Crack open any number of best-selling relationship advice books, and you are sure to find a standard piece of advice: communication is everything. It’s not hard to imagine why. Take a look at some of the top results when you search the age-old question, “What is most important in a relationship?”
“Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it… it dies.”
“Communication is the fuel that keeps the fire of your relationship burning. Without it, your relationship goes cold.”
“Many relationship problems are rooted in a communication breakdown.”
“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.”
Jada Pinkett Smith
The quotes and advice about communication in a relationship go on and on. Whether it’s a business partnership or an intimate relationship, many experts seem to feel that healthy communication is the sole answer to potential conflicts and the secret ingredient to a thriving partnership.
But, what if we told you the prioritization of communication shouldn’t be the most important focus in a relationship? What if good communication is a key characteristic, but not the most critical relationship skill?
Many seeking to find a long-lasting love often find that while excellent communication helps build a relationship, communication alone can only take intimacy and friendship so far.
While miscommunication can indeed lead to a total relationship breakdown, there is a single relationship skill that can take your connection to the next level. Do you want to know the real secret to helping your current (or future) relationship thrive? The answer is within yourself – personal ownership and responsibility.
So, what exactly do we mean by personal responsibility? Basically, shifting your mindset to a place that allows you to look beyond the here and now to the deeper layers of your role in a relationship. With personal ownership, you will recognize your flaws or opportunity gaps and build confidence in your own abilities and personal self-worth. Mastering this skill will allow your true self to shine in any relationship.
How to Practice Responsibility In Your Relationship
Personal ownership is one of the most powerful relationship skills you can build, and many experts often overlook it. Are you wondering how you can refine it and apply it to your relationships? Here are a few ways that you can start practicing:
(Want to hear the not-so-secret bonus? These tips apply not only to intimate relationships but can also help any friendship or general partnership thrive.)
Before you can love someone else, you need to learn how to love yourself. Discovering your own self-worth and value is the first step to building a thriving relationship centered on personal ownership. Remember, only you can be held responsible for how you view yourself.
Too many people looking for love allow another person to determine their worth. It’s time to take back what is yours alone and know your own value.
Be honest with yourself! Create simple, effective ways to remind yourself of your personal worth through practices of gratitude. Set out guidelines for what you will and won’t allow in your relationship before you even start it. When you take the reins, you will quickly find that there is empowerment in personal responsibility.
People who know the power of personal ownership in their relationships will quickly turn from reactive to proactive individuals. Rather than letting the relationship happen to you, take the steps necessary to become proactive in situations.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you alone are responsible for planning and executing every part of your relationship. (Don’t let your personal responsibility turn into servitude to the other person.) But it does mean that you have a responsibility to control the direction of your journey to ultimate love and happiness.
We’ve all heard that you need to learn to forgive others in order to build a better relationship, but are you practicing forgiving yourself? One aspect of ownership in a relationship is the ability – and willingness – to forgive. This of course applies to your partner, but it also applies to giving yourself some much-needed grace when things aren’t perfect.
A relationship is going to be full of moments that aren’t perfect. There will be times you feel guilt, shame, anger, and more. Rather than trying to avoid those emotions or project them onto the other person, take ownership of forgiving yourself first. You will be amazed at the power of personal forgiveness – especially when you own it yourself!
One of the best ways to build your personal ownership skills in a relationship is to learn how to become more self-aware.
Self-awareness in a relationship can take on many forms. In the beginning of a new relationship, it means stopping long enough to ask someone about their personal goals, aspirations, and expectations. Other times, it means considering how your words and actions are coming off to the other person – even when you feel as though nothing is wrong.
The more self-aware you become, the more likely you are to take ownership of your thoughts, actions, and words. Learning self-awareness (and putting it into action) is one of the most crucial components of personal responsibility.
Keep Practicing Your Ownership Skills – Even When Things Don’t Work Out
When you’re actively dating, it’s inevitable that some relationships just won’t work out. Those are the moments when self-ownership counts the most.
Rather than blaming the other person for all the things that went wrong, actively choose to own the situation. Take a moment to look deep within yourself, and consider anything you could have done differently to change the outcome.
Sometimes, relationships and dating simply don’t lead to a long-term relationship, and there is nothing you could have done differently. Own that as well!
Practicing this kind of profound ownership will help take that cloud of doubt off your shoulders, and allow you to look forward to each new date or relationship without hesitation.
Why? Because you are in charge!
Hi, I’m Raghed!
Founder and lead relationship coach at HeartAppeal.
Our blog will be your new favorite place to go for advice, laughs, and comfort through all the stages of dating. We stay up-to-date on all the latest dating trends, so you don’t have to. Have a topic you’d like us to cover or a story you’d like to share with our community? Send me an email; we’d love to include it!