Be C. L. E. A. R.

By Christine Gregory on January 12, 2024

In certain situations, it can be difficult to gain some perspective. Sometimes points come across muddy. Sometimes we’re so focused on being “right” that we can’t see another point of view.

Try this: Be C.L.E.A.R. — Curious, Listening, Enduring, Audacious, Realistic

C - Curious

Curiosity in relationships means having an open mindset and staying interested in your partner — asking how their day was, inquiring about plans for the week, wondering what their future dreams might be. Relationships like it when we maintain an open and curious mindset.

Curiosity also helps develop personal growth. Learning and growing is how we can stay interesting to others. When our curiosities are activated, our brains wake up and we are encouraged to keep digging into whatever endeavor we are interested in.

Openness is a state of mind; curiosity is the action you take to keep that alive.

L - Listening

A foundational part of successful communication is being able to truly listen to each other. Listening better in a relationship means engaging your whole body. How you move, where you look, and how you sit or stand can indicate how good of a listener you are. Experiment with holding eye contact, leaning forward, engaging in reassuring facial expressions, and avoiding physical distractions (like your phone). Try paraphrasing what your partner is saying so you can better understand the feelings they are conveying.

Being a better listener to your partner comes from listening in order to learn from them, without constructing a counter argument in your head.

E - Enduring

Practicing enduring is practicing patience. Patience is the ability to wait calmly, to move forward towards a goal, to work towards something unhurriedly. Patience in a relationship allows for growth and is a communicative approach that encourages others to help you in a space that gives breathing room where your communication can flow easily and thoughtfully.

Practice patience by giving up a need to be right, and by setting realistic expectations and goals.

A - Audacious

Audacious is a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks, to be courageous. Being audacious in your relationship means being confident in your choice of partner.

Love requires courage and confidence. Courageous partners in relationships take the time to reflect and pay attention to what’s going on in their hearts and their minds. They are honest with themselves, and with their partners.

Courageous people accept that there are fortunate and unfortunate events that occur. They acknowledge their problems and avoid running away from them. Long-lasting relationships understand the audacious need to address worries and frustrations when necessary. Audacity takes a level of vulnerability. We often resist vulnerability, but it is the key to closeness in relationships.

R - Realistic

Relationships need boundaries — realistic and healthy boundaries. A boundary is a clear line. It can define where one thing ends and another begins. Different kinds of relationships will require experimenting with which boundaries work and which ones do not.

Healthy boundaries in relationships create mutual respect between individuals. Setting boundaries helps us to know what is expected in the relationship. Healthy boundaries show us how we can respect each other’s personal space, comfort levels, and limits. Unhealthy boundaries do the opposite — they are often actually a lack of boundaries. Someone with unhealthy boundaries doesn't question how the other person feels. Their goal is to control.

Boundaries are a form of self-care. They are a way of taking care of your mental health and ensuring that your well-being is respected.

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