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How can I improve a relationship?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Well, I do not think a long, in-depth self-therapy session is practical with every interaction, but there are a few key insights that are broadly applicable. To start is the idea of genuine presence. One of my favorite quotes is, "Wherever you go, there you are" from the movie Buckaroo Banzai. It has that delicious quality of being totally silly and shockingly profound at the same time. Realizing this fact, and living it, is probably the most important thing we can do to improve our relationships. Far too often, although we are physically with a person, our mind is somewhere else. Whether we are on the phone, listening to the radio, watching TV, or just caught up in our own thoughts, when we are not present in the moment - with the people next to us - we cheat ourselves and them of an pportunity to make a real connection.

Another important lesson is the necessity of practicing self-awareness, especially during conflict. The next time you find yourself in an argument, ask yourself what you really want and how your behavior is helping to meet those needs. The answer might not come to you during the heat of passion, but at some point, before you make yourself and someone else miserable, take a moment to create a safe place where you can be really honest with yourself. Once you have a clue about why you are choosing certain actions, see what changes you can implement to achieve your goals, regardless of what the other person is doing. Remember, it is all really about you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.