Letting go of expectations can help build a stronger and healthier relationship.
Of all things in life, relationships really test our trust, patience and energy. I immediately think of my three-year old daughter sitting down at dinner saying "No! Yuck!" to the food I prepared for her.
My level of patience and how I respond to her is usually determined by how tired I am or what kind of a day I've had. The more I can let go of my expectations of how things should be the more things just tend to work out for the better.
And it may be that she ends up eating dinner standing up but if everyone is happier and calmer then that's a win. Children have so much to teach us about how to be more open, honest and accepting of each other. They are not afraid to express how they feel, move on quickly from something, and still love unconditionally.
To truly give relationships a chance to become stronger and healthier there is one rule which must be followed: Letting go of the expectation that your partner needs to change. Instead of focusing on what you cannot control it's much more empowering to focus on what you can control.
And the only thing that you can control is how you respond to a situation or another person. The more you try to change someone the more they'll get defensive and close off. The more you choose to take responsibility for your part of the relationship equation, the more you allow space for your partner to reflect on their own behavior.
Here are 5 techniques to help you let go of the expectation that your partner needs to change whilst empowering yourself:
1. Accept that perfection isn't real.
No relationship is perfect. In the imperfection there is room for relationships to evolve into something better.
2. Breathe out negative emotions.
When you are feeling angry, upset or resentful practice this simple breathing technique: breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Breathing out through the mouth turns on the nervous system quicker, calms the mind and intense emotions resolve faster.
3. Acknowledge positive things in your relationships and build on these.
This gives us a greater sense of appreciation for what we have. A nice way to do this is to thank you partner for something they did e.g. making dinner on a night when you had to work late.
4. Open yourself to the possibility of change.
Be honest with yourself about how you stop the relationship from moving forward. For example, maybe you feel like you have to have the last word in arguments. Ask yourself why do you do this? Why is it important for you to have the last word?
Keep asking yourself this question until you get to the bottom of it. It may be that"“I need to be in control of my life" or "People cannot be trusted." The sooner you can be open about why you do certain things the sooner you let these old beliefs go so they no longer define you or your relationship.
5. Focus on how you want see yourself in a relationship and in your life.
Take small steps to keep moving in that direction. For example, maybe you decide to say thank you more often for the little things that your partner does.
These five simple techniques along with letting go of the expectation that the other person needs to change paves way for a much stronger, healthier and loving relationship.
If you are ready to Get on Track in your relationship and life make sure you download Suzi's Get on Track Guided Meditation and Workbook to unleash clarity, calm, and confidence to take the next step. Suzi Petrozzi is mentor, speaker and an expert in the field of wellness and human potential. She is passionate about helping busy professional women reconnect to what is truly important in their life to simplify challenges and make life easier.