When we are open to influence from our partner, we validate them in a substantial way. We help them feel loved, valued and important all at the same time. This ability to listen to and accept our partner, especially when we disagree is an important element of lasting, happy relationships.
Are You Open To Influence From Your Partner? When couples refuse to allow their partner to have a voice in the relationship or to weigh in on decisions the relationship slowly or sometimes quickly deteriorates. As with other harmful relationship habits, awareness is the place to begin rectifying the problem. I have included a short quiz to help you identify your strength or weakness in this area.
Do not think about how you wish you were or how you want people to think you are; carefully consider your actual behavior in the relationship. Be completely honest with yourself and answer the following questions True or False:
- I can accept my partner’s opinion; it is okay if we disagree.
- My partner is too irrational; I cannot take him/her seriously when discussing issues.
- I want to hear and understand my partner opinions.
- Even if we disagree, I appreciate my partner’s insights.
- I believe there must be a give and take to our discussions.
- My partner comes up with good ideas.
- If I don’t make major decisions, no one does in this relationship.
- My partner is too often overly emotional.
- I want my partner to know that his/her opinions are important to me.
- Usually I find it easy to agree with at least part of what my partner says.
- I get tired of listening to my partner after a while, or I tune my partner out at times.
- Usually I can listen and be respectful, even when I disagree with my partner.
- I am very convincing and win more than my share of arguments with my partner.
- I feel my opinion matters, when we make decisions.
- My partner completely lacks common sense.
For questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, score one point for each true answer.
For questions 2, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15 score one point for each false answer.
If you scored 13 or more, then being open to your partner’s influence is a solid part of your relationship.
If you did not score high, it does not mean that you cannot have a great relationship, but it does mean that you could benefit from working to become more accepting of and open to your partner. Strive to be more respectful of your partner’s thought and opinions. It is possible that you may have to give up the need to be right and practice allowing your partner to enjoy that opportunity now and again.