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Want Relationship Success Even in
Times of Relationship Stress?
Check for this...
This Ruins Relationships More Than Anything Else

Healthy, satisfying, mutually supportive relationships are on everybody's 'want' list. Given how desirable that state of affairs is, it's no wonder people try so many different strategies to bring them about.

It would be easy to think that the best strategy for relationship success would be keeping stress out of the relationship, but alas, that's pretty near next to impossible. Of course, relationships with constant high stress levels are bound to suffer, so it certainly does pay to keep stress levels as low as possible. But to try to keep stress out entirely - well, good luck with that!

So, given there's no avoiding some stress, even in a healthy relationship, what are the strategies that work the best for handling it when it does happen?

The key to not only keeping your relationship healthy, but also improving it at the same time, is to learn how to reduce the stress as much as possible, and to handle relationship stress well when it does occur.

The following strategy is one that tops the list for effectiveness, both for reducing stress and for handling it well when it happens. To grasp it well and be able to use it when the chips are down is to reduce the occurrence of relationship issues by a large magnitude. To convey what it is, here are some examples of exactly the opposite, the better to contrast it with what works:

* Person A has a hard time at work and comes home and criticizes Person B.

* Person A is running late on some projects and reneges on an important obligation to Person B without the adequate prior notice that would allow Person B to make other arrangements.

* Person A feels pressure to get Person B to see her point of view. As the two of them converse, Person A interrupts person B and won't let her finish a sentence, instead overriding everything Person B starts to say in response.

* Person A is flush with success owing to completion of a project and lords it over Person B, inferring that Person B is inferior by comparison.

* Person A is in the mood to play and relax but Person B is attempting to meet a deadline. Person A blithely continues chit-chatting about fun things to do together, ignoring Person B's deadline situation and demanding B's undivided attention.

What's going on in these situations? Is there something they each have in common, despite their different particulars?

In short, yes. In each situation, instead of owning their stress, Person A is passing it to Person B. This is such a significant way to sabotage relationships that it has an official name - passing a hot potato. In fact, to further become aware of it when it's going on, it's helpful to actually imagine this invisible passing-on-of-stress as a literal hot potato - one you can actually see. Doing so makes it easier to address.

So, when you're experiencing stress in your relationships, and since you can't control other people (big surprise!) the best approach is to ask yourself if you're doing anything to pass your stress onto the other person. And of course, since you may not be aware of doing it, you can ask the other person what their experience is.

The point is not to beat yourself up about it, but to find things that you need to own and address rather than passing them on, whether out of your awareness or not.

To underscore then, how to reduce your relationship stress and improve it at the same time use this rule of thumb:
Don't pass it. Own it instead.

Using the examples above, here's what that looks like:

* Person A has a hard time at work and comes home and tells Person B, then asks for help in figuring out how to address it.

* Person A is running late on some projects and lets person B know as soon as possible that it may not work to keep an important obligation to Person B and asking to work together to come up with a better plan that works for them both.

* Person A feels pressure to get Person B to see her point of view. As the two of them converse, Person A states how important it is to know her point of view has been received, and therefore asks Person B to repeat back what she's hearing Person A say.

* Person A is flush with success owing to completion of a project and asks Person B if he's willing to listen to Person A talk about it a bit and celebrate this success together.

* Person A is in the mood to play and relax but Person B is attempting to meet a deadline. Person A expresses her disappointment, asks if Person B is willing to do any fun things together at all, and offers to provide some support to Person B in meeting the deadline.

In each of these situations, the stress of each party in the relationship is owned and identified instead of passed to the other partner.

Make this a strategy you use consistently, and you'll likely be amazed at the difference it makes.

Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst in private practice 42 years. She has 500+ post-graduate hours in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kinesiology, and has taught and trained professional and lay audiences internationally on creating better health and greater well-being of body, mind, spirit, emotions and relationships.

Learn how to create the healthy emotional life at the foundation of healthy relationships at  www.emotionaldevelopment101.com

You're welcome to forward this article to anyone you feel may benefit.

Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A.
October 22, 2012

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Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst who has been in private practice offering health improvement services for 40 years.

She has over 500 post-graduate hours of training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kineseology.

She has published many professional journal and lay audience articles and has an international reputation in the fields of emotional development, emotional intelligence and Transactional Analysis.

For her work in these areas, she was awarded the prestigious Eric Berne Award by members of the International Transactional Analysis Association in 72 countries.

She has lectured and trained both lay and professional audiences all over the world.

Her work is continues to be used  throughout North and South America, The UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

She has personally researched the key emotional nutrients™ she makes available through this site.

They have consistently been demonstrated to be the core nutrients people need to feed all the six parts of their emotional selves. 

People from all cultures and languages in all parts of the world have used them since she first made them public in 1974 to feed their emotional selves, move from surviving to thriving, release limiting beliefs, improve parenting skills and more.