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  I am the type of person that loves reading self-help content. I am also...

 

I am the type of person that loves reading self-help content. I am also a fan of self-development books, but I had learned to take things with a grain of salt*.

I had discovered that people cannot “accept” new information…
…Unless they are ready for it.
…Unless they are open to change.
…Unless they want to fix a problem.

They must be prepared to admit they have a problem and must be willing to accept a solution. Otherwise, the content seems like a piece of useless nonsense someone posted on the internet. There is no exception when it comes to content about relationships.

Both I and my wife read a lot of articles about couples and behaviors. This helps us understand our relationship better.

The main reason why this works is that we both want to have the best relationship possible and we are open-minded. If we didn’t care as much, most likely we wouldn’t be able of understanding anything either.

Let’s start with the usual pieces of advice and the reasons why they don’t work.

Communicate Better

Communication means that somebody is talking and the other person is listening carefully, prepared to intervene in the discussion.

Efficient communication involves a lot of listening and waiting for the proper time to speak.

The advice is good, but it does not work for some types of people.

Who can’t understand this

If your partner has narcissistic behavior, he will always get bored when he’s not in the center of attention. This type of person is more interested in speaking and placing himself under the spotlights, instead of listening.

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A person that does not have the patience to listen to somebody, cannot genuinely communicate. He can speak, but he will not be open enough to understand what it’s spoken to him (because he doesn’t care).

Be empathic

Being empathic is a lot easier said than done. An empathic person is capable of teleporting in the other person’s skin and seeing a problem as if it was her own.

Usually, selfish persons with ginormous egos cannot be empathic.

Who can’t understand this

If your partner does not fully accept you, his empathy mask will fall off. In order not to judge someone, you must accept him as he is. This is the only way.

The type of person that always complains and has different problems regarding the other is usually not capable of feeling empathy. If he’s the victim type, he will always tend to put his problems first. Everything that happens to him is more difficult than anything else.

How can you be tired?
I just came back from work and also went shopping and I’m still not tired!

Appreciate small things

A part of life’s beauty is appreciating small things. Happy persons are the ones that enjoy a hot cup of coffee, beautiful moments spent with their family or even a walk in the neighborhood or park.

Be grateful for everything life brought you and always remember that you have more reasons to thank the Universe than to badmouth it.

Who can’t understand this

There is at least one type of person that is not capable of understanding such advice.

If your partner is the frustrated type, he will not be able to appreciate anything even if his life depended on it. They always think of their problems and consider that if they have to pass a difficult moment, nothing else matters (like the Metallica song).

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How can you be happy on New Year’s Eve?
We didn’t have enough money to pay the mortgage for the last couple of months.

A grumpy person will not be capable of finding joy in anything.

Respect the other’s space and intimacy

Respecting the other’s space and intimacy is crucial in every relationship. No matter how well two people get along, they also need to have their moments and things.

You cannot do everything together in a couple! If you understand to understand (intentional repetition) the other’s limits, you will have a healthier relationship.

Who can’t understand this

The people that lack self-esteem usually violate others’ privacy and intimacy. They are more than curious, their lack of confidence makes them paranoia and they behave as control freaks. They need to know and control everything! They can’t help themselves.

I cannot believe you had talked for 4 hours with your cousin. It must be somebody else. What aren’t you telling me?

Admit your mistakes and say “I am sorry!”

Another important thing that keeps relationships strong is admitting when you are wrong. You don’t just have to admit it, you must apologize and behave with regret!

Taking full responsibility for our behavior is always important in a relationship.

Who can’t understand this

A narcissistic person will never admit he was wrong. He simply doesn’t have the capacity.

He always prefers to find excuses and reasons why he may not have taken the best decision. It’s never his fault, things just happened.

Bottom line:

Self-help content is just random crap for every person that does not want to change. The same applies to relationship advice.

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One that does not want to admit he isn’t perfect is not open enough to accept and adopt changes. They cannot admit they do anything wrong, so they are incapable of change.

What do you think? Does self-help content have a positive effect on you?

Previously Published on medium

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The post 5 Pieces of Relationship Advice That Work Only If… appeared first on The Good Men Project.