1. step – ACTIVE LISTENING
Being a great partner is a choice to work on yourself in many different ways, and I broke them down for you into 3 steps as usual.
The very first quality of a great partner is their ability to listen actively.
You can use this technique with everyone, not just with your partner, but also with family members, colleagues or business partners. It can immediately improve your relationships with them beyond recognition.
Why is active listening the key to being a great partner? Because humans in their inner essence seek attention and affection.
Giving it to them will make you the one who “really cares” and active listening is the way to show it.
Being a great partner is all about giving first, and I believe that it doesn’t apply only to relationships but to life in general.
Example from Bali
I was told a quote by people in Bali, and it perfectly reflects the principle of giving first. This is how it goes: “You give peanut, you get a monkey.”
You see, in Bali, peanuts are very cheap, and monkeys (adorable as they might appear) are highly undesired as they steal whatever they can find.
What Balinese people mean by this quote is clear – for giving little, you get little.
If you do not give, you won’t be given; if you do not give a damn about others, they will not give a damn about you, and if you do not give your attention and love to people, they will not want you in their lives.
Give first, and life will take care of the rest.
From now on
When you talk to someone, be present and entirely focus on them. Ideally, keep eye contact if possible and stay quiet.
Absorb every detail of that person´s monolog, their non-verbal signals and remember what was being said without being interruptive.
Active listening requires one more skill – empathy.
Empathy is the act of conscious understanding of someone else’s feelings, emotions, and experience. It is the “putting yourself into someone else’s shoes” kind of thing.
Empathy is what makes you feel like someone “really gets you” while talking to them, and using it yourself will make you a desired partner for life.
People tend to think that empathy is inherited personal trait and one is either born with it or not, but it is just another skill that can be learned.
When you are having a conversation with someone, and you don’t understand why they would say a certain thing, try to use empathy before you react to their words.
It takes a lot of self-control, but when mastered, it might as well lift your existing and future relationships to a whole new level.
2. step – PRESENT MOMENT
What is the most valuable thing that you can give to someone?
It is your time. It is the most expensive, luxurious and limited possession of yours and the way you are spending it determines what is most important to you in life, whether it is your partner, family, work, traveling, etc.
You can’t fool this equation, where your time goes -> there your heart is.
If you want to show someone your love and be a great partner to them, give them your time, your undivided attention.
And where does this quality time awaits to be given? In the present moment. Right now, right in this very second.
When you are reading this article, you are giving your precious time to yourself because you want to grow and I am very proud of you for that.
Do the same when you want to show love to another person. Be present with them, concentrate and focus on them, you don’t always need to talk to them, sometimes simply to “be there for them” is enough.
You can check out what steps I take to be present if you feel like this skill is something you would like to improve.
Explore the HOW TO Be Present 3-step guide for more information.
3. step – SELF-DEVELOPMENT
For becoming a great partner and staying that way, one must keep developing. There is no way around it.
There is one quote that my partner and I live by – “If you are not growing, you are dying.”
It might seem little too harsh but right there in that quote is everything you need to know about any relationship – the one with yourself and the one with others.
If you keep growing, developing and working on yourself, you will hardly lose any relationship or stay in a toxic one.
Here is a small example of this message: if you put two soulmates in one house and make them live together forever, I guarantee you that even those two will eventually have nothing to talk about, get bored and their affection will fade away if they don’t develop further, each for themselves and together.
The “why” behind the end
Many relationships end because people feel as if they “grew apart,” but the real reason is that they stopped growing, period.
Or one of them stopped and didn’t want to keep up with the other one. Either way, the relationship won’t last long at that point.
The good news is that everyone can be a great partner, all it takes is a will and hard work.
But if you love someone, self-development should be the least you can do for them and yourself.
Take a moment and answer yourself this question: “can I give myself an honest feedback?”.
And I don’t mean crappy negative self-talk, I mean objective feedback in all areas of your life and your persona.
Who are you as a person? How do you interact with others? What are your triggers for getting interruptive, bored or angry? Can you love unconditionally? Do you do your best in life? What is your full potential? Do you have a purpose in life?
Answering all these and many more questions is essential for self-development and being a great life partner to yourself and others.
Dig into your emotional and mental processes. Find out how you operate in life and what works for you.
Self-reflection is the technique to go for if you want to start getting to know yourself on this level and hop on the journey of self-development.
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- The Friendship Challenge – friendship is the building stone for a stable and healthy relationship. Now, thanks to this guide, you know what the key skill to build one is. It’s time to challenge yourself in active listening! The Friendship challenge is all about that and goes even deeper into this technique. Give yourself this 1 WEEK, strengthen this skill and enjoy watching people you love to react to your improvement!
How To Have a Great Relationship – if you want to know how the relationship with my partner looks like, what principles we use, how we deal with arguments, what we believe is love and how we make it grow every day, this is your source. I found this video a few years ago, and when I first saw it, I was speechless, so I showed it to my partner, and so was he. It was as if someone extracted our brains and insert them into Mimi’s and Alex’s head (and trust me, that doesn’t happen very often). We heard ourselves in every word they said and thought they discussed. I am thrilled for Mimi and Alex making this video, because not only they are highly intelligent and intellectual – they are also a blessing to look at and a real 21st-century inspiration to follow.
35 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship – you can be a great partner, and yet, your relationships don’t have to work. Why? Because for a relationship to function properly you need two people, two great partners. This article written by Lolly Daskal can help you identify whether the relationship you are in is healthy or toxic and if it is the latter, you know you can do better.
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