1. Be nice and be respectful. It may sound obvious, but I often hear the words “I just want him/her to be nice to me.”
2. Don’t take one another for granted. Remember to express appreciation for even the most mundane tasks.
3. Be curious, not defensive. If your partner seems upset, anxious or depressed, and snaps at you, don’t assume he/she is angry with you. Staying non-reactive and curious will allow you to provide the space to really listen.
4. Provide empathy. When your partner is feeling down, you may be tempted to judge, analyze, provide a solution, or try to rid your partner of his/her negative emotions. The best thing to say may just be “I am sorry you’re upset” followed by “What can I do?”
5. Fight fair. All couples fight, but it’s how you fight that matters. Do not threaten or blame. Try to be specific rather than use words such as “always” or “never.” Express remorse authentically and make sure to recover from the dispute with words of affirmation.
6. Be honest and authentic. This helps to create safety and security in the relationship.
7. Be direct. Don’t hesitate to invite your partner to hear what you want and what you need.
8. Be aware of each other’s triggers. Be sensitive to your partner’s sensitivities and what may make her/him reactive.
9. Stay un-enmeshed. Healthy boundaries, autonomy, and the space necessary for developing outside hobbies and friendships keep the relationship infused with vitality and interest.
10. Spend quality time together. Turn off your devices. Take walks, and talk.
(1) Talli wrote her article for couples. Look what happens if you apply this to work relationships.
(2) Cf. (i) Genuine praise, (ii) How to resist emotional triggers, (iii) A better way to view people, and (iv) How to deal with anger at work.