ERP 025: Be The Best You Can Be In Relationship

By Posted in - How To Improve Your Relationship & Podcast & Relationship Power Struggles & Relationships July 23rd, 2015 0 Comments being your best in a relationship

These are my Empowered Relationship podcast show notes. Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.

“What do you do when you have gotten into a pattern of not avoiding the Nine Destructive Behaviors in relationship conflict?”

Most people can remember a time when they did or said something during a conflict that they did not feel good about. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to react and find yourself behaving unskillfully.

Furthermore, we all go through the power struggle phase in relationship. While it can be a painful process, it is all a part of the development of a normal and healthy relationship.

Every master was once a disaster. ~ T. Harv Eker

In last week’s episode, The Most Important Ingredient To Shifting Conflicts, I talked about the importance of making a decision for integrity over the relationship in times of distress. On a plane, we are instructed to put on our oxygen mask first before helping anyone else (in an emergency situation). For some of us, this seems like a very counter intuitive practice, especially when you image sitting next to someone you love dearly that needs your assistance. It almost seems selfish. However, if you think a few steps down the road, you can see the wisdom. How can you protect and help the person you love if you are passed out from lack of oxygen?

being your best in a relationship

© Thomas Rousing | flickr

If you are experiencing conflict with your significant other and you notice the pattern of a downward spiral, you are not going to be of any use to the interaction by participating in the conflict dynamic. The best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship is to put on your oxygen mask – in this case, the oxygen mask is your emotional health and integrity. It may seem like you are leaving your partner high and dry, but experience and research show that very little good is going to come from continuing to engage in the same problematic patterns.

We put emotional health and integrity into motion by taking action. These steps are a practice. Like any other healthy practice (i.e. eating healthy and staying physically active), we are going to love it at times and hate it at times. But all in all we know the long-term results are worth the struggle at times. We want to feel greater love, harmony, and relationship satisfaction. As with any practice, we are aiming for improvement, betterment, and progress, not perfection.

1. Stop Refereeing.

american-football-380355_1280 copyIn relationship, we are so focused on the wrong doing of our partner and we react and take issue with something they did or said. We are like relationship police officers, blowing the whistle on each other and trying to write tickets to each other. In Dr. Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive for Good (*Amazon Affiliate link), he talks about people having a metaphorical glove compartment full of unassigned tickets. We can’t assign the tickets so they end up building up, essentially building up resentment and bitterness.

2. Play Your Game.

  • Focus on your part.
  • Don’t “play down”.
  • Have the right mind-set.
  • The story we tell ourselves is critical to our effort and play.
  • Utilize a “Do Over“.

If you think you can or you think you can’t you are right. ~ Henry Ford.

being your best in a relationship3. Believe In The Win.

  • To win is to do the best you can.
  • A double win is when you do the best you can and your partner does the best that he/she can. Together you will work toward a mutually beneficial resolution and feel good about your progress.
  • Believe in the benefit of doing your part.
  • In doing the best you can, you will feel good about your behavior, effort, and process.

4. Know Your Bounds.

  • Know your boundaries and limits.
  • Set the standard.
  • What is “in bounds” and what is “out-of-bounds” for you?

5. Don’t Play Outside Of Bounds.

  • “Don’t go for balls that are out-of-bounds.”
  • Be clear about your limits.
  • Let your partner know about your new limit (communicate if you are setting something new into place).
  • Do not engage or give attention to behaviors you are not okay with.
  • Refrain, redirect, or walk away.
  • Follow-through.
  • Be consistent.
  • You will prevent harm from happening.
  • being your best in a relationshipExamples of what you can say for each of the Nine Destructive Behaviors:
    • Name calling & character attacks: “I’d like to hear you. However, if you are going to name call, I am going to leave the conversation.”
    • Criticism: “I am interested in what you have to say and what your experience is. However, I am not interested in being criticized.”
    • Silent treatment: “It seems like you are upset. I care but I am not going to chase you about it. When you are ready to talk, would you please let me know?” (No, reply.) “Okay. Please let me know when you would like to talk. I would like to hear what you are feeling.” Check-in but do not give attention for silent treatments.
    • Assuming: “Sounds like you have some ideas about what I might be thinking or feeling. Would you like to hear what I am thinking or feeling? Or Would you like to check it out with me? I’d like to tell you my experience if you would like to hear it.”
    • Trying to be right: “It seems like we are getting caught in the trap of trying to be right? I am interested in the goal of working towards a resolution together. Are you interested in that? If not now let’s come back to this when we are both calmer.”
    • Defensiveness: “I am feeling defensive. It seems like you are feeling defensive too. Is now a good time to talk? I am not sure if we are going to get anywhere right now.”
    • Control tactics: “I would like to be able to finish my thought. I am having trouble being able to finish what I am saying. I would like to feel the space to talk as well as the space to listen. I am not interested in interrupting each other. Let’s come back to this another time.”
    • Outburst of anger: “I don’t feel safe right now. I would like to listen to you but I can’t when I feel scared.”

On the next podcast episode, we will talk about how clear old hurts, build repair, and work toward forgiveness.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have points to add to the conversation? Please leave me a comment below.

Mentioned: Be sure and check out The Art Of Mindful Wealth Summit. Listen and learn from over 24 world-class inspiring wealth and abundance experts sharing how you can hit the reset button and live with greater meaning, purpose and fulfillment!

If you have a topic that you would like me to discuss or a situation that you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here. Thank you so much for your interest in being your best in a relationship.

Also, I would so appreciate your honest rating and review of my Empowered Relationship podcast. Please leave your review here.

Thank you!

*With Amazon Affiliate Links, I may earn a few cents from Amazon, if you purchase the book from this link.

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Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication.

Stop the criticism loop, learn new ways to communicate
and strengthen the connection with your partner.


Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching