The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge Day One: Reset Your Pattern of Communication

dreamstime_xxl_89251993Communication is traditionally defined as a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding in which the participants not only exchange information, ideas, and feelings by encoding (sending) and decoding (receiving) messages, but also create and share the meaning of those messages through spoken words and body language (gestures) to further express and confirm understanding.

Based on the concepts expressed in the definition of the communication process as highlighted above, we can conclude that the communication process is most effective and efficient when both participants feel comfortable enough in their relationship to freely express themselves from a place of complete honesty and mutual respect for each other’s point-of-view.

Conversely, we can also conclude that the opposite is be true because the communication process can become ineffective, inefficient, cumbersome, and counterproductive whenever something interferes with the participants’ ability to efficiently and effectively send, receive, process, and interpret messages.

Those “somethings,” also referred to as “breakdowns” in the communication process, are the primary threat to the overall health and stability of our relationships.  Why?  Because they misconstrue the purpose that initiated the communicative exchange in the first place.  We need to work toward changing this, which is why the first day of the “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge” will encourage you to “Reset Your Pattern of Communication.”

The Importance of Self-Assessment

Before you can reset your pattern of communication, you must first identify your communication style (either passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive).  Understanding your style will help you to better understand why you express yourself the way you do, which will make it easier for you to figure out what you need to do to improve your communication skills, overall.

After you’ve identified your communication style, you should take some time to think about how you come across to others—especially your significant other.  For example, does your assertive communication style make you come across as being bitchy, inconsiderate, bossy, nagging, etc.; even when you’re not trying to be difficult?  Does your significant other see you as being confrontational, even when there’s no conflict brewing between the two of you because you tend to communicate in an aggressive style?

This process of self-assessment will require you to take a long, honest look at how you communicate.  The challenge will be for you to use what you discover about yourself as you work through this process to hold yourself accountable for your efforts to change.

The Challenge

Using everything that you discovered about your communication style during the self-assessment phase of challenge, initiate a conversation with your significant other in which you seek to gain a clearer understanding of their perception of your communication style.  You challenge will be to listen to your significant other’s thoughts; constructively and without interrupting.

As you listen, identify any consistencies between what you discovered about your communication style and what your significant other is telling you.  Be sure to also make note of any differences identified.  Then, allow the information that you gleaned to guide you through the process of setting appropriate goals to help you remain consistent in your efforts to honor your commitment to this process.  This consistency will go a long way to help you work through problems before they arise.

Next Steps

The Second topic will be introduced on January 2nd, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along until the end of the challenge.  We look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!

Photo Credit: © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge

dreamstime_xxl_89251993Psychological science tells us that it takes approximately twenty-one days of consistent work and targeted effort to form a new habit.  Whenever we decide to change any aspect of our behavior in terms of how we think about, act in, and respond to real-life situations, it takes the brain approximately twenty-one days to establish new connections to recognize and facilitate that change.

In other words, the process of forming a new habit is dependent on three variables—a conscious decision to change a behavior, consistent work toward that end, and targeted effort over a minimum of twenty-one days.

As we sit perched on the eve of the New Year, tradition tells us to “resolve” to set goals around changing some aspect of our behavior that we believe will lead us to happier, more fulfilling lives in the coming year.  And, what do we do?  We make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions”which most of us will not keep—because we recognize that there are things about ourselves that we want to either change altogether or improve for the better.

So why do most of us abandon our efforts to achieve the resolutions/goals we make; oftentimes even before the month of January is over?  The answer to this question is rooted in our inconsistencies with fully commit ourselves to working through the entire process of forming new habits, which is why we either fail in our attempts meet the goals we set or quit before we reach them altogether.

The same dynamic expressed in the answer to the preceding question can be used to provide insight into why our relationships with our spouses/significant others breakdown when we fail to recognize the connection between our inconsistencies with fully committing ourselves to the process of working through the issues that threaten our relationships and holding ourselves accountable for implementing the actions we need to take to be the change that we want to see in our relationships.

This is the primary reason why TheWifeFiles felt compelled to challenge everyone involved in a relationship that they’d like to see grow stronger in 2018 to accept “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge.”   The idea behind this challenge is relatively simple—you can change the trajectory of your relationship for the better if you’re willing to make a consistent effort to change your mindset and your patterns of behavior in your relationship IF your can accept responsibility for the things you need to change with respect to how you relate to your significant other.

As you work through the “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge,” you’ll be required to make a commitment to establishing twenty-one goals that correspond with twenty-one specific topics over a period of twenty-one days to help build consistency in your efforts to strengthen your relationship in the new year and beyond.  Once you establish your goals, the challenge then becomes for you to have an open and honest conversation with your significant other so that you can begin the process of reconciling your differences before it’s too late.

Repeat this process with each new topic until you work your way through the challenge; then start over and keep repeating the process until you’ve developed new habits with respect to how you interact in your relationship.  One new topic will be introduced everyday over the next twenty-one days, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!