Last night I was on the couch trying to relax on a Sunday night, but thoughts of some work I needed to get done kept intruding in my mental space. I could put it off until Monday, but I knew that if I did that, my whole day would be thrown off and probably my whole week. It wasn't hard work at all, but tedious and I just wasn't in the mood. Happens all the time doesn't it?
Giving advice is a tricky proposition. Given for the right reasons under the right circumstances, advice is very beneficial and can help someone to solve a problem. Good advice is a tremendous aid to getting unstuck. It allows us to gain knowledge we don't have from someone who's in the know. It can widen our view of a problem and lift us out of tunnel vision. It can broaden our perspective, and conversely help us narrow in on the real issues to address. Advice can be wonderful!
Are You Defensive?
So who among us hasn't been defensive? Don't fudge! We all have. Certainly there is a time to defend ourselves, but for the most part, we engage in being defensive when it really doesn't help our cause. True defense is different from defensiveness. Being defensive implies that we don't really feel secure in our own thoughts, actions, beliefs or whatever the challenge may be. Of course when we feel attacked, it is a natural reflex to defend the fort, but really, how effective are our defensive actions? Usually not effective at all. That's because as we defend, the other side increases the attack, and we get into a vicious cycle of attack-defend, attack-defend, and on and on with no real resolution and bad feelings all around.
A Relationship Booster
There's a quick way to improve or enhance a relationship. Very simply, the idea is to catch your partner "doing good." Instead of focusing mostly on what you don't like or what's not going well, notice things you're partner does that you like and verbalize it. In other words, show appreciation. Here's how to do it: