Problems in relationships are often maintained or even aggravated by the way we try to solve them.
- Do you ever think you know what is needed to fix the problem and then keep on trying to make whatever that is happen?
- Do you ever keep doing or saying the same thing to try to make the other person change?
If you answered yes to either of those two questions, then it is time to pull your head out of the sand and think again, because what you are doing isn’t working!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” is a piece of advice best avoided when it comes to solving problems in relationships.
In fact, we need to stop doing more of the same and realize that if whatever we are doing is not working, we might have better success trying something else instead.
Michelle Weiner-Davis author of ‘Divorce Busters’ believes we need to focus less on who is right or wrong and more in trying to find different ways of reacting.
“Once you change, regardless of who is to blame, relationship changes are inevitable.”
Her formula for building and maintaining a successful relationship is simple:
“If it works, don’t fix it; and if it doesn’t work, do something different.”
The same would be true for any relationship - romantic or not.
She suggests trying a new approach to habitual problems. The next time you feel tempted to do the same old thing to solve your problems, do something different, “No matter, how weird or crazy it might seem, do something you have never done before.” Try a 180 degree turn and do the exact opposite of what you have been doing.
Try these things to improve your relationship this week
Identify things that work or have worked in your relationship and focus on doing more of them. For example, if you notice that you get on better when the other person feels appreciated, show them more appreciation, or if you feel happier in your relationship when you don't spend too much time with a certain person, make sure that you limit the time you spend with them.
Try a 180 degree turn. If you are tempted to react or respond in a way that always gets negative results, try doing something completely different next time. See what happens to the dynamic in the relationship when you choose to respond in a way that is not expected or usual.
More action less talking. If constantly communicating about the issue hasn’t worked then try talking about it less. Imagine you couldn’t speak. How would you try and get your message across? Try that instead!