As you move away from your unhealthy love style and work toward a secure connection, it’s easy to become discouraged or wonder how successful you are as a result of the shifting, organic nature of relationships.
Our first book, How We Love, and the workbook found in the back of the How We Love paperback, will prove to be invaluable tools during this time. In addition, use the following list of traits as a way to keep perspective on your journey — print this out, rate yourself now, and then rate yourself again in six months to a year to see your progress.
Rate yourself on each question from 1-5
[ 1 = no/rarely, 5 = always/often ]
- I experience relationships as a source of relief and when I am stressed I seek help, comfort, support, or wisdom from a person rather than a thing (addictions being the most common replacement.) Read more >>
- I can ask for help when I am unsure of myself. Read more >>
- I can list eight feelings I experience on a regular basis. Read more
- I can identify and articulate these feelings with my spouse and kids. Read more
- I use my feelings to identify my needs, and communicate these needs by asking directly rather than hoping someone will guess correctly. Read more
- I understand my childhood history, so I am aware when the past is influencing my present feelings and causing me to overreact. Read more
- I can name five strengths I possess in my character and talents, along with three weaknesses. Read more
- I can make a mistake and recover quickly. Read more
- I can find the middle ground in life versus being an eternal optimistic or constant pessimist. Read more
- I can delay gratification and wait for something I want.
- I am aware of how my mate behaves when feeling stressed and can take measures to bring them relief. Read more
- I can admit when I am wrong and apologize without excuses or blaming others for my actions. Read more
- I can accept criticism, and thoughtfully consider feedback. Read more
- I am a good listener and know how to ask thoughtful questions. Read more
- I have experienced the connection and closeness that results when a conflict is resolved. Read more
- I can say “no,” and draw boundaries even when it makes someone mad. Read more
- I know how to process my anger, identifying and communicating the more vulnerable feelings underneath the felt anger. Read more
- I can control my level of reaction so I am able to stay engaged in difficult conversations. Read more
- I am comfortable with reality and don’t minimize problems. Read more
- I can keep listening and explore other’s feelings, experiences, and point of view, even when I disagree with them. Read more
- I can ask to be held or hugged when I need comfort. Read more
- I am not afraid of conflict because I have the skills to negotiate, compromise, and resolve most conflicts. Read more
- I don’t hold on to resentment and am able to forgive my spouse. Read more
- I have a relationship with God, as well as close friends, and don’t expect my spouse to meet my every need. Read more
- I have compassion for my spouse in their areas of weakness because I understand their childhood wounds that contributed to those areas of struggle. Read more
- I don’t have secrets I am keeping from my mate. Read more
- I can ask for a “do-over” and try again when I blow it with my mate. Read more
If you feel particularly courageous, ask your spouse or kids to rate you in these
areas. When a family member takes the first step to “own their issues,” other family members will become less defensive and more open to change. By demonstrating change and growth in your own life, family members will soften even more. Evaluate and admit your own shortcomings, then others won’t have to take that role.