Relationship Minute

Make a small change this week (year?) and aim to be more polite in your relationship.

Why? Politeness can reinforce the appreciation and respect you have for your partner.

Remember small but significant words like, 'good morning' and 'have a good day'. A sincere greeting, a kind wish, or show of gratitude can go a long way in fostering positive feelings on both sides of the relationship.

Be polite even when frustrated with your partner. Just because you are in conflict, it doesn't mean your respect and affection for them has to diminish.

Don't treat a stranger better than you would your partner.

Show appreciation by saying, 'please', 'thank you', and 'I appreciate all you do'. This goes a long way in showing respect to each other.

I believe we indeed need to pay attention to the small things in relationship, they really do make a difference. Little things add up.

Prepare your relationship for the Festive Season

Relationships are the key to a happy, healthy holiday season. Prepare for the busy season, restore relationship ties, and find more joy and closeness with your partner by doing these two things:

1. Make a plan. The holiday season can leave one partner feeling unappreciated or resentful for doing all the shopping and cooking, or it can lead to another partner feeling pressured into doing things their partner’s way. But the holidays are a time to come together as a team and create a sense of balance. Talk through all the social engagements, chores, and responsibilities and determine how you’ll tackle them together. Having a solid plan you can rely on enables you and your partner to spend less time stressing and more time enjoying the holiday season.

2. Spend time together. You might say, "but of course we're spending time together during the holidays!", but how much of that time are you truly spending on each other? Find and set time to spend together one on one, no distractions. It doesn't even need to be that long - even just a few minutes of uninterrupted time will make a difference. Don’t let your date nights or weekly check-ins fall by the wayside. Have a stress-reducing conversation, talk about how you’re both feeling during this busy season, and be intentional about listening to each other and supporting each other.

From The Gottman Institute.

Ask for 100% of what you want - be willing to hear no.

About asking for what you want.

Some years ago my partner and I took part in a relationship workshop. The workshop leader encouraged us to ask for 100% of what you want, but be willing to hear 'no'. Of course we all got excited thinking about 100% of what we wanted.

Below you'll find an excerpt on Asking For What You Want, from The Gottman Institute's Blog. You can attend a session based on Gottman Relationship Work at Port Macquarie Counselling... text or phone 0408 792 747.

Here’s a scenario that may sound familiar to you. You’ve had a hectic day. Work, errands, a doctor’s appointment… you’ve been racing from one place to another and you’re exhausted. Finally, you walk in the door at 6:30 — and find your partner on the couch, watching television. They look up at you with a big smile and say, “Hi, hon! How was your day?” But you can hardly answer because you are so angry. Yes, it’s your night to cook — but they KNEW what a crazy day you were having, why didn’t they start dinner? They see the expression on your face, and ask you what’s wrong. You shake your head, and say “nothing” — then angrily walk into the kitchen.

Okay, so what’s wrong with this picture? Have you figured it out yet? The answer is: You didn’t ASK for what you wanted. That’s right. The fact is, you can’t complain about not getting something that you never communicated to your partner.

Rewind this scenario to the morning or even the afternoon of the same day. Maybe you made a phone call to say, “Honey, I’m running late. I know it’s my night to cook, but could you make dinner instead? I’m beat.” There’s a good chance your partner would have agreed, or if they were busy, too, maybe you’d suggest ordering in. The fact is, your partner can’t read your mind. You must ask for what you want in order to receive it.

IF you think about it, when you go to a cafe, you ask for what you want. You don't say, well I don't want a coffee - how would the staff know what to bring you? Yet we do this all the time with our partner, we say things like, "I don't want you to do __________ again" instead of asking directly for what it is you do want.

And don’t forget there are many different ways to ask for what you want — and some work better than others.

If you say, “You never help me change the bedding. I always have to do it myself!” you’re probably not going to get what you want. Using words like “always” or “never” is a sure way of putting your spouse on the defensive. You’re basically asking — and criticizing at the same time.

If you say “If you have time, could you help me? You don’t have to if you don’t want to” — is still not asking for what you want. It’s vague and you’re almost backing off the request.

The best way to ask would be: “Honey, I’d love your help changing the bedding tonight. If we do it together, it would take half the time. And I love making the bed so cozy for us with clean sheets and pillowcases.”

Why does this example work so well? First, you’re making your desire known — help with the bedding. You then tell them why you’d like their help — it will take you half the time. Next, you give your partner clear expectations of when you want their help — tonight. And finally you tell them how much you love to make the bed cozy for you both. Bravo. You have set your partner up for success to say “yes” to your request.

The point is: How you say something is just as important as what you say. And asking for what you want — effectively and respectfully — is not only a powerful tool, but one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner.


Today’s small thing: The next time you get angry about your partner not doing something, ask yourself, “Did I verbally ask them to do this?” And if you did, how did you say it?

From The Gottman Blog

Self Fulfilling Prophecies..

A recent email I received from The Pacific Institute:

Thoughts Drive Results

How would you describe a self-fulfilling prophecy? Most people understand that a self-fulfilling prophecy is an expected situation, and therefore more likely to happen. Some would say that we actually cause these events to happen.

For example, according to Success magazine, two different groups of psychologists were once asked to observe the same child playing. One group was told beforehand that the child was emotionally disturbed. The other group was told that the child was a genius. When the psychologists were asked to report on their observations afterward, each group had found evidence to support their preconceived ideas.

Now, it’s important to realize that self-fulfilling prophecies are everyday experiences – not just laboratory experiments. What do you expect your day to be like when you get up in the morning? How do you expect your kids to behave? How much success do you expect for yourself? What do you expect for your organization’s production or sales for this month, or this year?

You see, if you predict failure, failure is generally what you will find. And if you expect excellence, excellence is likely what you will get. How we think about a situation determines how we act, and how we act, more than anything else, determines the results. Our thoughts drive our results.

That is how self-fulfilling prophecies work. There’s nothing magical about them. What you get in life is pretty much how you behave, coming back at you. Does that make sense?

Do yourself a favor this week, and see if you recognize areas where you are setting yourself up because of your expectations. If you are setting yourself up for the good, terrific! If not, what can you do to change those internal expectations, and change your life, your work, your business? For the school-age children in your life, how can you help them set themselves up to expect the best, creating self-fulfilling expectations, and work toward them?

Words and header reposted from: ​​The Pacific Institute, LLC. Copyright © 1997-2021. All Rights Reserved.

To learn more visit: the pacific

Images: Kareen Fellows


All human beings share needs, in addition to our physical needs, such as food, water and shelter, everyone of us has a number of emotional needs. We have the need to give and receive attention, to heed the mind / body connection, the need for purpose, goals and meaning in our life, which is very important.

We have the need to feel connected to community and making a contribution, needs for challenge and creativity, for intimacy and a sense of control and a sense of status. Also we have the need for a sense of security in life.

1) How often do you get to meet up with friends?
(the need for attention and community)

2) Can you and your partner really talk together?
(the need for attention and intimacy)

3) How are you sleeping these days?
(the need for mind body connection)

4) Are you happy with your diet?
(the need for mind body connection)

5) How much exercise are you getting?
(the need for mind body connection)

6) Is there anyone who you feel really understands you, and is close to you?
(the need for intimacy)

7) What choice do you have about what happens in your life?
(the need for control and security)

8) Do you have a clear sense of where you want to take things in life?
(the need for purpose, what gets me out of bed in the morning)

9) Do you feel excited by stuff in your life?
(the need for challenge / purpose / meaning)

10) What involvement do you have with people around you?
(the need for community and status)

Maslow's Hierarchy, (or Pyramid), of Needs is one of the central ideas in modern economics and sociology. The work of a once little-known American psychologist, it has grown into an indispensable guide to understanding the modern world. This film explains who Maslow was, what his pyramid is, and why it matters so much.

What your emotions are saying...

Our emotions are messages that we can sometimes struggle with. Here is what they are trying to tell you. Are you stuck on one emotion?

Perhaps using this guide, do some journalling about that emotion, cut out pictures from an old magazine and stick them into your journal. See what you learn from doing that. Find someone to talk over things with.

The Science of Stress, Calm and Sleep

Even outside of a pandemic, many people struggle with maintaining healthy amounts of quality sleep and managing stress. The good news is that neuroscience offers interventions to help improve our physical and mental health. Professor Huberman discusses ongoing research from his lab, including practical applications that everyone at any age can use to manage stress and sleep better.

Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, nervous system function, and neural plasticity (the ability to rewire our nervous system). His lab’s most recent work focuses on understanding the human neural circuits that underlie states such of stress, focus, sleep and non-sleep rest states. Much of that work is done in collaboration with David Spiegel, Willson Professor and associate chair of psychiatry & behavioral sciences.His work with Jeff Goldberg, chair of ophthalmology, involves a clinical trial to promote visual restoration in diseases that cause blindness such as glaucoma.
Information from Stanford Alumni