exaggerate those features rather like a
caricature cartoonist does. Exaggerate and 'funify' it in
such a way that it makes you laugh or at least feel better
towards the relationship.
7. No Failure, Only Feedback (or Learning Experiences.) A
really useful way to make beneficial changes is to view
everything as a learning experience. So thinking about a
relationship you find challenging, notice how you usually
respond to the person and then ask yourself, "How else could
I respond?" How many different ways could you respond in
your interactions? Come up with at least 3 possibilities.
This enables your mind to generate more flexibility of
8. Often when we experience difficulties in our
relationships it is due to focusing on faults. This distorts
our perception of the overall relationship, which is really
a mixture of good and bad qualities. To re-focus our
attention on the bigger picture begin to remember qualities
you admire in the other person. Come up with three, picture
them, increase the size of the images and place them around
an image of the 'faulty' qualities of the person. And
remember positive intention, take a look at Tip 1 again!
9. What would be the consequence of staying stuck in the
same relationship dynamic with a particular person, say 25
years from now? The fact is if you want to experience
better relationships YOU are going to have to change your
viewpoints or attitude. It's OK, this can be fairly simple.
Imagine stepping into the future 25 years from now and look
back at that relationship and notice that it has remained in
the same stuck pattern year after year for 25 years! Looking
at it like this, acting as if it could really happen, allow
your feelings to arise that make you say, "enough is enough
I MUST change!"
10. Think of someone you would like to get along with
better. Choose someone of medium level "problematic-ness"
and then read the follow questions slowly: Isn't it true
that all of the problems that we experience when relating to
others is due to OUR feelings? What if we were to change our
feelings? This could make things easier didn't it?
If you want to experience more satisfying relationships you
are going to have to gain some new perspectives. Applying
one or more of the methods above will help you achieve this
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