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Honing Relationship Skills

Skills To Make Good Relationships Better Watching someone, who has perfected a skill, perform is deeply satisfying—the flow, the ease, the beauty. Whether it is dance or singing or playing sports, getting really good at something is fulfilling. This is also true of relationship skills.

When we practice and hone our relationship skills to a level where they flow easily, our relationship can become a beautiful thing. But just like learning other skills, it takes some practice and time before things work smoothly. The first time we try out a new skill things may seem awkward and uncomfortable. For example learning to play the piano takes hours of practice before the hesitant note playing turns into flowing music. Be patient with yourself as you work on developing the following skills:

1. Self-responsibility – you and only you are responsible for your thoughts, words and actions. Learn to accept complete responsibility for yourself. 2. Ability to appreciate differences – learn to accept that your partner is different not wrong. 3. Listen to understand – practice being open minded and open hearted. 4. Hang on to self – learn to sooth your own hurts and disappointments to reduce over reactions. Practice taking a deep breath, counting to ten and finding other ways to calm yourself. 5. Empathy – learn to see things from your partner’s perspective, try imagining what it would feel like to be in their shoes. 6. Supporting – learn ways to support your partner that feel good to them—be there for your partner. 7. Maturity – choose to relate to each other as adults; avoid behaving as either a parent or a child when relating to your partner. 8. Negotiation – think win win, be willing to give up having to be right; choose happiness over winning. If you have to win that means you have to make your partner the loser. 9. Holding your tongue – don’t say the things you will wish you could take back later. Sometimes the old adage if you have nothing nice to say, keep quiet works wonders. 10. Fighting fair – learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Being respectful to each other at all times, good or bad is essential. 11. Stay in the present – practice dealing with what is rather than being stuck in resenting the past or worrying about the future.

Working to improve these relationship skills will help your relationship become a joy to watch as well as a joy to be in.