Everyone knows that in order to succeed in business, you have to be assertive. Resting on your laurels and expecting success to show up on your doorstep is not going to get you to the top. There are many other skills that people need to achieve professional success. Some of those are taught, some are acquired, and some are absorbed, almost through osmosis. Many people who attain these skills and apply them to business, however, often don’t ever think they need to do the same thing in their relationships. According to Maryland psychologist Dr. Tom Muha, in order to have a successful relationship, partners must acquire and hone three specific skills.
- Awareness. The first skill Muha refers to is awareness. When people are aware of what they are feeling, they can better express those feelings, wants, and desires to their partners. Similarly, by practicing awareness, partners also learn to identify, in turn, their partners’ needs, what makes them happy, and what their partners want from them. Rather than being spiteful and critical when your partner doesn’t meet your needs, Muha suggests thinking that perhaps your partner is merely unaware of what you need.
- Curiosity. It might have killed the cat, but curiosity, when applied productively, can actually be a good thing for relationships. Snooping in your partner’s email, checking text messages, or scouring their wallet are not productive displays of curiosity. However, asking your partner what makes them happy and what excites them are great ways to get your partner to open up. People don’t always know how to express their feelings. Prompting your partner with questions provides an opportunity for you to open up a dialogue about needs and desires.
- Assertiveness. So you’ve mastered awareness and curiosity. You’re armed with knowing what you want and having a pretty good idea of what your partner wants. Now you have to ask for it. In other words, don’t just hint that it might be nice to have a candlelit bubble bath someday. Ask your partner to sweep you off your feet and set up a romantic evening for the two of you. Ask your partner to compliment you once a day. Ask your partner if he or she would appreciate getting compliments from you.
Muha believes that everyone can learn how to master these three skills. He adds, “Long-lasting love involves partners being aware of what each other needs, and being committed to making sure both sides are getting most of those needs met.”
Muha, Tom. (2013). Achieving happiness: Be aware of your partner’s needs. Capital Gazette(n.d.): n. pag. Web. http://www.capitalgazette.com/lifestyle/columnists/achieving_happiness/achieving-happiness-be-aware-of-your-partners-needs/article_0308530b-b63b-5848-a368-a87d3a79ae5b.html
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