I remember watching Oprah’s My Favorite Things episode in years past and seeing how excited the guests would get when that first gift was revealed. Even if you weren’t physically in the audience, you couldn’t wait to see what gifts she selected.
For the month of December, Coach Keith will reveal his favorite things that are needed to help strengthen your relationship and the best part you won’t even have to pay taxes on it.
My first gift is the gift of Patience.
Being patient is a skill that isn’t developed too easily, especially if you are impatient by nature, but it is essential in order get through challenging times in our relationship.
So how do you develop this skill?
Think of this simple acronym A.E.R. (Acknowledge, Examine, Reframe)
First acknowledge the moments where you find yourself getting frustrated by your partner’s actions. If you write them down and take a step back, you may find that you are confusing the actual event. For example you may find that you get easily frustrated by how your spouse doesn’t discipline the kids with his manhood.
Second, examine where your thoughts are coming from. Your impatience may be based on what your partner “should” or “must” do in their role as spouse. Psychologist Albert Ellis identified a particular kind of thinking that can lead to big hurdle to patience: Holding onto the mindset that certain events “should” or “must” be a certain way—or that your spouse/partner should act based upon your expectations.
When you think in such extremes (e.g., “My marriage should make me happy”; “I must be the perfect wife”), you set yourself up for considerable disappointment and frustration, since you ultimately don’t have control over how your partner will behave or react to you or certain situations.
Finally, reframe your negative thoughts to help increase your patience. Instead of getting frustrated at your spouse for not instilling discipline for your kids, say this to yourself, “I will handle this without my partners help. I will instill the discipline.”
Focusing on positive statements will help improve your ability to deal with frustrating marital/relationship issues, your relationship will be more resilient and ultimately more satisfying. Practice this skill frequently and before you know it, your patience will grow by leaps and bounds. Patience is often contagious– you may find those around you becoming more patient.