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Here is a list of important relationship skills that we all need to master. This list is based on an excellent little book called 1,000 Ways to Say I Love You. I suggest you review each of these skills and give your self a grade from A to F.
These skills apply to romantic relationships, but many of them also apply to other kinds of relationships, too.
You can use these guidelines for rating yourself:
A -- Passionate, exciting, not perfect, but clearly excellent.
B -- Very good, better than most, improving, solid.
C -- Ok, ho-himm, adequate.
D -- Bad, but not hopeless.
F --Tried everything. It didn't work.
OK here are the "skills." You may want to do some soul-searching. Rate yourself on each of these items. In doing this, it may help to think of a current or past relationship.
2. Arguing skills.
8. Empathy (being able to work a mile in the other person's shoes.)
12. Gift giving skills
15. Love Making
21. Sense of Humor
How did you do? If you score was low on some items, you may want to target those items for improvement. By doing this exercise you have probably already improved your grade on number 19!
I won't tell you my exact grades on all items; that's too personal. But I will tell you what I really need to improve on:
I Need to Improve On...
Arguing Skills -- I get too hot headed sometimes and don't listen well.
Communication -- I need to confirm that the other person has understood what I've said.
Gift Giving -- Small surprise gifts. I need to offer more of those.
Playfulness -- sometimes I'm just too serious.
Self-awareness -- I need to improve, but this exercise is helping a lot.
My Plan for improvement
Arguing. The next time I catch myself in an argument, I'll stop and really listen to the other person and try to put myself in the other person's shoes. I'll refrain on insisting that I am right (even if I think I am. :)
Communication. I'll confirm all important decisions in writing and with voice communication, not relying on one or the other.
Gift Giving. I'll give at least one small surprise gift every two weeks.
Playfulness -- this is a hard one. It seems it needs to come naturally. I'm not sure how to improve this one except just have a general goal of being more playful. Maybe I can add a plan for improving on this this later.
Self-awareness. Once a month I'll review this blog post and rate myself again.