Improving Love

Everyone wants to love and be loved; making some small changes can greatly improve your relationships and the quality of your love.

Richard Carlson, PhD, has perfected the art of quick, practical tips to improve your life with his “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series of books. His books have been bestsellers for years. He and his wife co-wrote “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love.” I would recommend this book to anyone, even if you are single, as it will do wonders for your interpersonal relationships. See the ISBN in the footnotes to read his full book.

Here are a few easy-to-understand, easy to implement phrased points from Dr. Carlson’s book for improving the quality of your love:

1. Don’t Do the Same Things and Expect Different Results: That’s an old saying we are all familiar with but it is the same in love relationships. If you know you react negatively in certain situations — overreacting, lashing out, knee-jerk reactions — and then suffer disappointing and negative responses in return, you have to choose to use new responses that will bring healthy results.

2. Avoid Correcting Each Other: This point is not referring to an isolated incident but the habit of publicly correcting the person you love when it is absolutely unnecessary. It is disrespectful and damaging to the relationship. Are not the feelings of the person you love more important than technicalities? Most all people resent being corrected. Unless it is of extreme importance, keep the correction to yourself.

3. Stop Rehearsing Unhappiness: This tip has the power to improve your relationships almost instantly! “Rehearsing unhappiness” is when a thought comes to mind of a past argument and you start replaying it in your mind; before long, all those feelings swarm back. You can also “rehearse unhappiness” by allowing your thoughts to multiply while dwelling on a suspicion or weaknesses in your relationship. It happens so fast that one usually does not realize it is happening. The self-created frustration then gets taken out on your partner. The solution is simple – catch yourself and drop those thoughts.


4. Be Consistently Grateful: Dr. Carlson says that few things nourish a relationship like gratitude and few things doom it like the lack of it. Gratitude keeps your heart receptive to the gifts of life, keeps you feeling satisfied, keeps problems in perspective, and immunizes you from your partner’s little quirks. Develop your attitude of gratitude by taking your focus off what is wrong and replacing it with a focus on what is right.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love , Richard Carlson PhD ISBN#0-7868-8420-7
Points 1-4 were paraphrased from:
1. p. 156
2. pp. 129-131
3. pp. 121-122
4. pp. 146-147

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