“One of the most beautiful qualities of a relationship is to understand and be understood”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
There is a wealth of literature regarding making an impression on those all-important early dates, but what about a few weeks and months down the line? This is when the odd disagreement may occur, or old behaviour which has tainted previous relationships may resurface. Many relationships break up not because the people weren’t right for each other, but because people are unaware of specific skills which build communication and understanding. It’s therefore worth honing those charismatic traits to create a special and meaningful long-term relationship. Below are some skills for long-term relationship bliss.
1 Meet people on the emotional level first
This is an amazing skill which many people are unaware of. When one party is upset or unhappy, the other party often attempts to fix this by jumping into problem-solving or talking about their own experience. They are missing a vital charismatic skill – to really connect with someone you have to meet them on the emotional level before you share your story or try and improve the situation. Truly empathising with someone first makes them feel heard and validates their emotional response which make subsequent problem-solving much easier. Taking a moment to emotionally connect is one of the most charismatic skills you can use to bond in a long-term relationship.
2 Carry on listening
One of the first qualities to slip in a relationship is that of listening. Feeling ‘heard’ is one of the key gifts a person of charisma gives to their partner, and not feeling heard is one of the precursors to infidelity! Therefore remain attentive and attuned to your partner if you want to build an enduring relationship. As Dale Carnegie once said, ‘rapt attention is the highest form of flattery’.
3 Cultivate humility and be able to laugh at yourself
A degree of humility is a bonding factor in a long-term relationship. This enables people to recognise and apologise when they get something wrong. Two of the biggest complaints in a longer-term relationship are partners who are ‘high maintenance’ or who believe they are always right. Relationships should be fun, so we need to remember the importance of getting our ego’s out of the way and being able to laugh at ourselves.
4 Remember, you reveal your true self in a crisis
A tip for charismatic success in all areas of your life – remember that you show your true character when you’re under pressure. So if a difficult conversation arises or a disagreement occurs, guard against being defensive or over-reacting and try to understand the problem. Memorable people are those that are those that remain calm, genuine and focused in the face of conflict and difficulties.
5 Treat your partner like a billion pound customer
People frequently take their partners for granted, especially in the fullness of time. This is partly human nature, but makes little sense when we consider that partners are among the most important people in our lives and therefore deserve the very best treatment. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and appreciation brings out the best in people which in turn feeds back into a successful relationship.
Relationships are the biggest source of joy in our lives, so it’s worth developing skills to nurture them. Remember that even one new idea which is implemented can change the whole course of a relationship.
Lindholm, C. (1993). Charisma (2nd ed.). London: Wiley-Blackwell.
Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential For Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press.