20 KEYS to a Kinder, Gentler Relationship

I commit to working on my own issues, that is, ‘personal growth’; not working on
your issues, which results in, ‘no personal growth’.
— Cinthia Hiett

After 22 years of private practice, here is the Master List for healthy successful relationships, which truly begins and ends with self care. 

1.) I will respect, understand, and accept gender differences and the unique hardwiring
of each gender. I will explore and respect the power of “love languages”. As result,
I will love the people in my life in the way that is most meaningful and powerful to
them, even if it is uncomfortable for me.
2.) I will stop being so controlling, and needing “all the ducks to line up” in order to be
happy within my relationship. I will practice flexibility.
3.) I will stop focusing on the external’s (“what I can’t control”), and will commit to
addressing my internal world (“what I can control”).
4.) I commit to working on my own issues, that is, “ personal growth”; not working on
your issues, which results in, “no personal growth”.
5.) I commit to appropriately dealing with my own stress; and the subsequent spiritual,
physical, emotional, social, and intellectual reactions.
6.) I will practice daily acceptance of myself and others, realizing we are all mortal
mistake-making humans.
7.) I will refrain from infidelity and/or pornography as way to get my needs met.
8.) I will stop taking things so seriously and so personally. I will stop moralizing and
judging others. I will recognize the difference between abuse and dysfunction. One
is a character issue; the other is a process, if it is an abuse issue, then it is imperative
for me to learn how to protect myself. If I am unable to discern the difference
between dysfunction and abuse, I commit to finding and receiving professional
9.) I will address and heal from my Codependency and Boundary issues.
10.) I will address my addictive behaviors, either my own, or any individual in my life. I
will address as well, any compulsive disorders, such as: workholism, food, gambling,
sex/love addictions, shopping, perfectionism, etc.
11.) I will address my assertiveness issues, which cause me to avoid expressing my
feelings, as well as, healthy conflict and confrontation.
12.) I am willing to take care of myself; to be a healthy caregiver to myself, not giving
that responsibility to any of my primary relationships.

13.) I will deal with my "emotional baggage". Any relationship or situation that is
unresolved, as it takes energy from the relationship.
14.) I will practice the habit of forgiveness, for others and myself. I will keep short
lists, and resist record keeping.
15.) I will learn healthy communication skills.
16.) I will invest time in my relationships: “Relationships require time”.
17.) I will “act like an adult”. Adults know how to get along. I will be respectful,
courteous, considerate, and thoughtful even when they are not.
18.) I will keep confidences; I will not expose a weakness or make fun of it. I will
practice being a “safe person” for my relationships.
19.) I want to be the person that leaves you better because of your interaction with
me. I do not want to be the person you have to “heal” from.
20.) Lastly, (and if I only do this one), I will have accomplished all the above.
“I will resist and manage my own selfishness!”

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes
to live.” ― Oscar Wilde