I have long believed that the tools I teach apply to any and all relationships. However, most of us were taught to act differently everywhere. How you act with your boss at work isn’t how you’re supposed to act with your best friend. The idea has always been that there are work communication tools, couple’s communication tools, and different techniques you’d use with your children, parents, and Aunt Joan.

That’s a mistake. You are one, whole person. When we divide ourselves into different compartments it becomes exhausting and frustrating. It’s hard to know what’s right in each situation. “Am I saying too much? Too little?” “Did I just embarrass myself?”

I want you using the same tools everywhere. There’s one “you” in your relationships, and that’s it.

Here’s the key: Your tools and ways of being are the same across the board, but your boundaries are distinct in different types of relationships.

So, before I talk about the 3 Universal tools that work in every relationship, I want to talk about this boundary piece.

Let’s Talk Boundaries!

I’ve talked about boundaries before but let me brush you up on an aspect that’s critical to understand here. Namely, boundaries are on a continuum from thin to thick. I want you to imagine a straight line. On one end are the thin boundaries and on the other end are thick boundaries. Different types of relationships call for different boundaries, along that thin/thick continuum.

Three Tools for Every Relationship:

1. Stop Competing

2. Focus on Love, Not Fear

3. Make the 18-Second Shift


Resources and Links:

Boundaries: How to Identify Them and How to Hold Them

How Attached Are You in Your Relationship?

The Real Problem in Your Relationship

Competing Stops You from Listening and Connecting

Relationships Aren’t Fair

Being Happy for Your Partner Equals a Happy Marriage

How to Set Intention in Just 18 Seconds (The 18-Second Shift)


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