How many of you would like to improve a relationship in your life?
With your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/roommate/parent/sibling/best friend? Hands up please.
Look around, everyone else has their hand raised too. We ALL want better, stronger, more meaningful relationships. It’s a really basic part of being human. We long to connect with one another. And then our brains get in the way, and we hold ourselves back.
I work with my clients on improving their relationships all the time, and not just their romantic ones. Here’s the real deal:
The only person you can change is yourself. But you can make an open and inviting place next to you for anyone else who might also want to change along with you.
What does that mean? It means you can’t force or require anyone to do things they don’t want to do. You can’t make someone have a better attitude after work, or ask you about your day. You can however model these qualities and dial up your curiosity.
Being curious, and genuinely interested in what the other person has to say, is a slam dunk way to improve your relationship.
How do you do that? Especially how do you stay genuinely interested in what they’re saying?
You calm down. You put down your phone, you make eye contact. You ask a question. Any question. People like to talk about themselves. Then, you ask another question that gets them thinking and talking in a new way. If it was a business as normal day, I’ll ask “what was the biggest surprise of your day?” If it feels like they’re complaining and just need to vent I’ll throw out a “What do you want instead?” And if they are super stoked on like I’ll ask “how do we want to celebrate?” The person on the other end feels more seen and heard – human connection, yay! and more often then not, they’ll pick up the ball and start asking me about my day.
Be curious about the people in your life. Be receptive to their thoughts and feelings. Learning more about the people in your life is going to make you a better life participant. And while we can’t demand that someone do exactly what we want all the time, we can create an atmosphere for openness and fun, connection and meaning, making it really easy for them to dance along with us.
I’m Ellen! A Career & Life Coach + Decision Making Expert. You want me on your team. I’m dedicated to helping you uncork your awesome, get out of options overwhelm and get out of your own way to have the life you really want and deserve! Curious how I can impact your life? Schedule a free superhero session with me here.