Many couples want help dealing with hardships in life like unemployment, health issues, or death of a family member. What may not be so obvious is that often times, success can also come with challenges, especially if one partner seems more accomplished or luckier than the other.
A recent study found that men’s self-esteem dropped when they were told that their girlfriends aced an IQ test. The researchers attributed the results to the competitiveness of men and fears that their partner might want a more attractive mate and start looking for that new mate. Although only men were studied, many people believed that the results would also apply to women.
Learning how can you avoid such jealousy and insecurity will help you operate as equal partners and cheer each other on? Here are a few for dealing with your partner’s success.
How to Handle Your Partner’s Success
1. Identify and acknowledge what you are feeling. Maybe you feel a little guilty about having mixed emotions about your partner’s triumphs. Accepting your reactions and emotions for what they are will help you to make constructive changes.
2. Resist comparisons. You may be causing your own anxiety by stressing over how you stack up. Instead of comparing yourself to your partner, devote yourself to developing your own potential.
3. Enjoy how you are different. You and your partner probably excel in separate areas. That comes in handy when you need to negotiate different aspects of your life like buying a car and plan a wedding.
4. Ask for what you need. Let your partner know what you like about your relationship and what you want to do differently. Keep the lines of communication open.
5. Be inclusive. Keep your partner at the center of your life. Suggest ways they can participate in your activities and help them feel comfortable with your colleagues. Show an equal amount of enthusiasm for their projects and priorities.
6. Widen your circle. At the same time, it’s okay to have your own network where you can indulge another side of yourself. Make time for your women’s club or a regular men’s night out.
7. Share responsibility. Whatever the discrepancies in your income or media coverage, ensure you both matter when it comes to being a couple. Understand your finances, and appreciate each other’s contribution.
8. Pursue your own goals. Hold onto your dreams. Find fulfillment in raising a family, doing meaningful work, or playing the tuba.
How to Encourage Your Partner’s Success
1. SHOW APPRECIATION. Appreciation mean more coming from the love of your life than from any fan magazine or professional association. Speak positively to each other. Be specific when showing appreciation.
2. Actively Listen. Take an active interest in what your partner is doing. Give them your full attention when they talk about what they did today. When they speak respond with what you heard them say.
3. Recognize effort. There may be a lot of setbacks and learning experiences before your partner succeeds. Be proud of them for trying. Remind them that you’re on their side when they’re struggling.
4. Give a Helping Hand. Pitch in when your partner has a tight deadline or heavy workload. Take over some extra household chores and create an environment that will help them shine, whether it means preparing their lunch or taking the children outside to play.
5. Focus on giving. Work at being generous and grateful to each other. The more you build your partner up, the more love and happiness you’ll both receive. For some reason people get bogged down int he everyday life and create competition and if you focus on appreciating your partner, don’t be surprised when they mirror this back to you.
6. Create the “Us” container. The “us” container is a place of consciousness that belongs to you and your partner. Use it to hold the space for nurturing, love and where you give and receive appreciation and the place where you consciously resolve conflict.
7. Resolve conflict with consciousness. If you are in conflict with your partner, it is important to solve the conflict with consciousness, meaning doing so without blame and shame. Be sure to bring conflict into the “us” container and allow for one person to speak at a time using conscious communication.
Remember that success reflects well on both of you. When you are in a relationship view it as a separate prized possession that you own together. If you nurture it and feed it with consciousness you will watch it grow into a beautiful bond that supports both of you. While You’re not responsible for your partner’s self-esteem or performance, you can have a huge impact on how they feel and how far they go. Self-esteem is created by how we are treated by others especially those whom we are the closest. Pull together and share the rewards of your hard work and special talents. Create the “Us” container and use it to hold the space for nurturing, love and where you give and receive appreciation and the place where you consciously resolve conflict.