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Keys to Breaking Negative Patterns in Relationships

If you have a fight with your husband and think “this relationship is never going to work”, then it probably won’t. If your boredom and lack of desire cause you to wonder “are we growing apart?” you’re missing an opportunity to rekindle your passion. Moreover, you may probably repeat this pattern in your next relationship.

People with a fixed mindset about relationships tend to become either entrenched and combative, or to simply give up when the going gets rough. Often they hide their feelings to maintain harmony, but this ultimately leads to resentment and disillusionment.

Can we change our mindset?
Yes, we can. When we view emotional intelligence as a set of skills that can be improved throughout life, we can improve our relationships.

Those who ask themselves “What do I need to learn to improve my relationships?” (as a partner, parent or friend) have relationships that tend to improve and deepen over time.

The mere belief that relationship skills can be learned increases
the likelihood that your relationships will improve.

How do we figure out what skills we could learn?
Pinpoint how and why a certain problem occurs. Then ask yourself the following questions:
1. “How am I participating in the problem?”
This is not to blame oneself, but rather to solve the problem. It’s easy to see what the other person is doing. But we have no control over another person; we can only change our own attitude and reactions.
2. “How am I triggering the other person?”
“Is it my tone of voice?” “Do I sound like I’m whining, complaining, or being controlling?” The easiest way to find out is to ask the other person directly. If he or she can’t articulate it, ask friends, family, or a therapist. If you are honest with yourself, you can probably figure it out yourself.
3. “How do I allow him/her to trigger me?”
Take a look at what tends to trigger you. When you become aware of your triggers, you have an opportunity to change your reactions.