Today is National Train Your Brain Day, so we take a look at how you can use this idea to your advantage in your relationships by taking the time out to think before you act.
Think before you speak- Train yourself to think before you say something you might regret to your partner. Sometimes you say things you don't mean in the heat of the moment- so stop; take a breath and ask yourself- do you actually want to verbalise that or will it hurt your partner or result in an argument?
Consider their side of the equation- It's important to think about things from your partner's point of view. They cope with events very differently to you and may not look at a situation in the same light. Try mentally walking in their shoes for a moment to give you a better understanding of why they react in the way they do.
Think about their family- Your loved one is a product of their family-chances are there will be a lot of similarities between them and their folks. Before making comments about the way they do something, remember that it's what they were brought up to believe. They may not be doing it to be deliberately provocative.
Think about stress thresholds- They may experience stress much more easily than you so. Keep in mind that everyone's stress threshold is different- what you are able to cope with may be devastating to your partner. Try to support them when they are stressed and use your experience of how to cope to help them.
Consider coping mechanisms- Everyone deals with stress, heartache, bereavement and sadness in different ways. It's essential that you allow your partner to express their feelings in their own method rather than telling them what's acceptable to you. If they aren't allowed to let those feelings out in their specific way it will only make things worse.
Don't compare and contrast- There is little point in comparing how your partner acted and telling them how you would have done things better. It happened, it's over, they will learn from it without you telling them where they went wrong.
Clear your mind- There is no benefit to asking your partner about your day and drowning them out with your own thoughts of work. If you ask your partner how their day went- show them some respect by actually listening to their words instead of just making the appropriate facial expressions and noises.
Consider your behaviour- It can be hard when you are wrapped up in a feeling to see the impact it's having others but it's important that you do. Are you bringing your partner down? Embarrassing them? Frustrating them? If you see yourself through their eyes, then it might help to bring you out of your slump. How would you feel if they were acting the same way?
Teach with patience- If you know how to do something well- they probably won't, just as they will excel in the things you struggle with. Remember where you first learned the skills you have acquired over the years and the opportunities you have had. Don't take for granted that you may need to show your partner something from scratch that's second nature in your world.
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