Relationships require communication, empathy, trust, compassion and intimacy to blossom, but the most important trait to maintain that love long-term is equal effort. Do not expect your partner to do all of the work and make all of the changes – you must take some responsibility and put in the hard yards as well.
If your relationship is breaking down due to a lack of communication, understanding and empathy … well, read on my friend, the solution to your struggles may not be what you think!
Your internal narrative (or thoughts) about your partner and your relationship may be impacting the way you act or respond to them. If you are constantly thinking of your partner in a negative light and are consistently blaming them for your own struggles, you will most likely respond in a reactive state, such as anger. You may also grow resentful and withdraw from expressing all feelings and emotions because your narrative is telling you they aren’t interested and will not listen to you. Either way, this reactive behaviour will impact your relationship by increasing resentment, emotional withdrawal and more conflict.
Self-sabotage can weigh heavily on any relationship. The chatter in your mind can create many different negative scenarios (many of which may not be true) and can be a powerful component to the breakdown of a relationship.
Awareness of this dialogue is key – is it positive or negative? Research shows that we can experience up to 60,000 thoughts per day, and often many of our thoughts are exactly the same as the day before. Even more astounding is that approximately 80% of our daily thoughts are negative! When we are having troubles in our relationship, our negative thoughts can catastrophise every situation. From this, we lose empathy, compassion and our ability to problem solve.
So, how powerful is your internal dialogue and what impact does it have on your relationship? These five questions will help find out, and transform your thinking towards a more understanding and supportive approach for both your partner and relationship.
- When I think of my partner, are my thoughts positive or negative?
- Do these thoughts change my attitude or behaviour towards my partner?
- If so, what impact does my outward behaviour have on my partner and ultimately my relationship?
- What type of internal narrative will reduce my stress levels and change my thoughts in a more positive direction when I think of my partner and my relationship?
- How will I feel when I no longer carry the burden of many negative thoughts?
When you change your negative thinking patterns, your dialogue in your communication often changes. You become less defensive, less reactive, less critical, and you are more open to listening and learning from your partner. More importantly, you give yourself the permission to be curious and explore both your own and your partner’s feelings. What’s to lose in trying?
If you and/or your partner need support in identifying and transforming your internal dialogue about one another, contact me today on 0422 311 089 for a non-obligational chat.