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In our personal and professional relationships, a set of basic core values serves to guide our relationships, whether parenting, partners, or friends. In the world of relationships, these four values are words of action, not just a mental representation of some nice thing. Since values are abstract to many people, here is the way adults in relationships can make values work with your friends, children, colleagues or lovers. See these values as sequenced strategies to repairing relationships.
Connection – to be linked or bonded to another person or people.
When a child is born, the bonding process involves touch, empathy and positive regard. Empathy is established through eye contact with the baby, which programs the brain to recognize, connect, and feel the parent or caregiver. Empathy and positive regard for the child are also connected through conversation, cuddling, holding, movement (walking and rocking). When a parent treat and speaks to the babe or toddler with kindness, softness, love, tenderness, the child feels valued and develops an emotional foundation for feeling safe, cherished, respected, cared for. Our bodies grow and change, and out human needs for attachment to a loving person and bonding to establish feelings of connection do not change.
Think of the most horrible anguish a child can experience: feeling abandoned, feeling tiny and disrespected through being yelled at, treated like an object, dismissed, hit, screamed at, and threatened. These are emotional memories in the making that will hijack this child as an adult.
Do you think adults feel any different? Each person’s core needs are to be met, and when not met, the pattern for emotional abandonment is triggered. You are hardwired for relationships and feeling connected is a priority for communication and commitment.
Question for Your Review: HOW do you feel connected to those most important relations?
Communication - as a value, communication is more than sending a message or conversing. As a value, this means to be in rapport with someone is to be aligned.
Being aligned in the gut with each other helps you feel safe. Being aligned in the heart with each other helps you feel loved or valued. Being aligned in the head with each other implies no judgment, acceptance and the ability to share, argue, debate, and plan without taking it personally.
To be in rapport means you
• Can disagree without being disagreeable,
• Make an effort to control your emotional hijacking and not dump on another,
• Can move away from the need to be right and shift to listening, being open or reflective
• Can be objective, even while being emotional.
Question for Your Review: HOW high do you rank communication as a core value in your relationships?
We suggest you make it number 1 on your values list for one month and cultivate this quality within yourself. See how your relations improve.
Courage - to be brave – to have guts, audacity, valor, going forth or moving ahead despite fear
We believe that relationships absolutely requires guts, especially for you types that love harmony, peace, and not making waves, or you who love to escape pressures of modern relationships. Others need courage to face the world, step into and participate actively in their relationships. And others can be fearless, so you might not believe that you need courage. You might be right in that your achievements speak to bravery, but do you need more courage to be sensitive in your relationships, where you dismiss sensitivity and feelings. Even if you feel like a total wimp, frightened or like a doormat, list courage as a value. Each morning, repeat your mantra of courage in action.
• I am courage in action.
• I have courage to face…
• I see courage in my eyes.
• My act of courage to day will be…
Question for your review – How are you courageous in facing your fears and moving through any emotional hijacking situations?
Commitment – to pledge or promise to follow through, accepting a responsibility Some people might take commitment more lightly than their partner or child would like. That is because you might make promises that you can’t keep in a reasonable length if time. Some people get caught up in their actions and visions and planning. Others get overwhelmed and put promises on the backburner. While others shift priorities like the wind and may even forget if you are out of their sight and out of mind.
This happens because all of you have good intentions. You make commitments fully intending to keep them, but…life happens. Those to whom you commit can only assume you have forgotten unless you take some sort of action like communicate, make an action plan or settle on a date for delivery.
When you forget the promise, the person in relation to you can feel disrespected and devalued. If that is not the result that you want in your relationships, then add a timeline to the commitment that you make. Responsibility, then, is the twin to Commitment and means that you can be counted on, depended upon to follow through, complete the task or commitment, and be accountable for doing so.
Assessment of these core 4 values in your relationships provides a compass for you to be authentic and aware enough to fully enjoy and be fulfilled.