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Today is the final post of my seven series blog posting sharing the seven signs of a healthy relationship. The seventh sign of a healthy relationship is partners both focus on humility. If you look humility up in the dictionary the definition is: a modest or low view of one’s importance or humbleness. I always like to ask my clients for their own definition versus just assuming our definitions are aligned. For one, the definition for humility within a relationship may be one is humble within the relationship. I have heard other perceptions of the definition where one may believe being humble in a relationship is being weak and not standing up for what is important. I found a quote I think is helpful to consider as we think about humility in a relationship.
“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” Ezra T. Benson
Keeping this quote at the center of your mind in your relationship can help partners focus on humility- especially during conflict. I can think of many arguments that have escalated between my husband and I based on one (or both) of us trying to nail down who is right in the fight. I can also think of many disagreements that have ended by us agreeing to disagree. If each of us are set in being right and getting our point pushed across to the other, neither one of us are budging on what may be best for the relationship in that moment.
Relationships can suffer when partners are fighting against each other versus fighting for what is right for the relationship.
To practice humility in a relationship the shift can occur when both partners are fighting for the relationship to win versus just one side. When helping couples in conflict the following tips are often shared:
- Focus on communicating in a way both partner’s viewpoint is heard and validated- this can be the most challenging part
- Determine the root cause of the argument- often times arguments can appear to be about small topical issues when there is a root cause hidden below
- Identify how to overcome the root of the problem with potential solutions- learning from each argument is essential in a relationship
Practicing humility within a relationship may already be the norm within your relationship, or it may be your next area of focus. The quote shared, as well as other tips, may be helpful for you when focusing on humility in your relationship. Humility is concerned with what is right…for your relationship.
*DiDonato, T.E. (July/August 2015). Article Adjustment Bureau. Psychology Today, 93.