The Other Heart Health
Examining Your Relationships
We all want to have good relationships with the people in our lives; for one thing, it makes us better parents. But sometimes this can be difficult. Relationships are packed with problems like misunderstandings, hurt feelings and painful conflicts. Sometimes we become frustrated or disappointed with people — even the most important people in our lives.
We might think that the answer to having a better relationship is simply to learn better relationship skills. Relationship skills are important, but the source of many of our relationship problems is not merely a lack of knowledge or skills. In many cases, we simply lack the commitment or motivation to do what we know we should do.
For example, most of us know we should eat more fruits and vegetables to have a good diet. We have the skills to prepare them. But many of us still don't eat well in spite of our knowledge and skills.
This is also true in relationships.
• We know how to say kind and helpful things. We have all the skills required. But many times we choose to criticize, complain or hurt others instead of being kind.
• We know how to listen to others. But many times we choose to continue talking or arguing instead of listening and trying to better understand the other person's feelings.
We may think that our behavior is justified. We tell ourselves that we have good reasons for the way we are acting. Yet we may be destroying a relationship.
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