I recall a time when I loathed the very thought of any sort of intrusive “counselling” (incl. coaching, mentoring etc)—‘Who’s got the right to speak about my life’ might’ve been the sentiment. I know many men (and even many women) who’d identify. But, something changed when I committed myself to the truth—and now the benefits are clear and powerful.
Whatever you call it—mentoring, counselling, coaching, guiding—it’s designed to give us insight into ourselves; valuable insight we’d not otherwise see at all. This following advice is something I received as a reminder just recently which is helping me to re-centralise my thoughts. It might aid you too.
Two simple yet powerful questions to ask your partner, or any other person you relate with really, in continually growing the bond you have with them, or improving your rapport, are:
1. What are your expectations of me?
Seeking only the top three, we need to understand what the often unsaid expectations are. Once we know these we can then start to meditate and reflect on them. Unsaid and forgotten expectations confound too many relationships. It’s best to be clear on what the expectations actually are. This is astoundingly simple stuff.
2. What are your needs of me?
Once we hear, and begin to acknowledge and therefore finally know, what our partners expect from us, their needs of us make so much more sense. These are not wants. Needs are non-negotiables. They’re the deeper things that relationships need met to survive (and thrive).
The only watch point is ensuring needs are balanced and reasonable, and only we and our partners can determine that (perhaps with the help of a trained counsellor, if necessary).
The Skill of Re-centralising
I mentioned previously about this aspect of re-centralising my thoughts on my partner, or the relationship at hand.
Quite simply, the issues of life cloud our closest relationships—we simply have to become disciplined at this process of re-centralising until we perfect it.
Time after time we forget. We must re-instil the idea over and again of re-centralising on our partner.
Focus on the Other
As we’ll probably determine from the above two questions, we soon see that improving our relationships starts with us but it focuses on the other person. It can’t be any other way. Our relationships aren’t a 50/50 thing. Each person, or certainly ourselves, must put in 100 percent effort to achieve the results we’re looking for.
The Final “Why”
Our relationships depend on this. This is generally the start of the end if/when we don’t get it right, certainly if it’s over a lengthy time span—who’d want to simply ‘exist’ with their partners in any event.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.