Things to Avoid to Build a Better Relationship/Part 1

To love a man, flaws and all, is to accept him as he is, without any hidden agenda or strings attached. With full acceptance of who and what he is, you immediately improve your ability to communicate with him because now you can respond to his displeasing behaviors with unconditional love. THIS is what makes a woman graceful. The moment a woman doesn’t need a man to be on his best behavior just so she can be happy, she becomes FAR more attractive to him. Why? Well for one, he subconsciously realizes that the pressure is off of him, so he feels more decisive about pleasing you. And two, he also realizes that he must now prove his value to you.

1. Pick your battles VERY carefully.

You do not have to criticize or second-guess every decision your man makes. If you develop the habit of always second-guessing his decisions he will either do one of two things. First, because second-guessing a man’s decision signifies a lack of trust he may choose to ignore you in the future when it comes to decision-making. The reason for this is because he feels as if you don’t trust him as the team captain. I’m sure you can imagine how frustrating it could become if a man habitually keeps you out of the decision-making loop in your relationship.

Alternatively, instead of taking you out of the decision-making process completely, a man may take the passive-aggressive route and allow you to do what you want (to his regret). If he takes the passive-aggressive route and lets you handle things, you’ll end up resenting him for being a pushover and he’ll end up resenting you for being such a big bully.

Most of the time, it’s the small battles that add up that causes men the most irritation. Arguing with him over small everyday decisions will either frustrate him or make him indifferent when you do need his input. For example, sometimes a man will make a decision about something simply because he wants to.If your man enjoys taking the long way home because it’s the more scenic route, why argue with him about taking a shorter, inner city route home? If he enjoys the view, let him be. If you’re at the food store and a bottle of grape juice costs $1.50 more than orange juice, why make a fuss just because it’s slightly more expensive? If he really likes grape juice, let him have his grape juice. Yes, these are all simple illustrations, but you’ll be surprised at how women make a fuss over the simplest decisions men make. When it comes to the small stuff, if he wants to do something and it doesn’t cost you your happiness, let him do it.

The first thing is to know your man. If he’s the strong alpha type, he won’t tolerate always being second-guessed and will eventually put his foot down to your chagrin. If he’s laid-back and non-confrontational he’ll soon hate himself (and you) for always letting you have your way all the time. His passive-aggressive way of dealing with you will show itself in other ways through his silent acts of “revenge.” So what’s the moral of the story? Simple, let him be a man by respecting (there’s that word again) his leadership and trusting his decision-making.

2. Be patient.

Patience is the virtue that makes both young and older women overwhelmingly attractive. I’m not talking about the patience to take abuse from a man or being patient in suffering because of his thoughtless behavior. What I’m talking about is patience in the way you communicate. If men are the more stubborn of the sexes, developing patience is going to be imperative in dating and relating with men. A good mental trick for being patient with men is to keep this thought in mind: This man is far from perfect, but I love him anyway. The poor soul just doesn’t know any better. Now, I want to just state here that I’m not trying to help you give a man an excuse for being irresponsible, but I do want you to keep in mind that we’re all perfectly flawed human beings just trying to get along in the easiest way possible. Let me explain (as I go off on a tangent). Cultivating and maintaining a relationship requires work, a ton of work. We all want to be happy in our relationships without the stress of change, so we keep our old, annoying, bad habits not because we don’t care, but because change is enormously difficult and uncomfortable. If a man truly knew on a subconscious level how to keep you happy, he would do it. But chances are, he doesn’t know, at least not entirely, and therefore he will make mistakes, get on your bad side, and make you want to rip his beady eyes out. But when you realize that he’s trying his best and that you can see progress, you can learn to be much more patient with him.

3. Give the man you love the benefit of the doubt, and avoid prejudging him.

If you’re going to attack or criticize everything your man says he’s going to learn the art of not-saying-anything-to-you-at-all. To a man, prejudging his responses is like being accused of murder and going to court just as a formality. It doesn’t make any sense to argue or testify if your verdict, no matter how unjust, is already guilty.

Here’s a scenario. Let’s say you asked your husband to clean the dishes because you’ll be getting off from work late and need a hand. You get home late, tired and worn out and walk into the kitchen and see a heap of filth in the sink. You glance at the couch and see your knight-in-shining-armor fast asleep in front of the TV, still dressed in work attire. What do you do next? Do you wake him up and tell him that he’s a lazy, inconsiderate bastard of a man or do you act with God-like patience and give him the benefit of the doubt? Remember, one path is the path of love; the other is the path of self-interest.

The truth is, he fell asleep on the couch after coming straight home from work and spending the entire evening helping one of the kids with a school project that’s due the following day. If you snap at him, he might feel like nothing he does matters to you and it could lead to resentment and bitterness. If you gave him the benefit of the doubt, he would have the chance to explain and you would see just how fabulous of a father he is to your children. You would then be able to appreciate him even more and he would be more than happy to follow through on his word. It’s the same situation but with two different results, all because you didn’t judge the situation in your mind before giving him a chance. I’m not saying every situation will be like this one, but choosing to respond in a loving, non-judgmental way is always the better choice.

4. Change your negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk can CRIPPLE your ability to communicate effectively with your man. If you struggle to communicate with men and you have a history of broken relationships or frustrating fights, you might be suffering from negative self-talk when it comes to communicating with men.

The things you tell yourself regularly, whether audibly or silently create the beliefs that drive your every action. Your thoughts help to shape your behavior, and if you always enforce negative self-talk when trying to communicate with men you’ll continue to get frustrating results. For instance, affirming things to yourself like, “I’m never going to get through to him” or “He never understands me” or even, “Talking to him frustrates me” won’t help your cause to be understood one bit. Instead, replace these kinds of phrases with more positive ones like, “I communicate with men with ease” or “I am easily understood when I communicate” or even “I enjoy working through conflicts with my husband/boyfriend.”

Now before you jump up and say that you’re not a negative self-talker, if you monitor your thoughts long enough you may start to notice certain thinking patterns that have created neural pathways in your brain that reinforce unhealthy communication habits. Behavioral researcher and best-selling author, Shad Helmstetter, discusses this concept in-depth in his book, What To Say When You Talk To Yourself. It’s a phenomenal self-improvement tool if you often struggle with negative thoughts. I highly recommend it.

5. Subvert self-interest to love him just the way he is.

We all want something. The moment you interact with another human being, you’re trying to get something. Even if you compliment someone expecting nothing in return, you’re still trying to gain the feeling of benevolence that comes from being kind. When we communicate with our significant others to get what we want and we don’t get what we want, we get frustrated. We feel misunderstood and can go as far as feeling unloved when we communicate without getting the results we wanted. Here’s some sage advice: try subverting your self-interest to communicate with your man as he is. Okay, this may sound a little vague at first so I’ll explain. If you try to communicate with your man with the expectation that he’ll be able to understand you perfectly, you will be frustrated. If you try to communicate with your man expecting him to be fully reasonable all the time, you will be frustrated. If you try to communicate with your man expecting him to just “get you”, you will be frustrated.

The first step to effective communication with a man starts by accepting him the way he is now, in the present, and this includes accepting the way he communicates at the moment. If you get into a heated argument or conflict expecting and wishing he communicated better, you’re already setting up a barrier to your own happiness and making it even more difficult to love him just the way he is. I know it sounds tough, but believe me; you cannot solve conflict by resisting reality. Accepting

how he communicates means that you’re not relying on his ability to understand you for your own happiness. When you’re not reliant on his understanding you’re free to love him as he is, flaws and all, while working through the issues to reach a sensible conclusion.

6. Speak your mind and uphold your boundaries like a well-refined queen, not an uncouth commoner.

One of the sexiest things in the world is a woman who knows how to speak her mind and defend her personal boundaries in a firm, but respectful way. It is a rare quality among women, and men recognize this kind of feminine grace and adore it. When a man steps out of line with you or simply isn’t respecting you, whether it is your co-worker, boyfriend, husband, etc., you have three options. First, you can do nothing, which is perhaps the worst thing you can do. Second choice is, you can act like an uncivilized ruffian and risk ruining a relationship. Third choice is, you can respond like a woman who’s above pettiness and set him straight with tact and diplomacy. The third choice is the most difficult but most worth it.

Men, even the man you love, will sometimes need to be reminded of where you stand and what you’re capable of. No one’s perfect, and he’s going to make mistakes due to pride and/or ignorance. When this happens, respect yourself and respect him by handling him with grace. For example, let’s say you and your man are visiting your hometown and he insists that he knows where he’s going even though you’re pretty sure he’s lost. The kids are in the back getting restless and everyone’s hungry and tired. If your first attempts at helping him fail due to his pride, stubbornness, or ignorance, set him straight by telling him something like: “Honey, the kids are hungry, we’re burning unnecessary fuel, and I know you’re tired. This is my hometown and I know it very well. I think it would be wise for you to take advantage of what I know in this instance.” That’s a much more attractive and even more dignified response then, “Dave, you’re an idiot. You’re lost and you know it. You should just listen to what I have to say instead of being so stubborn all the time.” Once again, it’s the same situation but with two completely different responses that will get you completely different results assuming you have a reasonable man.

7. Understand your man FIRST.

Don’t worry; I’m not one of those guys that believe a woman should do everything in her power to please her man. Whatever I say to you I say the same thing to guys, just in their own language. Just like I advise men that they should first seek to understand before seeking to be understood I’m advising that you do the exact same thing. By first seeking to understand the man that you love and want, you’ll be in a much better position to respond favorably to him. Your communication will be much more effective when you know how to manage his emotions. Yes, I said manage his emotions.

Men actually want to be influenced by the women they love. But in order to do so you must first understand how he thinks and what makes him tick. It will relieve a lot of the frustration that’s attached to trying to get your way when communicating with him.

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