5 Daily Habits to Build Relationship Muscles

Here’s the thing about relationship skills: They’re skills. We’re not born with them. We’re taught them. Most of us are taught them by people who are statistically more likely to be divorced than happily married: Our parents.

Luckily we’re never too old to learn something new. But to turn information into a habit takes practice. Daily practice. Below is a list of the 5 habits that will have the greatest positive impact on your relationships. All of them. You can practice these on everyone in your life (and you should). I suggest you pick 3 and put recurring reminders into your calendar for 30 days to practice them. Then again, I’m not a fan of information unless I take action on it.

1.     Take a walk. Literally. Ten minutes a day, walk outside with anyone (ideally, someone you like).

2.     Catch ‘em doing something right. Then tell them. Feeling stuck? Here’s a list of things that people strive to be.

 

3.     Set a daily intention. Don’t just wake up and throw yourself into your day. Take 60 seconds and decide the impact you want to have on someone’s life each day.

4.     Forgive. Then move on. Forgiveness is a choice. You haven’t truly forgiven if you hold a grudge or bring up history when you’re upset (history = something you’ve previously accepted an apology for).

5.     Take turns speaking. Don’t speak over or interrupt when someone’s speaking. I get it. I have ADHD. Impulse control is not one of my top strengths. Plus I’m Jewish and Spanish. And a New Yorker. It takes discipline to wait for your turn.  That’s why I want you to practice daily for 30 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Signs You're a Power Couple: And Why You'll Stay Together

1. You support each other – even when it’s scary.  You encourage one another to shine brighter. And even though there are times when you have a twinge of fear that your partner could outgrow you, you resist the temptation to dim their light.

2. You express gratitude. Daily. For the little things. Because those are the things that add up.

3. You know how to play. You frequently tease each other, you playfully compete, sometimes you’ll share a workout. You regularly laugh together. You know how to disconnect from technology.

4. You have your own lives. You’re individuals with separate passions and interests. And you bring new stories about your interests to the relationship so that there’s always new content to discuss.

5. You know how to communicate. When you talk, you take turns, you actively listen, and then you express empathy and an understanding of each other’s perspective.

 6. You have shared values, principles and goals. You’ve taken the time to sit down together and discuss what you want out of life - and you’ve gotten specific. You’ve determined that you have compatible career aspirations, you’re in agreement about family, you’re on the same page in terms of finances, and you define quality of life similarly. 

7. You respect each other – and show it. You turn to each other for advice, you speak highly of each other, and you collaborate on projects.

8. You prioritize the relationship. Not just above career, but above kids too (furry ones included). Not only do you make time for each other, but if a career opportunity is contradictory to the values of the relationship, you pass.

 9. You help people. Not everyone’s a social worker in their day job. But even if you’re not, you understand the importance of having a tribe - of investing time and energy in them. The very traits that help you support your partner are the traits that make you care about people in general. Maybe you volunteer. Maybe you donate. But you understand that as humans, we need each other. And no matter how little you have (time, money, energy), you give some away.

 10. You’ve survived something terrible. And because of that, your relationship is stronger because you know you can weather a storm. You don’t need things to be perfect to be happy together.

 11. You know how to resolve conflict. We don’t always agree with our partners. In fact, life would be really boring if we did. You know how to disagree respectfully, you know how to manage your own emotions in times of high stress so that you don’t hit below the belt. And even though it’s not pleasant, you don’t avoid difficult discussions out of fear of conflict. Basically, you know how to have a fight.   

 12. You’re committed to growing and developing as individuals. You have a thirst for knowledge. You’re interested in becoming a better version of yourself, knowing that the more whole you are as an individual, the more you’ll have to contribute to the relationship. And since you both do this, you’re not at risk of outgrowing each other.

 13. You’re not afraid to go into couples counseling. Relationships are hard. Sometimes we need help navigating through a rough patch. You don’t expect to have all the answers. Moreover, because you want to grow and develop as individuals, it makes perfect sense to you that periodically you’d want to see a couples therapist, because you might learn something that will take your relationship to the next level. 

Harvard Cracked the Code on Happiness

If you had to guess the single most important influence on happiness, what would be your answer? Money? Fame?

I think most people would pick those.

And most people would be wrong.

Harvard University researchers have been following the same men for over 75 years, and they’re now following their children to identify the strongest influence on our happiness, health and wellbeing.

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier,” reports Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist, and Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Yup. It’s true. In the final analysis, when we’re each laying on our deathbed waiting to leave this life, we’ll evaluate our life based on how fulfilling our relationships were.

And numbers don’t matter. It’s not about how many friends you have. It’s also not whether or not you succeeded in your first marriage (committed relationship) or if you’re on marriage number six (frankly, if you’re on marriage 6, I think you should feel pride in your perseverance). It’s all about the quality of those relationships. Were you happy in them? Did you love well and were you well loved by others?

It makes me wonder what the world would look like if we were raised to prioritize our relationships. Imagine if we were taught from the beginning to spend as much time learning relationship skills as we’re encouraged to spend making a living?

Your level of happiness and success in life is directly correlated to the quality of your relationships and therefore should be a top priority. The time, money and energy spent in improving your communication and relationship skills will be invaluable.

Relationship skills improve every area of your life - family, friendships, career, love life

Relationships are the most important part of your life and therefore should be a number one priority. We all make time for what we deem important.