wise love words: openness creates a climate of security and trust

Being open with your partner is one of the best ways to maintain your relationship, according to relationship researchers Stafford & Canary (1991). Steven McCornack, the author of the textbook entitled "Reflect & relate: An introduction to interpersonal communication," summarizes the importance of being open in your relationship in a relatable and easy-to-understand manner. Below is a reprint of Steven's wise love words:

The second most commonly reported maintenance tactic is openness. Through openness, you create a climate of security and trust within your relationship. openness in a romance doesn't just happen; it emerges when each person behaves in ways that are predictable, trustworthy, and ethical. Over time, consistency in behavior fosters mutual respect and the perception that feelings and concerns can be discussed honestly and without fear of repercussion.

You use openness when:
  • You take time to talk periodically with your partner about your relationship
  • You encourage your partner to disclose his or her thoughts and feelings, and offer empathy in return
  • You regularly share (in a constructive fashion) you relationship feelings, wants, and needs with your partner

You undermine openness when:
  • You avoid or refuse to have "relationship talks" with your partner
  • You react defensively when your partner shares his or her feelings, attacking and disparaging your partner's perspective
  • You routinely keep things hidden from your partner or betray your partner by sharing confidential information about him or her with others
(McCornack, 2007, p. 356)

Related Love Lesson Posts:

  • McCornack, S. (2007). Reflect & relate: An introduction to interpersonal communication. Bedford/ St. Martins: Boston.

Click HERE to all of my "wise love words" posts.


Dr. Steve McCornack MSU said...

But THE most important "tactic" or "practice" for maintaining ongoing romantic involvements - and one that is more commonly overlooked - is POSITIVITY. One simply cannot overstate the significance of approaching interactions with partners with a positive frame of mind, and doing what you can to lift partner's spirits on a daily basis through surprise gifts, notes, etc. Similarly, the damage wrought by complaining, insulting, sulking, and other forms of "negativity" is profound and poisonous. -Steve McCornack-

Jennie said...

Thanks Steve! I completely agree that positivity is vital to relationship maintenance! Great observation!

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