RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLES

  1. Accept the other person as they are (or make a decision about the relationship)

This is unconditional love and acceptance—good and-bad- no strings attached

If you cannot accept them the way they are then it’s time to think about getting out of the relationship.

  1. Focus on your half of the relationship or the problem (not theirs)

Look at what you are doing (or not doing) that either sets up, reinforces or keeps the problem going on your end

  1. Look at what you have control over (not what you don’t)

Change what you have the power to change; leave the rest alone; You cannot change another person

  1. Try a different reaction (to break patterns)

If you reacted one way and it didn’t help; react a different way next time

Keep doing something different until something works

  1. If it’s not working stop doing it (end of story)

If what you’ve been doing keeps getting bad results stop doing it over and over

  1. If it is working keep doing it

Pay attention to the things that do work and do more of those things

  1. Show you care (3-5 x day)

Do something to show you care (no words are necessary) without expecting something in return (do not even expect a thank you or appreciation)

  1. Remember to mention the things you do like and the things that are going well (no one only wants to hear what you don’t like about them all the time)

Pay attention and even the slightest good thing make sure you acknowledge and reinforce it

  1. Stop reinforcing or rewarding the behaviors you dislike

Make sure you are not accidentally rewarding the thing you don’t like

(If you want them to stop asking you to get up and get them tea then quit getting it for them every time they ask—and then blame them for asking!)

  1. Use the rule of threes (tell them twice and if it happens a 3rd time see number 1)

The first time you are letting them know what they are doing is a problem for you (it may be a mistake on their part); the second time you remind them that you’ve already asked them to stop; the third time say nothing—it’s a pattern and this person is not going to change. Decide if you can accept the behavior or not. If not, end the relationship. Continuously bringing up the same thing over and over (after the first 2 times) is a waste of time (and is actually abusive in its own way)

BY DIANE WEBB

relationship principles