One Thing Pretty Much Anybody Can Do To Be A Better Partner, Parent Or Friend

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One of the biggest challenges people face in relationships is figuring out how to  love yourself and be a better partner at the same time.

Have you found a way to love yourself while ensuring you meet all your needs, too? Can you love yourself as much as you love your partner and kids?

Some people find there's just not enough "love" to go around — or, more accurately, time and energy to show ourselves love.

Do you get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food, exercise, pay attention to your emotions, enjoy time with friends and family, and get help when needed? How you answer this question will reveal your strengths and growing edges around self-love.

If you are struggling to care for yourself first, you must get over the belief drilled into you as a child that you need to always put the needs of others before your own.

The pressure to put others first is especially true for women who are expected to sacrifice themselves for the needs of their families.

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You get into relationship problems when you expect others to meet your needs. The reality is that you are responsible for your happiness.

When you love yourself, you ensure that you are getting your needs met. You are no longer relying on another person to make you okay. Being grounded in your body, heart, and head help you be a better partner.

In any relationship, you need balance. Yes, there will be times that you will happily go out of your way to help another person when they are having a rough time. It only becomes a problem when you are always the one to give up your life for them.  

In a healthy relationship, there will be a balance over time. You will both be there to support and encourage each other. No one will take advantage of the other.

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Eight ways loving yourself more can help your relationships thrive

1. You find increased self-awareness

When you make an effort to care for yourself, you become better aware of how you show up each day. There will be little difference between how you think of yourself and how others experience you; this helps you be a better partner.

The more aware you are of yourself, the better you can acknowledge your strengths and areas of growth. The more you can accept your imperfections, the better you are at accepting the shortcomings of others.

Greater self-awareness helps you know the areas of your life that need healing. It allows you to find the courage to begin the healing journey.

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2. You take 100% responsibility for yourself

Taking full responsibility for your behaviors makes you less likely to blame your problems on others.

You can better focus your energy on working through your issues because you can discern the difference between your responsibility and what you need to release.

3. You spread happiness

You learn that happiness is a choice. Only you can make yourself happy.   

You stop blaming others for your lack of happiness. You do your best for yourself and encourage your loved ones to do what they need to do.

You will be able to discover what will help you to be truly happy. You will be a better partner.

4. You have healthy boundaries

In any relationship, you need healthy boundaries. When you can love yourself, you will know when to take time for yourself. You will better understand what you need from your partner to have the life you desire.

How can your partner know what you need unless you can tell them?

You can identify your role in the relationship and know what you need to shift.

You don’t get so enmeshed with your partner that you lose your identity. You give your partner the freedom to be themselves.

You know how to ask for what you need.

RELATED: 100 Daily Self-Love Affirmations To Help Boost Your Confidence

5. Your self-esteem grows

The more you feel good about yourself through self-love, the more confidence you will have in yourself.

Two self-confident partners are going to get along better. You will find the right balance between meeting your own needs and being supportive and loving of your partner.

When you are secure in yourself, your partner having friends will not be a threat to you. It won’t even be a problem for either of you to have friends, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

You won’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. You will be open to finding ways of enabling you both to follow your dreams. It might not happen simultaneously, but you will be okay because you support each other.

You will be a better partner.

6. You're able to be vulnerable.

For any relationship to be strong, you both need to be vulnerable. What does it mean to be vulnerable?

Vulnerability calls upon you to be open with your partner about what you are feeling: joy, happiness, anger, frustration, fear, judgment, or any other emotion.

It is about sharing what is happening within you without transferring your emotions to those you love.

To share with others, you need to be honest with yourself.

When you love yourself, you can do this with compassion for yourself and those you love.

Your emotions are constantly shifting and changing. When you are vulnerable, you allow those energies to move through you by simply acknowledging them.

Letting your energies move through you without getting stuck will make you happier, more compassionate, honest, patient, and kinder.

7. You extend self-love to others

You can be mirrors for each other as you grow in self-love. You can encourage each other and gently remind your partner to be more gentle with themselves when they get caught up in their inner critic.

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8. You attract healthy partners

If you are self-loving, you will attract other people who are the same. If you are in a relationship that could be better, you will be modeling to your partner a different way of being.

You will know more quickly if a relationship is healthy for you. If your partner constantly puts you down, this is a sign that your relationship is in trouble.

When you have relationship challenges, the more you love and honor yourself will increase your willingness, to be honest with the one you love.

You will have the inner radar to know when your relationship is beyond healing. You will have the strength to end the relationship no matter how hard it may be.

You want a great relationship! The first place to start is with yourself.

The more you can love and honor yourself, the more capacity you will have to love others and love your imperfect human partner. You will be a better partner.

There are many tools and practices to help you learn to love yourself. You will do well when you find ways to be present in your body, paying attention to what you can learn from the sensations in your body. You will do well when you can feel your emotions, allowing them to move through your body and learn to quiet your mind.

Doing this work with your partner can be a powerful way to enhance your relationship. You will discover a new depth of intimacy that will take you to places you never dreamed possible.

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Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.

This article was originally published at REL Consultants Newsletter. Reprinted with permission from the author.