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UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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“Identify and acknowledge what matters to your partner.”

This practice is great for strengthening healthy relationships and also for building trust when a relationship is strained. We each have core values that matter to us and we subtly communicate these every time we speak or act. When someone notices what matters to us and acknowledges it in our presence we are ‘mirrored into existence.’ When others see us clearly it helps us see ourselves. And, to build trust with and compassion for people we don’t like, don’t understand, or who have different values, it can be helpful to identify what matters to them and share it as a way to create a bridge of understanding.

In the next month, begin observing interactions with partners where the relationship is strained. As they speak or act, notice what values are communicated verbally and nonverbally. It is not our job to judge these values but to identify them as important to our partner. For example, your partner may value harmony. While you may have judgments about the blind spots created by his/her attachment to harmony, instead of sharing your assessments simply say something like, “I really see that creating harmony matters and is important to you.” Notice what shifts occur in your partner and in your relationship as a result.