Better Relationships Through Improv Comedy!

Valentine’s Day is approaching, so I have decided to share some ideas on how to use improv comedy to be a good “Valentine” It’s a little (or a lot) different from the traditional “Improv for Business” stuff, but if an improviser can’t act outside-of-the-box once in a while, who can? :-)

Here are the “Better Relationships Through Improv Comedy!” Tips!

Put Your Focus on Your Partner

In improvisation, your partner is the most important thing you have. You work with them to create a magical improv scene. In relationships, your partner (literally, in this case – your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc) must be the most important thing to you. Not 24 hours a day – life is a flowing river where the most successful people manage their prioritites and what’s important – but when you are with your partner be completely present and put 100% of your attention on them.

Another easy way to do this is to just listen! It’s amazing how far a little true listening can go towards building a connection between two people!

The improv comedy way to do this is to “empty your mind.” Put aside all of the thoughts running through your head and have an empty mind as you interact with your partner. Take a few minutes before hand to breathe deep and clear your mind. Put your thoughts on the other person – what do they want? What are they feeling? How can I help them? This is an easy way to create rapport and let your partner know you care.

Let Go Of Control

Relationships, like improv comedy, are unscripted. You may plan a romantic dinner complete with gourmet food and candles, but your partner may suddenly get caught up in a huge traffic jam and throw off everything. You must have the ability to let go of control and flow with what life gives you!

An improv comedian who tried to control events on stage is considered to be a poor partner and a bad improviser. Similarly, if one person, or both, in a relationship tries to control it, they will be considered dominating and insecure. While your intention is good (you want to make the relationship the best it can be for both people) your ability to let go of control and flow with both life and your partner will amazingly increase your connection. Remember, the word is “partner” – you are working with somebody to build something amazing, not dictating to them what they must do.

The next time life throws an unexpected monkey wrench into your plans, say to yourself, “this is not at all what I want, but it is what it is. Now what can I do to be happy, make my partner happy, and make sure we both get what we need and want?” This will shift your focus from blame and stress to solution and happiness – a much better way to be!

Be Creative

Relationships are a tough balance of security and surprise. It’s wonderful being with a great person and knowing they’re going to be there, day in and day out. At the same time, once you get into a rut, it can get depressing to know that the same person is going to be doing the same thing, day after day! :-) Keep things interesting using your creativity.

How? Well, I’m not going to create a giant list here. However, you know the types of things you and your partner enjoy. You also know the things in your relationship that have gotten a little stale. Use the creative process around these ideas to generate some ways of enjoying the things you love in new and exciting ways.

There you have it. Three simple but powerful ideas from the world of improv comedy to help you get the most out of your relationship!

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