Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Category
This part of “Know Your Partner” shares more important questions for your relationship – on education, leisure, travel and vacations, holidays and birthdays. In the last few parts of this series I explained the importance of getting to know your partner before deciding to move in together, get married or have kids. I shared questions about relationships, every day life, family background, friends, appearance, work, money and health.
Remember not to judge your partner’s answers. Use this exercise to examine your own judgment and maybe change it if it is not working for you. The point is not to find every tiny thing that does not fit perfectly into your plan for the future. This exercise is only meant to help you learn about yourself and your partner, and find out the most important things that you and/or your partner do not think you can compromise on.
Welcome to the third installment of “Know Your Partner”. In this series war are talking about questions you and your partner should discuss before you move in together, get married or have kids. These questions will help you find your partner’s “musts”. To read more about “musts”, check out Know Your Partner: Musts. In the last post in the series, we listed questions about relationships, every day life, family background and friends. This post covers questions about appearance, work, money and health.
Last week, we talked about how every person has “musts”, things they absolutely cannot live without. It is important for each person in a couple to know their partner’s “musts” before they decide to move in together, to get married or to have kids. This week, I thought I would give you a list of questions to help you along your journey. This list includes questions about relationships, everyday life, family background and friends.
This list is very important to use in different relationship situations:
Before moving in with someone.
Before deciding to have kids.
On anniversaries – in order to update each other about the ways we have changed.
When experiencing relationship conflict.
Before making the decision to break up a partnership.
There are a few rules to remember when asking these questions. This will make the question and answer process more effective and successful:
Any relationship is a form of agreement between two or more people. The deeper the relationship, the more things you will need to agree on for your relationship to stay positive. Some relationships, like marriage and having children together, are more important than others. They have a huge impact on our lives and our futures. I call them love agreements.
Love agreements will change over time. Just how they change will depend on the circumstances. Each person changes within themselves and their agreements with each other change accordingly. For couples, it is very important for each side to make sure they are “sailing in the same direction”. While each of them may change in different ways, together, they want to be going the same way. If one wants to sail north and the other’s greatest desire is to sail south, then their relationship will suffer. One or both of them will have to compromise.
When we talk about relationships, the word compromise pops up as a desired outcome. I think compromise is important, but I also believe that some compromises cannot last for very long. They are often the source of conflict and can cause much heartache.
Human behavior was always something that fascinated me. During my studies I learned about the difference between what people think they do and what they actually do. Since then I have been hooked. You see, when we are under pressure, we react differently to when we have time to think, analyze and react at our own pace.
Some people say that under pressure, we reveal our true selves. Others think it is the opposite – we are ourselves all the time and the ugly side of us comes out when we are pushed. I tend to think that when we are under pressure, our reptilian brain, the one in charge of “fight or flight”, takes over. Like a survival mechanism, we react instinctively to protect ourselves when we are stressed or we think we are in danger (whether that danger is real or perceived).
Often times, we see other people’s poor behavior and say, “Oh, I would have done it differently. I would have done such and such and I would have said so and so”. The truth is, we can speculate about what we might have said until we are blue in the face but until we are in a stressful situation, we will not know how we will react.
In my last few posts on human needs, we talked about how people have needs for certainty, variety, significance, love & connection and growth. The last need left for us to discuss is contribution. If we think of our needs in pairs, growth and contribution go together. These two needs usually appear last, after we have found ways of attaining the other four needs.
Unlike some of the other needs, growth and contribution are not in conflict with each other. They do not need to be in balance. Rather, the more we have of one, the more we have of the other one.
In the last chapter, I gave some examples to increase personal growth. In this chapter, I will cover examples to improve contribution.
Contribution is any act or intention to act that improves the position of others. It can be a physical improvement or even an emotional improvement. If the interaction has made the other person feel better, even in a small way, you have contributed to someone else’s life.
Our brains are full of neurons – synaptic connections that link our life experiences to our emotions. Think of them as wires. Some are conscious and some are subconscious. The Be Happy in LIFE program takes people though the process of noticing their wires, evaluating them, choosing good wires and changing wires on the way to happiness.
Every client who takes a journey with us reaches their happiness goal. We bring the knowledge and all it takes is a bit of courage. I will share the knowledge with you here and all you need to do is gather some courage to make lasting changes.
So, how do we change our wires?
The key is to choose what you want to think.
The first 4 needs we discussed (variety and certainty, significance and love and connection) may interfere with each other and are in constant strive for balance. The last two needs that people have are the need for growth and for contribution. Unlike the first 4 needs, these needs help and support each other in order to achieve a higher level of fulfillment.
It is estimated that we need to have our first four needs met before we are able to grow and contribute. For example, it is very hard for people to give when they do not have certainty. Think about it. How easy is it for someone to give their time when they are working 14 hours each day to provide for their family? How easy is it for you to invest in growing, learning, developing, when you are busy trying to fit in with others who think learning and developing are not socially favorable? Not very easy, right?
Love and connection are needs that we all have from the day we are born, right up until the day we die. Here are some examples of gaining/expressing/feeling love and connecting with others. Please remember that what is seen as a positive way of achieving love and connection for one, may be considered negative by another. For growth to happen, we each have to go through this process on our own.
Being in a loving relationship
Research on relationships, health, wealth and wellbeing proves that those who live for a long time and are happy together are those who stay in their relationship for many years. It can be relationship with another person or with a whole community. Every time we connect with someone else and the communication or connection is positive, we fill up our love tank.
Last time we talked about the snake brain. Even though our brain has 3 parts, each with different functions, the primitive snake brain is far superior when we are stressed. It has two main functions: (1) food (yummy, yummy!) and (2) protecting us from danger with a fight or flight response. Meanwhile, the puppy brain stores information as emotions and uses them to navigate us. For example, on a conscious level, we would label all kinds of anger with the same five letters: a.n.g.e.r. The puppy brain is able to distinguish between “I was slightly angry”, “I was angry”, “I was very angry” and “I was soooooooo angry”. In the brain, the feeling is stored along with its intensity.
Whenever something happens to us, the puppy brain searches our emotion bank for similar feelings we experienced in the past. This helps it decide how to translate the new information.