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Relationship Skills

Lasting Relationship Skills

A lasting relationship is not a matter of luck or even a matter of choosing the "right one." Even the most promising relationships will struggle if the following relationship skills are ignored. Communication Skills

Skilled communication involves first listening to understand and second speaking to be understood. That means listening with both ears. Try to see things from your partners perspective. Communication skills also involve understanding that your partner cannot read your mind, nor can you read his/hers. Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Be clear, open, honest, tactful, and respectful.

Loving Skills

It takes skill to learn to show love to your partner in a way that feels loving to him/her. Don't do a Homer Simpson--Homer gives Marge a bowling ball, because he would love to get a bowling ball. Mature love also means behaving lovingly even when you don't feel particularly loving.

Problem Solving Skills

All relationships encounter problems sooner or later. Problems that are ignored or swept under the rug come back to haunt your relationship. Successful problem solving skills will greatly benefit your relationship

Intimacy Skills

couple

Learning how to be intimate in a way that meets both of your conditions for arousal and satisfaction takes practice and skill. Selflessness and an openness to learn can help in developing intimacy skills.

Compromise Skills

Compromise is not a dirty word. Learning to compromise is an important relationship skill. This means finding creative ways for both of your needs to be met, even when you cannot agree on how to solve a problem.

Fair Fighting Skills

Fighting fair is essential in lasting relationships. Dirty fighting leaves emotional scars that may never heal. Since all couples fight, whether you call it disagreement or discussion, it is still important to learn how to do it fairly.

Cooperation Skills

Finding ways to manage a household that involve a fair and equitable sharing of workload is vital. As is finding ways to share parenting responsibilities.

These relationship skills are all interconnected. For example, fighting and lack of cooperation will affect your level of intimacy and a lack of intimacy will increase the friction in your relationship. Improving these relationship skills will improve your chances of creating a lasting relationship.

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.