Today is the International Day of Peace, so we take a look at ways to keep the peace with your significant other.
Attend to your own needs
Everyone has something that they must do to keep their sanity, if it's being creative, getting in your daily dose of exercise or having some alone time. You must take care of yourself first in order to take care of your partner. Think of what air stewards tell you when you are on a plane- this is very ture not only of emergency situations but also of life; 'Please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.'
Give your loved one the benefit of the doubt
Don't assume that your significant other is out to hurt or offend you. When people are dealing with their own problems they forget to think of yours and this can come out in ways that might be misinterpreted. If your partner loves you, they don't want to hurt you. Explore why they have said something before jumping to the conclusion that it was meant to bring you down.
Look inwardly first
If you're unhappy with something about yourself, it can be tempting to make this extend to your relationship. The solution doesn't lie with your partner- it lies with you. Think before you pass blame and try to find the route cause of your anger or upset- is it an insecurity that you have that is making you think this way?
Watch out for projection
'People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'- a saying that is very true of projection. Think about what annoys you about your partner- is it because you can see the same thing in yourself? Acknowledge your flaws and try not to separate them- if you both have the same flaw, then work on it together.
When and when not to battle
It is entirely up to you how you react to any given situation. Think back to arguments in the past- could they have been resolved in a way other than arguing? Probably. Take a step back when you feel yourself on the verge of losing your cool- could you handle it differently? Save your battles for the really important stuff, not the everyday niggles or the real battles will no longer gain attention from your partner.
Be clear when you have problem
There are two sides to every situation. If you have an issue with something- be clear as to what it is. Ambiguity never helped anyone in a disagreement. Listen to your partner's side of the story. Then look at negotiating your way through it.
Be vulnerable if you need to be
It can feel like you're losing control when you are honest about your feelings, reveal something from your past or hold your hands up when you have made a mistake. If you can be your true self with your partner, then they will feel comfortable enough to do the same back. Relationships thrive in a non-judgemental environment, so try to be open minded.
Don't act on your first emotion
Give it time to rest and think about how you really feel about an event. Some people cry when they get angry- not an emotion that conveys how they think they are feeling- so it begs the question- are they actually angry? Think about your next move before making it or you could end up saying or doing something you regret.
If your partner says something that hurts you- tell them how it's made you feel. Don't be manipulated into doing things that are wrong, or that you really don't want to do. Yes compromises have to be made, however you should never be made to feel guilty in a relationship for your partner's gain. You should do things for your partner because you want to do them.
Don't seek their approval
If you live by their opinion of you, your emotions are always in tune with theirs. Ideally couples need to have differing emotions so when one is down the other can bring them back up. If you both fall into the same emotional traps, you will both go down together and fail to bring each other back up.