The Tiny Thing You Can Do Tomorrow That Could Change Your Entire Relationship

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Joined: Nov 2022

Photo: Cottonbro studio | Pexels  The Tiny Thing You Can Do Tomorrow That Could Change Your Entire Relationship

Imagine if you could do one thing that would have far-reaching effects on your relationship in a good way. And imagine if you could do it tomorrow!

I know that it sounds impossible. After all, relationships are complicated and take lots of work, and how can one little thing make such a difference? But let me tell you, it can!

In this case, that one little thing we all struggle with isn’t widely discussed, even though addressing it can be incredibly effective at restoring any relationship and keeping it strong.

So, what is that one thing? That one thing you can do tomorrow that could change your entire relationship?

One powerful thing that changes relationships for the better

A client of mine asked her husband to stop on the way home from work to look at the tiles she had chosen for their bathroom renovation. He agreed. When he got home, she learned he hadn’t stopped to look at the tiles because he got caught at work, and then he forgot. He was very sorry and promised he would look at them tomorrow.

My client’s reaction? “If he loved me, he would have stopped to look at the tiles.”

This phrase, “If he loved me,” if we stopped using it in relationships, could change it entirely. It personalizes thing that aren’t intended to be personal — and likely were never about us in the first place. 

Stop taking things your partner says and does personally. Here’s why:

1. The connection between actions and feelings is complicated

My client’s husband did, in fact, not do what he promised to do, and disappointed her.

I promised her he didn’t fail to look at the tiles because he didn’t love her. He failed to stop and look at the tiles because he was distracted and forgot.

He loved her deeply and was sad he let her down (again, perhaps). He didn’t do it out of spite, thinking he wouldn’t stop and look at the tiles because he didn’t love his wife anymore.

How often do you use the phrase, “If you loved me, you would have”? Think back on one specific time you did it. Do you think your partner did it to disappoint you because they didn’t care about you, or did they do it for some other reason, some very annoying reason perhaps, but not because they didn’t care?

A key component in a healthy relationship is understanding if a partner lets you down, it’s not because they don’t love you. Understanding will help you keep in your head and heart your partner, no matter the stupid things they might do or not do, loves you and wants to make you happy and their behaviors are not some passive-aggressive way to show you they no longer care.

2. We all do things differently.

I have a client who is incredibly frustrated with her boyfriend’s lack of interest in texting during the day. He is great on the phone at night and lovely when they are together, but he never texts, not even to say good morning. It drives her crazy.

Why? Because it is something “she would never do.”

People who take their partner’s behaviors personally often believe their person should do things their way, and if they don’t, they can’t possibly care. My client would always text good morning, but it doesn’t mean her partner must. His not texting isn’t because he doesn’t care about her, it is something he has always hated doing!

So, remember, as much as we might like everyone in the world to do things the way we do them, everyone in the world is different, and expecting them to do things the way we want them done will only lead to disappointment and could potentially damage an otherwise healthy relationship.

The Tiny Thing You Can Do Tomorrow That Could Change Your Entire RelationshipThe Tiny Thing You Can Do Tomorrow That Could Change Your Entire Relationship

Photo: Cookie Studio via Shutterstock

3. Making everything about ourselves isn’t healthy.

Nobody wants a relationship with someone who makes it all about them.

Let’s think about this from another perspective from your partner’s perspective. When you forget to do something or do something wrong or differently, do you do so because you love them less? Or, do you do it because you are human, make mistakes, and have your way of doing things?

If your person repeatedly said your behaviors reflect your feelings for them, wouldn’t it be frustrating? Would this make you feel good about your partner or might it push you away?

Trying not to make everything about us but recognizing there are two people in a relationship with wants, needs, and feelings will go a long way toward preventing conflict in a relationship from rearing its ugly head and sabotaging things!

4. The more we do it, the more likely it is to take over our thoughts & actions.

Our brains can be our worst enemies because they run negative tapes over and over, reminding us of everything horrible we have done in the world and what losers we are. And it’s all lies but, because we are programmed to do so, we listen and believe anyway.

So, what do you think happens to your feelings about someone over time if you repeatedly tell yourself their actions reflect a lack of feelings on their part? Will your brain push back on these thoughts and leave you with faith your partner loves you madly? Or, will it mercilessly reinforce what you think is true and lead you to perhaps sabotage your relationship because you believe you aren’t being loved in return?

5. It might be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For my client whose husband didn’t stop to look at the tile on the way home, he eventually got worn down by his wife’s accusations he didn’t love her and left. He was willing to accept his actions were flawed sometimes, and he let her down often, but he knew it had never been because he didn’t love her. It had been because he worked too hard and didn’t always prioritize her and the kids.

By repeatedly being berated by his wife’s asserting he didn’t love her, he felt less guilty about what he didn’t do and more frustrated because she didn’t believe he cared about her. Nothing he could do would change the fact. Being with her only made him feel bad about himself. There was nothing he could do to change it. So, he left.



Now that you can understand why taking things personally can have a detrimental effect on a relationship, it’s crucial to know how to change this behavior and improve your relationship.

How to stop taking everything personally in your relationship

Usually, people who take things personally struggle with low self-esteem. They believe they aren’t loveable and look for reinforcements of this idea everywhere. And, unfortunately, it’s in a relationship where they look most to feel loved. Therefore, it’s in a relationship they would try to find the most reasons to prove they aren’t loveable.

The best thing someone who takes things personally can do, other than doing things to boost their self-esteem, is to push back on these thoughts. To use their brain positively, to remind themselves their partner’s behavior does not reflect a lack of love and to find other explanations for why they did what they did.

With my client, she could frame her reaction to her husband’s tendency to let her down as a recognition he works way too hard and forgets to do things he wants to do, much less what she wants him to do.

For my client whose boyfriend doesn’t text, she could remind herself this is the way it’s always been. She has been frustrated for the year they have been together about this lack of texting but if she can remember this is how he has always been and he fell in love with her anyway, it might give her more confidence. He doesn’t text. That is just the way he is. And yes, in some cases, a man not texting can mean the loss of feelings in a relationship, but in this case, not texting is something he has always done, something has always made her question his feelings for her – and yet, after a year, they are as madly in love as ever.

Reframing isn’t always easy and takes some awareness and practice, but there is no reason why you can’t start practicing tomorrow and see what effect it has on your relationship.

I know relationships are difficult, and there is no magic pill to keep one strong and healthy, but there are a few basic behaviors with a hugely positive or negative effect.

Not taking things personally is one of those behaviors that, if you are aware of and work to change, you can get the happily ever after you have always wanted!

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate who works exclusively with women to help them be all they want to be. Mitzi’s bylines have appeared in The Good Men Project, MSN, PopSugar, Prevention, Huffington Post, and Psych Central, among many others.

Source: YourTango


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