by Carl Massy.
I remember hearing Tony Robbins one time say that ‘the quality of your life is directly proportional to the quality of relationships you have in your life’. I think there may be something in that.
In my book The Guidebook to Authentic Success, I also say teach that one of the keys to feeling truly successful is ensuring that you take time to develop and work on high quality relationships. So in the recent Life Masterclass, I decided to add a section on Relationships – and in particular intimate relationships. Having said that, much of the same rules apply across all relationships.So let’s jump straight into my Top 5 Relationship Tips, which are not in any priority order. And most of them are really simple – but don’t mistake simple or little for ‘unimportant’ if you want a high quality relationship.
Relationship Tip #1: What do you want?
This is REALLY simple.
Do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to be in LOVE (aka: in a harmonious relationship). I like having a loving and harmonious relationship. And that means my relationship is not a COMPETITION to always be right. Save that stuff for your friends, enemies, and on the sports field.
I don’t need to ‘win’ arguments or conversations in my relationship, if the topic of conversation does not really matter that much in the bigger scheme of things. ‘Winning’ an argument but having your partner in tears or not talking to you for days, is not really winning in the game of life. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Relationship Tip #2: This actually might be the most important
Don’t have EXPECTATIONS.
Here is the deal. The greater the gap between your EXPECTATIONS and the REALITY; the greater the emotional pain you will suffer. This isn’t a ‘maybe’ this is GUARANTEED!
If you EXPECT your partner (or friend, or colleague, or family member) to be different, or to act different, from who they are and what they typically do, then you will LOSE … every single time. The reason is you are fighting with the reality. They are who they are. And they will likely act how they generally act. Don’t EXPECT them to do things the way you would do them. You are completely different from them, and the other 8 Billion people on the planet.
Instead of expectations, have AGREEMENTS. You both agree as to how something is going to be done; when it is going to be done; where it is going to be done; with what it is going to be done; etc.
You might also call it…getting on the same sheet of music.
So that your relationship sings, just like a harmonious heart-pulling love song.
Don’t have EXPECTATIONS, have AGREEMENTS.
Relationship Tip #3: Make a better choice
I just taught a presentation at The Practice the other week on Decision Making Mastery (you can listen here on Soundcloud if you like).
One of the the keys things I taught and I teach all of my clients, is not to make important decisions when you are not in the right physical and emotional state, because you are likely to get a sub-standard result. Or worse you will get reactive and say something inappropriate or hurtful, which may damage your relationship.
So prime your brain for high performance relationship decision making by making sure you are:
- well hydrated
- well rested (even a 5-10 min timeout makes a difference)
- not hungry (or hangry)
- not focused on something else at the same time (single point of focus is required)
- as (emotionally) relaxed as possible
In my relationship we have a rule where we can ask for a TIMEOUT before an important conversation, if one of us is feeling too fatigued, foggy or dehydrated. I want my brain to be optimized before I fire it up for the important stuff, so we agree to come back to the conversation in an agreed time period.
Make sure you are in the right physical and emotional state before you have important relationship conversations.
Relationship Tip #4: Do yourself a favour
If you are in a relationship, or would like to be in a relationship, then after you finish reading this article, then order a copy of this book. It is the best relationship strategy I have been exposed to in the last 20 years.
The book is…and yes I have mentioned this before…so if you have heard me mention it, but have not read the book, then you best do yourself (and your partner) a favour and get a copy now (chop chop!!).
It is called The 5 Love Languages.
The author and marriage counselor (Gary Chapman) identified there is a way we perfer someone to express their love to us. Some prefer gifts, but others much prefer words of love or physical touch or acts of service or just sending quality time with them. The aim is to get to know what LOVE BUTTON to press for your partner.
I have made a short video you can access HERE, which explains this highly effective strategy in specific detail. Watch it!
Get to know your partners primary Love Language and then push this button (a LOT!).
Relationship Tip #5: This applies to all relationships
Stay grateful. Say thank you A LOT. Don’t get complacent. Show how grateful you are by expressing it with the Love Language that is the primary love language of your partner.
Never stop being grateful. Finding the right partner in our lives is not easy (as I am sure many of you can attest to). So once you have found that great person to help you grow and bring out your best, then make sure you continue to do the work to show your appreciation for them choosing you (and not running away when you do something stupid or make mistakes).
Turn up the GRATITUDE button.
My Final Relationship Advice
This also applies to ALL relationships.
Don’t shy away from TOUGH CONVERSATIONS.
Tough conversations have the capacity to:
- Deepen your relationships
- Avoid misunderstandings (or resolve misunderstandings)
- Understand exactly what someone wants, or does not want
- Make it clear if you are right for each other
- Save money (on a marriage or divorce that is not ‘right’)
- Help you get to know yourself better (you might be like everyone else and have blind spots)
- Help you (and your partner) to grow
Just like in the gym, it is through resistance (also known as discomfort), that our muscles grow. It is tough conversations in your relationships that will help you to grow and the relationship to grow in a way that is right for it. Even if the growing means that two people move in different directions.
Have fun with these tough conversation. I am actually smiling as I write this, because no-one ‘loves’ tough conversations, but they are necessary for our evolution and transformation.
Intimate relationships really are the greatest place for us to experience growth, fulfillment, love, joy, adventure, connection, and purpose. So don’t shy away if you have tried and been hurt in the past. Step into a new adventure. And if you are in an intimate relationship now, keep putting the energy and effort into it, to keep it growing.
If you want to go deeper in this work (called project YOU), join me for a Life Masterclass in Melbourne (28-30 June | Details TBC). I would love to help you on your path to greater happiness, health and success. Please reply to this Newsletter if you have any questions.
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or connect with me on Facebook.