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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Similarities And Differences In a Relationship

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Even though we tend to accredit Sir Isaac Newton with the discovery of the "laws of attraction", it was actually the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato who first studied these phenomenon.
In addition there were others from the ancient world who already understood about the properties of magnets that showed that "opposites attract" and "likes repel".
Then in the mid 20th century, social scientists revisited Plato's law of attraction, that "likes attract", to relationships noting that, for example, people tend to marry based on similarities of such factors as age, religion, socio-economic status, and education.
In the 1950s, in opposition to this view, there was a new movement that advocating the "opposites attract" theory, arguing that people are attracted to those whose personality conversely matches his or her own.
What is the truth?
My view is that maybe both of these views are correct. If, as you meet someone for the first time, you pass the "first impressions" test, you enter the second phase of assessment as a potential love partner. Your potential lover is already subconsciously making judgements about you and your potential as you are about them.
For there to be a point of connection, and after all you are in the same place at the same time for a reason, there will need to be something in common between you. Our subconscious minds are finely tuned to know that the person who has now become the focus of our attention shares similar values and beliefs to us. Nothing builds relationship quicker than a belief that this person believes in, and likes, the same things we do.
Really who wants a relationship with someone who doesn't encourage us to grow emotionally or intellectually?
And besides that, who will make up for what it is we lack? Who will manage the finances if we can't? Who will organise our social engagements and who will pick up after us if we can't do it for ourselves?
So as well as looking for similarities we also look for and need there to be differences to keep some excitement in our relationships.
What differences would we be looking for?
We are not just looking for any differences - we are looking for differences that we find interesting and that will enhance our lives.
But of course living with someone who is in any way different is going to be fraught with danger and potential conflict.
On the positive side there is also the potential to learn things about ourselves that we did not know before and to learn new skills for living that we may not have considered possible.
So rather than two halves making a whole the two people in the couple now have an opportunity to become whole in their own right. What this means in the long term is that the couple are together because they choose to be together not because they need to have a partner to do things for them that they are not able to do themselves.
And as we open ourselves to the learning that is possible from being in a relationship we then naturally also start to become more like each other.
While it may be the differences that will attract us to each other it will be the similarities that will ensure that our relationship makes it for the long term.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How important is Communication Skill?

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ell, the short answer is, yes, absolutely, and the sooner the better. Why? Because good, two-way communication is just about the most important tool you will need, in order to make your relationship a long-term success. We know that not everyone is lucky enough to be born with such skills. So if you are one of those who are lacking in this department, you can learn and develop these talents yourself, in short order.
Successful relationships and communication go hand in hand. You rarely find one without the other being present. And there is good reason for this. Good communication, in its various forms, leads to solid, happy marriages and relationships, with fewer divorces and breakups.
Now, funny as this may sound, good communication sometimes means not talking at all! It can mean being a good listener. Occasionally a spouse will just need to sound off or vent, get something off his or her chest, sort of like thinking out loud. You, wise sage that you are, nod along thoughtfully, and keep your mouth in a closed position.
When they are done, they will feel better, and may even have figured out the problem for themselves. If not, you will hear that key phrase, what do you think, honey? That is your cue to jump right in with some insightful advice!
All of which is to say that good listening is a much underdeveloped and unappreciated talent today. Practice it as much as your verbal communication abilities. Also, watch for other non-verbal messages. Is he sitting there with a deep scowl on his face, with his arms crossed? Oh oh. Danger ahead! Do not ignore this warning sign, as this will only make the problem worse.
Your immediate attention is required, or he will think you are insensitive, and do not care how he feels. Yes, this is called body language. Reading your lover's signs and body language is another valuable skill you should carefully develop; it will pay big dividends in the long run.
For example, you will be able to tell at a glance if your mate is happy, upset, lying, preoccupied with something, etc. Here's a bonus: As you perfect this ability, it will make you a more alert, observant person in general. You will be more aware of what is going on around you.
If you really feel you cannot do this on your own, go to a study center and see if they have a course in communications, relationships, or personal development. In addition, just getting yourself out of the house and interacting with strangers will prove invaluable in your progress.
Is communication a skill you can learn? You can see by now that you definitely can, and it is not hard. Should you make the effort to learn it? I hope you can also see that you pretty much have to pick up at least the basics, in order to succeed with your mate.
Never forget common courtesy with your spouse. You do it with your friends and fellow workers, so why not with the one you love? Always say please and thank you. Never take him or her for granted. Show appreciation for the little things she/he does for you every single day.
Make sure your verbal communications are clear and that your partner understands what you thought you said. Never assume he/she will get it, or "should" get it. Every time you clarify something is another argument avoided. And that is how relationship and communication are so interconnected. You can't have one without the other!