Take a look at these 8 words below. Which one is the best quality to have in a romantic relationship?
Which did you select? When I interviewed my friend and colleague Toni Herbine-Blank for this week’s Therapy Spot, she said,
“Curiosity is a great quality in a relationship.”
Truthfully, cultivating all 8 of the Self qualities is important for inner and outer harmony. Curiosity is important because it sets us off in search of more information which can help un-stick us in our lives and our relationships.
Curiosity is Essential to Relationship Harmony
The exercise I previously described as 10 new dance steps for better communicating involved a lot of curiosity in relation to understanding patterns. But sometimes you have a sprained heart and you can’t dance! That’s when you should apply RICE.
You can apply all of that curious inquiry to your relationship as well. Let’s work through an example.
Dirty Socks, the Great Marriage Saver?
Pretend you’re married to someone who leaves his dirty socks on the floor, and you just happen to be someone who can’t stand dirty socks being left on the floor.
Now it’s time to get curious about this situation. Not “Why do you leave those dirty socks on the floor!?” but “Why do I get so upset about these dirty socks on the floor?”
Those are two very different questions. The first question points outward, putting the focus on your partner and intentionally or no, blame on your partner.
The second question points inward, and this is actually very empowering. Suddenly the dirty socks are not happening to you or at you. Instead the dirty socks become a trigger for Self-exploration.
There Are Many Ways to Get Curious Toward Yourself and Your Partner
At this point you can ask yourself about your own version of the dirty socks.
- Why does it bother me when my partner does this?
- What is the hurt in me that makes this so upsetting? What happened?
- I notice that when my partner does this, I get angry and I go out and confront them. Then we have an argument and I am distant and cold after. How is this helping me to respond the way that I do? You might be surprised to see how you are helping yourself from getting emotionally hurt.
- When in the past did I feel this way?
These are just a few of the curious questions you can ask yourself.
Journal your responses. What do you learn about yourself in your relationship?
Do you feel differently after this exercise? You may notice that you feel more closeness and deeper connection with your partner.
Practice Your Inner Curiosity with this Easy Meditation
As we learned from Toni this week, we have better relationships with others when we have better relationships with ourselves.
Download this guided meditation to get to know a loud or triggered part within you. It’s great practice for getting curious!