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GOOD RELATIONSHIPS : Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

Although I would suggest that you are best to believe you are the expert in your life, professional therapists usually have a good general picture of “how people behave” and sometimes, particular knowledge of “particular human behaviors.”

GOOD RELATIONSHIPS : Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!


This means that you are best to make the decisions that may affect the rest of your life.

And, each therapist has a particular viewpoint learned from their own life experience, informed by their morality, philosophy, religion, and so on. Your therapist is not a blank slate. He or she brings to the room a cultural bias. Whatever counselors and psychologists, psychotherapists, and healers say, they are influenced by what they believe. It is good they can be very aware of this fact.

If a therapist is not aware of his or her biases they may wrongly influence the outcome of therapy for their clients. These factors lend strength to the concept of the client searching out a therapist that suits them. When a good “fit” occurs therapy outcomes are usually better, faster, longer-lasting. (80% of therapy depends on the “fit.”)

This concept of finding a good fit is not only applicable to finding a therapist. It is a good idea to use it for all your relationships. Follow your hunches. Learn to follow your hunches. This is what this book is about.

How the choosing Change program can help you is that you discover the way you see things, the way you think things, the way you react to incidents in your life... this information is critical to know so you can apply any changes you choose in your life to live better, more effectively, more happily.

A bright idea is to ask yourself what do you think makes a relationship successful or “good”.

  • Here are some answers are given by present and past experience and research.
  • Here I share some secrets.
  • Our Educarehub channel teams know about each other’s dreams and expectations.
  • Our first date is fresh in my mind.
  • We have similar friends and separate friends.
  • We discuss things regularly.
  • When are apart I think fondly but not longingly of him.
  • I feel I come home to my partner whenever we meet up.
  • The fun we have together does not interfere with the fun we have apart.
  • I know about her family dynamics and although they are different from mine, we work through the differences.
  • You people listen and follow u.
  • Our ability to put our hand up when I make a mistake is the Holy Grail.
  • Sex is pretty well most of the time.
  • I feel strong in myself and not overtaken by him.
  • I am myself with her and can speak about anything.
  • We see conflict as a healthy component in our relationship. It tells us there are things to discuss, not things to drive us apart.
  • Our finances are managed together, equally with separate bank accounts, and a common account for the house.
  • We seem to synchronize on many things— sex, energy, sleep... and he feels the same about my energy levels.
  • I love her for what she is, not for what I want.
  • If we get stuck in an argument we agree to take a break before we lose our temper.
  • A great sense of humor.
  • You people think we are funny.
  • When I am tired I sometimes say hurtful things and she recognizes this and waits till later to talk about it. This makes being in our relationship easier.
  • He wants to talk with me anytime.
  • When we disagree that is all it is. It is not an attack.
  • Knowing that when he wants to be alone it is not a threat to me or the relationship.
  • Being in a partnership is more important than getting what I want.

The importance of ‘self’ in the partnership to make a good relationships

At the beginning of your relationship, how much are you blinded by the romance? How real is your participation? Are you like Alice who said to me, “I don’t want to think of all that in the beginning? I may never get involved. I have to block out all the bad aspects of him otherwise I may never fall in love with him?”

It is best to be OK within yourself before trying to be OK with others. Love yourself before you can love another is a well-worn cliché, and it is a cliché precisely because it’s probably proven itself to be true under many circumstances. Before committing to being in love, be well developed and assured, assertive and positive; be good at self-soothing and make decisions about what you want, not what you think others want. A well-developed, well-balanced person will be able to compliment another similarly balanced person without expecting a payoff and they will be able to accept a compliment without anticipating a condition.

Well-developed or well-differentiated people are confident, assertive, and decisive. They have empathy and understanding of another’s point of view and take these things into consideration when they are making decisions.

The real self-development

The well-developed personality is aware that conflict is inevitable and strives to handle those times with self-conviction, understanding, and compassion. The self that is real agreed and disagrees because that is what they truly feel and believe, not to just please another person or group. (It is difficult not to agree with your boss because you are risking dismissal when you argue. In your personal relationship, can you disagree with your partner or is your need to be in love or be loved greater than the fear of being alone?)

The person who shows self-respect and lives by their convictions and beliefs has a sense of solid self. The integrity and honesty they display allow others to connect truly and completely. It is this authentic connection that ultimately brings satisfaction, happiness, and completeness to their life and the relationship.

Other kinds of relationships

There are other kinds of relationships with characteristics such as dependence and codependency, dominance and submissiveness, the validating couple, the OK or companionable partnership, avoidant, and volatile relationship, and so on. None of these are inherently good or bad, although some are prone to breakdown because the foundation of these partnerships is can be seen as unstable. As well, many combinations of these relationships appear and it can be very difficult to determine which ones will work. Mixing a dependant person with a submissive partner may not last. Matching a passionate or volatile person with a pleaser will probably infuriate both.

A key role of dependent and codependent in a good relationships

Dependent and codependent relationships are characterized by the sense that the real person is not present... in either partner. Although they seem, from the outside, happy with each other, really they are constantly trying to please each other in order to maintain stability and peace. Often when one partner attempts to draw closer, the other invariably anxiously distances him or herself. This in turn creates more anxiety for the other person.

Dependent people may attempt to coerce and manipulate their partner, conditions, events, and even other family members in order to fulfill their need for commitment and satisfaction.

Anger and frustration, regret, resentment, and recrimination are often present in the dependent relationship. Failing to get their partner to be open and authentic often causes anger. There is a reluctance to investigate and inquire into the causes of the frustrations because one or other of the partners have low self-awareness. Emotional reactivity (reacting on an emotional rather than a caring, committed, investigative level) is a hallmark of the dependent relationship. When the dependant and codependent partners disagree there is often a high level of emotion with little self-awareness or awareness and empathy for the other partner.

A common characteristic of the dependent relationship is the need to be always together. Anxiety rises if one partner wants to do something alone or with other people. Partner A seeks some alone time or companionship with others; partner B perceives that to be a criticism or a failing on their part.

Sometimes, wishing to alone or separate is seen by the ‘left’ partner as the end of the romance. More and more is demanded in order to prop up the relationship, even though it is simply a time and place situation... over time relationships and yearnings change.

An important role of dominant and/or submissive in a good relationships

Dominant and/or Submissive relationships often show from the outside two people happy and content, living life to the full. Again, like any relationship dynamic, they seem happy but are they really happy? Often the reality is two people struggling while one exerts control and power over the other. As long as the ‘other’ is submissive and gives in to the demands, is a pleaser, things may be OK. This partnership may become unstable because at any time either party may play another game. The dominant partner may complain they are making all the decisions and:

Amar: Why is it my responsibility to make this work all the time...?

Just as difficult, the submissive partner may decide it is time they asserted some control

Shilki: Why should it always be your way we do things...?

Unless the dominant partner is willing to give way, the conflict will arise. Unless the submissive partner is willing to give in conflict may arise. Where avoiding conflict is the main way of relating, partners realize eventually they are unsatisfied and will often look outside the relationship for someone who better understands or gives them what they want. The dominant partner avoids self-development because no challenge is given by the submissive partner, who also avoids self-development because they always feel they have to give in.

Validating couples is a major role in a good relationships

Validating couples may frequently disagree, argue, bicker, storm off, fight, sulk, moan and complain, but they will not bear grudges or hold resentments for very long. The seeming disharmony is actually an open and accessible forum for these couples to explore and understand what each of them wants.

What these couples are doing is discussing things. It is in the discussion that the magic occurs. When couples hear frank and open, assertive, and clear messages, then they can get a good idea of what each of them wants. They may not like it; they may not want it; but they hear each other. I think they are saying: I love you and want you to love me but I want this to be on each of our own terms.

Discussions between this couple are marked by involvement, a proactive environment that encourages development, and probable long-lasting satisfaction. Each partner is careful about the words they use to get their ideas across to their partner. Discouraging and disparaging attitudes are absent. Supportive and encouraging words are peppered throughout their dialogue. Sincerely and empathically they meet each other halfway and resolve their issues affectionately and lovingly.

Above all, validating couples listen to each other. Also. they probably have a good ear for what lies beneath the superficial words bandied about. They read between the lines. when they speak they do not use sarcasm or ridicule. Mutual respect and care accompany these discussions.

The downside of the validating partnership is that they may settle for a less passionate relationship. They agree to be friends above all else. This may eventually be a bit boring and lack the spark of romance, but they will be happy nevertheless because this is what they want... peace, calm, consideration, and companionship.

Companionable or avoiding conflict to manage good relationships

Companionable or Avoiding Conflict relationships create a space for each person to live in their own world. They are able to follow their own ideas and have their own views, following paths quite distinct and separate. It is often seen as a satisfying relationship from the inside and the outside. Above all, these couples minimize the possibility of conflict. they will consciously avoid doing or saying things that may antagonize their partner or probably anyone.

Within this avoiding conflict position, there is a real sense that they are not living authentically. They are not revealing what it is each of them really wants. Avoiding conflict results in avoiding intimacy. Often there is little or no sexual contact, and if there is it is in order to please the other partner rather than please the self or please each other. Sometimes referred to as living in the “pseudo self” people in this relationship are more concerned with what others might think than what they might want. A “pretend” scenario dominates the relationship. Although partners may seem content there is a tendency toward boredom and often both partners seek solace outside the relationship.

This can be a shallow relationship with many unspoken agreements ‘not to rock the boat’ or demand any self-disclosure which leads to very little emotional pressure to change. Very little to challenge either person. Even so, within this relationship is the goal to have an understanding that they share the common goal and philosophy that their relationship is loving and caring, and forgiving. Letting things go will bring out the best. Not being demanding of themselves or each other allows them to be comfortable and calm. Even if issues are not resolved, they are OK with each other, themselves, and the relationship.

Problems may arise if there is a real dispute that one or the other feels strongly about. Because they have not had to resolve things in the past they will not have the skills or tools to deal with this issue. Also, there is the possibility of feeling they are alone within the relationship. Without a real sense of bonding and understanding which has been replaced by ‘letting things go’ and ‘putting up with’ there may be some deep-seated dissatisfaction with either themselves or their partner... ultimately the relationship may seem stale and washed out. There is a real possibility of one or other going outside the partnership for understanding. What is the cry of the cheating partner... ‘“My partner just doesn’t get how I feel. My new friend really understands me.’ And it may well be true. But has the original relationship been one of sharing ideas and beliefs, goals and ambitions? More than likely not.

The companionable model can sustain a stable relationship. John Gottman with a little help from your friends. 

Volatile or Passionate is a pillar of good relationships

Volatile or Passionate relationships largely exhibit involvement. Both couples are willing to confront issues important to them. Equally, and perhaps even more important, both are willing to be confronted. Sometimes people describe these people as passionate, argumentative, confronting, direct, vigorous, bickering. Sometimes people, especially therapists, describe this kind of relationship as dysfunctional. Some even use the word pathological.

An essential characteristic of the volatile or passionate partnership is that both partners are independent yet remain connected. They value their own independence; they value their partner’s independence. When they are apart they are not broken or missing a part of themselves. Each partner in this relationship has a strong sense of self that is allowed, even encouraged, to develop. The partnership is seen as an opportunity to develop individually and together, separately and at the same time.

The relationship is strong because each partner is strong. Each may bring different things to the table. They are supportive and caring, emotionally available to each other, actively interested in seeking further understanding of what makes them strong as well as empathic about their own and their partner’s shortcomings.

Passionate people feel responsible for themselves and each other; at the same time and equally. This means they are readily willing to self-disclose and be vulnerable. When conflict arises (not ‘if’ because it always will arise) they know the skills required in order to argue effectively, constructively, creatively, and satisfactorily for each of them.

What characterizes the volatile or passionate relationship is the degree of direct confrontation each partner brings to the table. They are not afraid of disagreeing but equally not afraid of agreeing. The one-upmanship present in dominating relationships is not present here. It is a collaborative, good-humored attitude that allows the couple to participate vigorously in a dynamic and usually rewarding and enduring relationship. A relationship where resolving issues is the aim. They probably won’t want to sleep on it. they probably will argue and fight, resolve and make passionate love.

Good Friendship is the Foundation of good relationships

If it seems obvious that enduring relationships are founded on friendship, then the question arises, why is it so difficult to hook up with someone that mostly we are friends with and we have a successful long-term intimate relationship? Creating an atmosphere of love, caring, respect, concern, and so-on, go hand-in-hand with a good friendship and a good relationship. Friends tend to rely on each other, turning toward each other in times of stress and joy. Friends deal with conflict positively and with humor, even when the conflict is not resolved.

Friends share meanings. They have things in common. They share understandings and they constantly exchange these shared meanings and understandings; sometimes without speaking. A glance or a nod or raised eyebrow is enough. When this spontaneously happens at the first meeting it feels like a miracle. Limerance sets in and the honeymoon stage of the relationship is operating. When it happens with a couple after many years of being together it is often the product of much hard work. They have shared meanings with each other for years. An outsider in their company sometimes feels like a third wheel. The third person just does not get what they are on about.

The couple that has this unspoken way of communicating has probably gone through the process of exchanging ideas many times. In a formal setting, one person might say to another — “I’d like to tell you what I think about...” The other person would then say — “So what I heard you say was...” If the original person thinks the other has the wrong idea about what was said they will then correct it and then hear back the correction. The couple has a shared understanding. When relationships are firing well there is usually no need for this endless clarification of what is being said. However, when a couple is antagonistic toward each other it is critical they are careful about what is being said. Some serious sessions face-to-face using this kind of clarification tool can clear up any misunderstandings.

When couples are not getting on well it is time to flip back to page ??? to re-read what people say about what makes their relationship good. These qualities are global. everyone says they like to feel respected, cared for, acknowledged, heard, and so-on.

Imagine for a moment that Martians have begun to invade Earth, infiltrating all the world’s governments and wreaking havoc on all the systems, customs, laws, and cultures. My imagination has gone a little wild here and I’m thinking all Earth’s governments will unite in order to protect the world and expel the invaders. All the petty upsets and arguments that bedevil Earth daily will have been forgotten and we will work in harmony for the common good. Unless you are a Martian.

Relationships can be seen as a little like a little Earth. When you are united with common goals it is likely you will forget or ignore, or not see as so important, all the little things you don’t agree on. A united couple will have agreed values, respect for each other's individual beliefs, understanding about each other’s shortcomings, empathy for each other's loyalties (for their families for instance). It is not necessary to be in total agreement all the time about everything. As long as you respect each other's ideas and beliefs it is likely you will get along against all odds when things are going well and badly.

One word frequently arising in couple therapy sessions is respect. It seems to have a magical effect on people when they feel they have the respect of their partner or their partner respects their beliefs.

Amar: You don’t respect my mother.
Shilki: And you don’t respect my job.
Amar: You don’t like my mother.
Shilki: You think my job is unimportant.

Most people can put up all sorts of things if they are respected. If they are seen as being good or worthwhile people doing a good or worthwhile job. There is a shared understanding that although my mother is difficult, we at least try to get along with her. Even if my job is not worlded shatteringly important, at least I work hard and it helps pay the rent.

What not to say, how to avoid conflict is part of this shared meaning principle. It is a sure sign I am being friendly if I just acknowledge your worth, your ideas, your philosophy of life. Agreeing on the basics of our relationship is important if we are to withstand some of the things we disagree about. Motor car racing?

HARRY: Honey, if you put that on the TV one more time I’m out of here. To me, it is all about wasting petrol, loud hoonish behavior. Scantily clad skinny girls waving flags and loutish men behaving badly.

MARY: Sorry darling. My boss asked me to review it for our next meeting on petrol wastage.

HARRY: OK. I’ll go for a walk in the park for a bit.

What makes a good friendship may have been a better title for this chapter. It seems above all else, friendship draws people together, to work together, to share and discuss, be open with and vulnerable to, to care for and accept love and concern, to show respect and understanding and get it too, multiplied much time over sometimes. This all comes about because the couple is prepared to share and communicate feelings, ideas, dreams, fears, love, hopes, goals, and ambitions. 

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