The biggest mistake you can make in your relationship is to make a false accusation. Have you ever falsely accused your lover of sleeping around or spouse of having an affair? Did you give your wife heck for failing to balance the checkbook, when the paperwork was right there on your desk, where she left it? Or have you chided your daughter for not setting aside the time to do her homework, only later to find that she finished it at school during ‘flex time’ or study hall?
How to avoid falsely accusing your partner and loved ones (See how to avoid a professional mistake here)
Partake in a relaxing activity before confronting your spouse or child. A project undertaken by the American Family Association puts forth the notion that the spiraling staircase to human suffering starts with five rotten attitudes: slander, clamor, anger, wrath and bitterness. If we relax , go into that quiet space within, we may find that confrontation, at this moment, in this manner, with this attitude, at this place is not appropriate. We may find too, that the problem lies within us- but that is another topic.
Query for more information first. Make an accusation, if necessary, later. There are a whole host of reasons why appearances may not match the reality of the situation. Take the time to fact find.
Seek the advice of a neutral party. Everything we see and perceive is affected by our ‘passing mood’ according to researchers at Harvard University (2009). If on a particular day, we are sad or unhappy, we will judge a situation negatively. On the other hand; a disinterested person may be more inclined to view the situation with objectivity as he/she has no stake in the outcome.
Identify or pinpoint the pattern. Who consistently exhibits the problem behavior? You for jumping the gun, over-reacting or the other party (this isn’t the first time you and others have noticed something askew)? Your answer will determine your strategy for pursuing the next steps.
Keep lines of communication open. Perhaps we should set aside time each day for an ‘open forum’ ‘ask dad’ or ‘rap session’ where we listen to one another and encourage sharing. In so doing we create an environment in which we feel at ease in asking and answering non-offensive open-ended (non accusatory) questions. In addition to an atmosphere of love and acceptance, through the course of establishing and experiencing a more authentic relationship, we broaden and deepen our understanding of the unique attributes and needs of our partner and family members.
Trust is earned, not freely given. While there are flip sides to every coin and the expansive space between a trustful nature and a mistrustful one imay be too wide to narrow, there could be a third way. The third possible approach could be to trust others freely with the level of trust increasing as the relationship grows, the bond is further cemented and demonstrations of greater responsibility and accountability are evident. Of course in honor of the Gipper, Ronald Regan’s birthday, we can always “trust but verify.”
Another article you might like
How to avoid making a professional mistake
Harvard University Research/ Kennedy School of Government
American Family Association
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