The 3 Rs of a Rocking Relationship
The Foundation of Education
Most of us grew up with the 3 Rs, the foundation of learning…reading, writing and arithmetic. I always found it odd that the Education community chose to call it the three Rs when only one actually starts with an R?!, but yes, they are the core skills needed to succeed in school.
Still, what about the core skills needed to move through a conflict when it emerges and to generally succeed in a marriage or relationship?
Reactions Rule the Day
In relationships, reactions seem to rule the day. Rational, well thought out responses to a situation are all too often a rarity. Something happens and we react. Often not wisely.
Building your skills in the 3 Rs of a Rocking Relationship can change all that.
The 3 Rs of a Rocking Relationship
You can build a solid foundation for a fantastic relationship by nurturing these three key skills for handling the inevitable conflict that happens in relationship.
If your reactions aren’t getting you the relationship you want, RECONSIDER, REEVALUATE, and REFRAME.
Reconsider - Think Again
Think again. Your initial reaction is often a fear response. Fear is often masked as anger.
Fear your needs wont get met is often at the source of reaction. It usually happens so fast, it FEELS like you have no control, but you do.
Still, you CAN get better at handling conflict in a healthy way IF you build a HABIT for slowing things down and taking another look at what just happened, what your knee-jerk reaction was and what might be a more helpful approach to getting BOTH your needs met.
“Sometimes you’ve got to take a big step back to see the full picture.” Unknown
When you think you know what your partner is going to say, reconsider how your expectations, filters or reactions may be contributing to the pattern.
You are BOTH contributing to the dynamic between you. Your experience is valid and important just because it is yours. And so is your beloved’s.
“When you realize and pause for sometime to see how you are performing, then you can a chance to breathe and strategize and do things rightly.”
Re-Evaluate - Revise Your Estimate
When you pause to take another look, look deeply. Bring your critical thinking into play. Love is NOT logical, but logic and reason can help a lot.
What you thought at first, may or may not be accurate. Plus you might factor in your beloved’s perspective. Doing so builds trust and good will. Not to mention it gives you more valuable information to guide your next steps.
When you are tired and cranky and snap at your partner, reevaluate if that will help or hurt. Do your best to have a forward focus to move beyond justifying your reaction. Lean into Loving Better
Reframe - Think or Express Differently
You have your own “truth” and so does your beloved. You both have your own history, life experience perspectives, filters and ways of thinking or doing things.
In psychology there is a term called cognitive reappraisal. It is defined as “an emotion regulation strategy that involves changing the trajectory of an emotional response by reinterpreting the meaning of the emotional stimulus.”
We could all use a little “emotion regulation strategy” sometimes, but when it comes to a relationship, we could likely use A LOT!
How you think about something is not how your beloved will. Be curious, compassionate and creative. What you emphasize as the critical elements may not be important at all to your beloved.
When you get into an argument you just want to avoid, consider re-framing it into an opportunity to get closer.
“Our choices are affected by how information is framed. Depending on which qualities are emphasized, identical facts can be more or less appealing.” ― Josh King Madrid
- Is there another perspective to consider? Hint: There IS!
- Might you say what you need to say in a different way?
- What are your filters and how are they impacting your thoughts, words and actions?
If what you’re doing isn’t working, try another way.
Embracing these three fundamentals - reconsider, re-evaluate and reframe is a core skill set in nurturing a relationship that rocks.
Each of your feelings, perspectives and needs matter. Conflict is inevitable, but be smart about how to handle it. More importantly, build a HABIT so when you are triggered, you won’t be hijacked by any instant reactions.
When you’re triggered, take care to slow down, see the big picture, consider your beloved’s perspectives. Reframe the conflict into something that is happening FOR you rather than TO you. Set yourself and your relationship up for healthy relating and deeper partnership.
“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted” Elizabeth Edwards
Healthy Happy and Hot
Enjoying a happy, healthy and hot relationship takes skill, intention and habit. Practicing releasing your reactions and leaning into these Three Rs to a Rocking Relationship will not only save you a ton of heartache, pain and time, it will build trust, good will and good times.
It is NOT often easy, but it is simple. These are the basics to build on. Make these three Rs a part of your Couple Culture today!
1. Put reminders in places where you think you will see them when needed
most to say..."Don't REACT. Reach for the 3 Rs - Reconsider, Reframe,
2. Next time you find yourself reacting, pause and look to the 3 Rs.
Reconsider (take some time), Reframe (look at it differently) and Reevaluate
(try something new).
3. If you find yourself reacting and you cannot find your reminder, then post it
at that point so you’re ready the next time.
Your Ally in Aiming for Awesome,
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