Have you ever had a moment where you’re conversing with someone and you simultaneously think about what it is you are doing or how you sound while speaking to that person?
Perhaps you started to increase your voice or started to sound emotional. You’re still speaking, you’re still wavering your hands in the air. Your facial expressions are mildly exaggerated and you look like you may lose it soon.
But you don’t. Because you caught yourself. In the quickest of moments, you readjust yourself so as to not go overboard. You take a deep breath. You tell yourself to remain calm throughout the conversation.
Relationship expert Tracy McMillan has spoken about the need to know your partner’s “owners manual” in order to have a happy relationship. It’s a great term that can be used for anyone in your life you care about and want to have a good relationship with.
What exactly is an owner’s manual?
Just like the definition, it’s an instruction manual or a user guide, a how-to-use reference for whatever product you’ve purchased or have.
But how exactly do you apply that term to relationships with people?
I would like to think that I have grown a lot, as a person, a friend, a lover and a loved one. Just looking back at the last ten years of my life has made me realise how I have expanded in my journey of personal growth – be it in tolerance, struggle, patience and acceptance. I do believe I am in a better place and as you get older, the feeling is almost necessary as it is wonderful.
A couple of years ago, my friend gave me this book. It’s called Why you’re not married yet by Tracy McMillan, a relationship guru.
I laughed. I chuckled a bit. I definitely cringed. Seriously babe!?
Someone very close once told me to focus on responding to a situation, instead of reacting. We were having an argument and that person later sent me a quote saying “Respond, don’t react” and I must admit, I couldn’t help but smile.
There was an elaborate explanation that accompanied the quote which goes:
This year has felt so incredibly long! I know I said the same thing last year, but perhaps this year was an extension of that, only I learned much more. So much more. Where do I begin? A list is in order of course.
12 things I learned in 2016
- Do not look for a person to complete you. That person does not exist
So I think the biggest misconception when it comes to love and relationships is that people feel the need to look for someone who can complete them. This year I realised that there is no such person who completes another. A relationship is the harmony of the lives of two individuals, not one person trying to complete another persons life. Once I realised that, my outlook on relationships made more sense. I was able to manage my expectations for relationships better. Read more…
I hardly ever write about my relationships or what I think about love because I find it to be a private matter. But it’s the one thing in my life that has taught me so much about myself. And about how people work. So I’ve decided to list down some key lessons I’ve learned over the years (which I shall continue to re-learn in my future relationships). They have been real hard life lessons: shed a lot of tears, bruised my self-esteem, hardened my heart but ultimately taught me to be less selfish and more empathetic. For that Love has always been my best life lesson.
- Communicate with respect
You would think that this would be easy but truth is sometimes when we get caught up in emotions we lose our sense of respect to our other half.