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Relationship Tips for Being the Best Partner You Can Be
By Susie and Otto Collins

Do you ever look in the mirror and not like what you see? We don't mean the way your body's shaped or how your hair lays.

We're asking if you really like yourself for who you are?

Perhaps you have habits that you're embarrassed by or maybe you feel shame and regret for choices that you've made in your life so far.

Believe it or not, this self-dislike-- or even self-disgust-- not only keeps you from thriving in the skin you're in, it can also stand in the way of you and your mate connecting and fully loving one another.

Too many of us are critical of ourselves. It can come out in different ways. Some people hone in on how they look, others feel like failures for not reaching goals that were set by others (or themselves).

Still others beat themselves up for not being the parent, mate, son, daughter, citizen, etc. that they think they should be.

When it's all said and done, no matter how "valid" your self-criticisms seem to be, this harsh judging will not allow you to change in ways you want to.

And have you ever been around another person who was really giving him or herself a difficult time about some habit or personal aspect? It's no fun, is it?

When a person is in the throes of regret, shame, embarrassment, or another form of self-deprecation, that person is intensely focused on him or herself.

It's pretty difficult to connect in a heart-ful way with someone who is closed because all he or she can hear is self-directed words of negativity.

Jack is a good man but believes that he is a really lousy husband and father to his wife Ellen and their 3 children. In fact, Jack spends much of his time berating himself for all of the ways he lets his family down.

Recently, Jack's habit of beating himself up reached an all-time low. After Ellen asked Jack to consider attending a relationship workshop with her, he got defensive, stormed out of the house and ended up drunk at a bar.

He hazily remembers meeting an attractive woman with whom he spent the night. Now, after the infidelity, Jack feels even worse about himself and has no idea how he can make up for this huge mistake.

Sometimes he thinks that Ellen and the kids would be better off if he just left. He only wishes the whole thing could be painless for his family.

See yourself where you are-- from afar.
When you start knocking yourself down for a decision, habit, or personality trait that you find unsavory, do whatever you can to stop yourself and pause.

Take a symbolic step back and look at where you are as if you were another person looking at you. This may take some practice.

You've possibly developed beliefs and pre-judgments about yourself and your actions. Just for the moment, set those aside and pretend you are another person meeting you.

You may not like or even approve of what you see, but creating distance from your usual vantage point often offers a clearer perspective.

Sitting in his car outside the woman's apartment the next morning, Jack feels lousy so he decides to drive for awhile and clear his head.

At a certain point, he feels calmer and stops at a park where he just sits and thinks. At this moment he's able to expand his vantage point.

From this new perspective he can see a man who is hurting and afraid. He sees a man who thought his life would be much different than it is now. This man is also angry and frustrated.

When Jack looks at himself from this expanded place, he gets less bogged down in the usual self-deprecation. Instead, he can more easily tune in to the core feelings and needs that are propelling him in a direction he does not want to go.

Forgive yourself and change direction.

After Jack tunes in to these realizations, he is keenly aware that he needs some space. He calls Ellen and tells her that he needs some space to think. He assures her that he will come home the next day so that they can talk.

Next, Jack checks into a hotel that's near the park to give himself this space. During this time Jack realizes that as serious as his mistakes are and as much as he's let others down, it's really himself who feels most disappointed with the man he's become.

As he walks through the park that afternoon he understands that forgiving himself is an essential first step.  After that, he can decide his next step.

Sometimes forgiving yourself for being who you are at this moment is a pressure reliever and key to changing direction.

Forgiving yourself doesn't mean that you yet again internally rail on about how horrible you are.

Instead, forgiveness means that you take responsibility for the choices you've made-- some of them beneficial and some of them detrimental-- and then you resolve to stop carrying around the guilt about those choices.

You make necessary amends, let the past go and begin to move on in a new direction.

As you get better at seeing yourself where you are, forgiving and letting go of the past, you can open up to allow more of the changes you want to happen. This is a process so be patient and gentle with yourself.

Along the way, be sure to look in that mirror and begin to notice the growing number of things about yourself that please you.

Celebrate even the small improvements and know that they will increase as you continue.






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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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