Relationships can be so full of drama, at home, at work, at the school gates, with family and friends. Sometimes relationships can really drift without us knowing or we can be unsure where we really stand. Here are four handy phrases that will let you reconnect and get back on track. It’s frighteningly easy for relationships to get stuck in a rut, just ticking along, with continual niggles and just a functional exchange of “Have you unloaded the dishwasher yet” and “Is that report late again?”. By consciously opening up the lines of communication we can change so much with just a few simple words.
1. I really appreciate that you...
It can be so easy to always be picking at the negatives: no one is perfect after all. Yes, it would be easier if everyone did everything our way all the time, but that's not reality! Refocusing ourselves to look for the positive and actually verbalising it can make an enormous difference to how both parties feel. It's easy for other people to feel they are being taken for granted, but showing what you DO appreciate (rather than what you don't) you reward that behavior so you are more likely to see more of it in future.
2. Is there something you would like me to change or do more or less of?
Being open to constructive feedback ourselves shows we are willing to change and willing to compromise, or at the least open to having a discussion about it. It shows we know we are not perfect, and we value the other person's thoughts. We don't have to take all their suggestions on board, but it does open the lines of communication to what is often astonishingly revelatory. There can be small things we do that drive other people absolutely kerazeee that we would be more than happy to alter once we know about it.
3. I'd love to learn....can you show me?
Being open to learning and being teachable breaks down communication barriers in an instant. It demonstrates that we recognize someone else's skill and nothing is more flattering than being asked to teach someone else our tricks.
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4. You know what you are awesome at....
I've talked about the power of compliments before (find my power of words column on nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/louisethompson).
Using genuine compliments is an incredibly powerful way of changing up the energy and intention in a relationship. Compliments are gifts of words, and it’s the equivalent of a verbal bouquet. Sometimes we can get so stuck in the day to day that we stop seeing how amazing that colleague/partner/sister is. Flowers mean a lot when they are delivered on a birthday or anniversary, but they mean even more when they are a random bouquet “just because you deserve it/I was thinking about you/I wanted to make you smile because you are special to me”. Compliments make a big impact in the ease of a relationship, and...they are free: use liberally!
Louise is a life coach, author and corporate escapee. Visit louisethompson.com for more.