How Successful Are You in Relationships?
“Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do.” This quote is not only accurate for marriage but for many relationships. Successful, loving relationships do not just fall into the lap of the lucky, they are the result of great effort and care. People in satisfying relationships are taking specific actions that others in less rewarding relationships aren’t. Based on the writings of Margaret Paul, Ph.D., read 4 acts found in healthy relationships that I’ve arranged to fit the acronym: CARE.
C – Consideration
A considerate friend, partner, or family member is able to see things from another’s point of view and respects the feelings of others. They’re aware of how his or her actions may impact a loved one. Because of such consideration and empathy, much effort is taken to never purposely hurt or aggravate someone. Also, successful friends and partners make time management and organization a priority. They ensure there’s enough time with loved ones to talk, laugh, work out family issues, and simply enjoy one another. Because their highest priority is to show they C.A.R.E., the considerate person honors commitments, is punctual, and dependable.
A – Attention to Health & Wellness
When two people care about themselves and each other, they strive to take care of their physical and mental health because they don’t want others to worry. They don’t engage in risky behaviors or participate in activities that could harm them. Those in healthy relationships understand that if their health is compromised it would cause their loved one to experience grief, sadness, tension, or worry.
R – Responsibility
Have you ever said something like this: “He made me feel this way,” Her bad attitude put me in a bad mood.” People are not responsible for our feelings, we are responsible. Taking ownership for emotions while also avoiding the blame-game is a significant factor in successful relationships. Emotionally successful people look within themselves to identify the root of the problematic feelings. Instead of viewing themselves as a victim, they assertively (not aggressively) communicate with their loved one and ask for what they need. Also, if negative feelings become problematic, they don’t makes excuses, become defensive, or rationalize the negativity. Instead, they seek the help they need rather than making their partner a therapist or holding others responsible.
E – Expressions of Love, Kindness, and Compassion
People in successful relationships treat themselves and others with loving-kindness – kind actions, expressions of love, gentle looks, and compassionate thoughts. When one spends most of their time criticizing themselves and others, it’s more difficult to make room for loving, kind, and compassionate thoughts. Expressions of loving-kindness have a powerful and positive impact on others. Conversely, elements of an injured relationship typically display expressions of defensiveness, withdrawal, contempt, and criticism.