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  • Writer's pictureAshley

Family Time and Relationships

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

During this time of closeness, it's the perfect opportunity to appreciate our loved ones (and make sure we don’t kill each other)

Positive psychology has a lot to say about relationships, and how to maximize our happiness.

A common misconception about romantic relationships is that when you are putting in hard work it means that the relationship is not solid. The truth is actually the opposite! It is important in long term relationships to make sure you have a time where you and your partner can do things you mutually enjoy. It is also important to be equal in support of one another. Finally, communication is key, making sure you have those discussions about difficult topics you'd rather avoid.

Here are some small things you can do during this time (and after!) to help strengthen your relationship into one that flourishes.

  1. Do one act of kindness for the other person each week. It is important that this is done without expectations of reciprocity.

  2. Build intimacy with this exercise: make a list of 10 things you want to do before you die and share it with your partner!

  3. Set aside one day a week to do something fun together (like a movie night).

  4. Focus each day on what you are grateful for.

  5. Practice forgiveness and utilize the communication grid (explained below).

  6. Use adaptive problem-solving techniques early on in arguments (explained below).

Arguments are an extremely difficult thing to work through. We can often rush to defend ourselves and point out what the other person has done wrong. As you may know, having someone tell you what you have done wrong can lead to feelings of defensiveness. Below is a useful image influenced by the ideas of positive psychology to keep in mind when facing conflict. The quadrants with stars in them are what will make a discussion highly productive, and the other party will be more receptive to what we have to say. It will also help build understanding and appreciation as you are vulnerable in admitting faults and understanding when explaining their strengths!

But how do we solve problems?

Below is a useful image that you can use to quickly identify and solve an issue. First, you write down the problem that needs solving. Then brainstorm ten ideas for a solution (you do not have to agree on these solutions). Once this is done each person (can be more than two if the whole family is involved!) writes whether they find the idea positive or negative. Afterward, if you have more than one idea that was seen as positive by everyone, write them down and have everyone rank them from one to ten and pick the choice with the highest score in the end!


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