The Importance of Give and Take in Relationships 998

how to give and take in relationships

That’s a guest post by the Couples Clinic, an organization of Winnipeg relationship therapists (

“Give and take” is a mechanism inherent to all personal relationships – you cannot expect to receive something if you don’t offer on your own turn. Once the balance between give and take is broken, difficulties arise and partners feel they are not getting too much from their relationship.

The real problem is, in fact, not giving enough – you reap what you sow, as the biblical saying puts it.

Have you ever been in a relationship where one person did nothing but give and the other only received selfishly?

In some cases, those who give all the time don’t allow themselves to receive anything in return – this problem needs to be addressed as well.

Let’s consider an example:

Joe and Sarah are a married couple. Sarah does the housekeeping by herself, runs errands, and makes sure Joe has everything he needs, from preparing his breakfast to ironing his shirts.

She also joins him at sporting events and action movies, even if she doesn’t really enjoy them. One time, Sarah asks Joe to join her at a play she wanted to go to for ages, but he refuses.

Sarah feels very disappointed and starts complaining about all the times she never received anything in return.

In other couples, the situation is slightly different:

Alice has had a very busy week. One of the children got sick, she had to finish an important project at work, and her friend asked her to take care of her dog while she was away from town. Her husband, John, offered to clean the house for the weekend, but she refused replying that he would not do it the right way.

On the other hand, Alice is so tired every evening that she falls asleep as soon as she jumps into bed and they never have time to talk to each other or spend time together.

In both cases, “give and take” doesn’t function well.

In the first example, Joe needs to become less selfish and learn how to give. While in the second story, Alice should stop being a perfectionist, delegate some of her work, and learn how to receive.

Is your relationship similar to one of the two cases? Here are some ways to fine-tune daily interactions with your partner and achieve a perfect balance between give and take:

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5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship

1. Conversation.

Conversation is not just about exchanging information. People talk to each other to share feelings, to get relief, and to re-assure themselves when they are dealing with problems.

Common mistakes in a conversation are talking only about yourself and not being an active listener.

Speak about your problems and concerns, but also offer the other person the chance to talk as well and really listen to them, instead of interrupting and focusing again just on your person.

2. Mutual help.

Has your wife prepared your favorite dish last week-end? If she asks you to help her buy a new dress, join her and be patient while she tries on every outfit.

A relationship where one partner does all the efforts and the other always refuses to provide help to the same extent is misbalanced and unfulfilling.

3. Giving compliments.

Compliments are a vital part of a healthy relationship.

Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – on top of the pyramid we have self-actualization.

Oftentimes, your partner needs you to observe their personal growth and recognize their achievement or qualities. From telling your spouse how great they look before going out to dinner to showing your admiration for their results at work, a well-thought and honest compliment every day can make wonders in your relationship.

4. Accepting flows.

Nobody is perfect, that’s for sure, but some people react more negatively to their partner’s mistakes.

Each time you get angry because your spouse left home this morning without washing the dishes, think about a similar situation where you didn’t meet their expectations either, but they reacted less violently. Is the fight worth it, after all?

5. Giving space.

Being involved in a relationship doesn’t mean you should be together 24/7 and not accept your partner’s decision of spending time separately.

Understand that people in a relationship can have their own hobbies or do activities with other people as well, and also enjoy your time alone – it will do both of you good!

Putting these pieces of advice into practice may be difficult in the beginning, or make you feel awkward. But, if you feel your relationship needs improvement, doing things the same way as you always have won’t make a difference.

Find your missing part of the equation and learn how to be both a giver and a receiver!

Covey, Stephen R. (2013). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Principles of empathic communication 263-270
McLeod, Saul (2014). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 3

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

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In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.