Hi Soul – Friends,
It’s Tannaz Hosseinpour and welcome back to a short solo episode of Minutes on Growth. I want to briefly talk about the importance of putting in the effort in relationships. Last week, I was in a session with a couple that I’ve recently started working with, and at the end of the session, the gentleman looked at me and said ” why did we not learn these in school and why did we not pick up on these insights as we grew up and as we went through different relationships. why is this knowledge not available to us with experience?”
and it got me thinking.. wow. the work that we do consciously and intentionally in our relationships, we need to seek this knowledge -not all of it comes to us on its own. most of these relational tools and skills is something we have to set an intention to learn and to acquire, and it requires effort so is it worth it? is it worth it to read all these books, to go to all these seminars and listen to the podcasts and enrol in the courses, and go to coaching and therapy? because it’s a lot of effort and we’re putting a lot of time, money and energy into it – In my opinion, it is worth it. Not only as someone who has coached hundreds of couples, but also looking at it through my own experience going to couples therapy and coaching.
reflecting back on my relationships when I was 16 and 17 , even up until the age of 24/25, the quality of my relationships are incomparable to the relationships I have now. Back then drama was a constant in my relationships. Fighting and the silent treatment were on the menu every month.
Back then I didn’t how to communicate my feelings in a way where the other person wouldn’t get defensive. I didn’t know how to gather my thoughts and relay them in a constructive way.
Back then , I didn’t even know what boundaries were so I was stuck in a loop of people pleasing burn out.
Back then I didn’t know how to show love in a way that the other person could feel it and resonate with it.
I’m not only talking about my intimate relationships, but my relationships with my family members and my friends, the tools that I’ve learned over the years and the skills that I’ve enhanced have really changed the quality my life.
and it keeps getting better.
because learning is one thing but implementing is a whole different story so am I implementing the communication skills better today than a year ago? definitely — the more practice you have , the better you become at it and the quality of our life is truly impacted by the quality of our relationships
when we’re able to live in a peaceful home, when we’re able to create a fulfilling environment for ourselves at work , when we’re able to create deep and meaningful bonds with our friends and loved ones, our mood changes. More importantly when we’re able to process heavy emotions and have uncomfortable difficult conversations in a respectful manner.. Its a game changer – the quality of our life significantly increases — so is it worth it? yes
but is it a lot of work? the answer is also yes
I want us to briefly pause and for a second recognize why this work is important.
What we need to take into consideration, is if all of this is learned, and we are now living in a world with tremendous advancements in technology that have allowed us to learn in an instant, whether its online on google or all the content creators on instagram, then we have what our parents didn’t have. our parents didn’t have access to these resources to the scope that we do – so they had to either go to school and study psychology or they had to be avid learners where they had to try much harder to gain access through their local libraries and the amount of material out there was much more limited – so what we need to realize is, okay kids from that generation who are now the millennials, we need to do the work. we are now at that age where we’re now building families, and we’re creating the new generation , so it’s a time sensitive matter.
and we have access to so much information, so its not the access to information that was the issue with our parents, but rather the implementation part of it – putting in the hours and effort to practice what we learn
so this is definitely the time – we are the generation that can change the narrative.
we are the generation that can create mutually fulfilling healthy love stories.
the question is – will we do it?
will we allow ourselves the opportunity to rewire our nervous system?
will we allow ourselves the opportunity to reprogram the way we look at and think about relationships and communication and connection?
for decades, we heard the advice don’t go to bed angry which put so much pressure on couples to resolve matters immediately which could potentially lead to one party abandoning their truth for the sake of “peace at bedtime” which built resentment overtime, but now we know that its okay, its okay to go to bed angry – its okay to pause to allow the nervous system to soothe – not everything needs to be solved right then especially if one of the parties is experiencing a freeze response. It’s okay to pause and come back to the discussion when both parties are calmer and can communicate in a respectful manner
Speaking of respect, now, thanks to psychologists such as Dr John Gottman from the Gottman institute , we know about the 4 horsemen: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt and how their presence in our communication can lead to conflict. For more on the 4 horsemen, please listen to my episode named “Healthy Relationships with Elizabeth Earnshaw” In fact Dr John Gottman’s research shows that if contempt is present in a marriage, there’s a 93% chance the relationship will end in divorce.
The moment we know what contempt is, how it shows up and what the antidote is – we can stop ourselves from engaging in it. So we do have control over the 50% that we bring to the relationship. When we know better, we do better and when we do better, the chances of it getting better increases.
Now we know that people process love differently thanks to Dr Gary Chapman, whose research showed us that people’s primary love languages can look different and thats sometimes couple’s feel like their efforts aren’t being recognized by the other person – because they’re speaking to their partner in their own love language, instead of their partner’s love language.
Once we have awareness of these relational tools, we can become proactive with the quality of our relationship. we can break generational patterns. we can write a new story, one where we are in a loving healthy relationship that brings joy into every cell of our body.
remember, healthy loving relationships aren’t manifested, they are created.
and like everything else in life, if you truly want it, and put in the effort, you can experience it.
and more importantly, you deserve to have it.
Sending you lots of love