When I was younger, I falsely believed a psychotherapist should have their shit together. I was under the impression that a good psychotherapist had perfect relationships. Also, I believed being a psychotherapist meant I knew better than you. I was not practicing the best relationship advice!
I do believe that I have a responsibility to practice what I teach.
Yet, I still have problems and my relationships aren’t perfect. I have also come to respect that YOU have the best answers for you. I had to learn, accept and practice the best relationship advice before I could have a love filled life.
In my daily effort to have healthy relationships I still run into roadblocks. Some of my roadblocks are anger, stubbornness and impatience. I will illustrate:
My husband, toddler and I were traveling to see family this weekend. While en route we planned a few stops along the way. One of them included a trip to a home improvement store. By the time we finished shopping, Grace and I were “over cooked”. At that point, we got caught in Miami evening traffic.
We didn’t have snacks (read: emergency).
My husband became agitated. Why? Because I have a tendency to become petulant, whiny and insistent when I am tired. Or hungry. Or bored.
My hubby has the patience of a saint and often wants to keep Grace and I calm. If we are calm, he is calm. (Codependency or survival…you decide.) Well, he was facing a perfect storm of a mommy and Grace meltdown.
I asked him what was wrong and his answer was not about his own distress it was about mine. I felt so bad. Instantly I knew that it was my character defects that were straining our relationship.
The Best Relationship Advice You Ever Heard
Pour love on it. I pulled it together, assured him I was ok and extended all the love I could muster. I communicated that his needs are just as important as mine.
Here are 3 Ways to Practice the Best Relationship Advice:
Way #1: Love is humble.
Take responsibility (apologize) for your shortcomings and make an effort to change them.
Way #2: Love is understanding.
My husband, my daughter, my family, friends and clients are all in their own struggle. The more I can remember that, the more patient and tolerant I am. Be understanding of the people around you.
Way #3. Love does not blame or criticize.
It is sooooo tempting to point fingers and feel innocent. Blame, judgment and criticism damage any relationship.
If you pour love on your relationships they will improve.
Even if the people around you don’t change, YOU will feel better about yourself.
The best relationship advice isn’t meant to change your loved ones. It’s advice to help you change YOU!
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