I guess you’ve ever heard about «start, stop, continue» technique in management. It’s very simple method which describe itself by its name. It facilitates the discussion aiming to get feedback, checkpoints and learn some lessons. Most of us get used to pull it out of our toolboxes mainly at work. We underestimate the value of «start, stop, continue» technique in a private life.
How often you said to your partner that you love to wake up with him and have a morning coffee together? Probably not so often. And even now reading these questions you are wondering for what to tell such obvious thing? We get used not to pay attention to daily routine and take it as given.
Just imagine that one day your partner decides to wake up very early and not bothering you leave to fitness. I suppose every one would feel a bit strange and maybe even offended. But barely somebody will tell it directly as there is understanding (somewhere deep in the brain) that intention of the partner was good. Firstly he wanted to let you to sleep enough. Secondly he wants to feel physically good (maybe he is even doing it to look better for you). Then your partner decides that as you are not telling anything about changes happened you feel ok with that and he starts to use every morning for some activities. Slowly you go further and further from each other and you start to loose the intimacy. More and more reticences appear between you…
We can continue this abstract story but I think that point is already clear how important is to talk what you appreciate in a relationship.
In private life we like to stress what our closest should change, start or stop doing. We like to teach them. What does the other person hear? That everything is bad and he should be completely different person. But I know from my experience it’s not what we meant. Simply the focus in dialogue is too strong on «start, stop, change». We were taught to communicate like that. Often we start to discuss relationship when there is a trigger point which needs to be solved (with other words that something should be started, stopped or changed). During such discussion we forget to stress that certain things we like and appreciate. That creates disbalance and lead to wrong interpretation of words said.
To change the way we communicate needs conscious effort. We should not forget to stress constantly in our dialogue what we like and what to «continue».
Learn to express your feelings and pay attention about simple things! Tell today to your closest which daily rituals you like in your relationship.