How many times your partner tells you something you do not like? Or make a statement with which you disagree? In everyday life there are dozens of situations in which your response is critical. He manages to stop an argument by choosing how you respond to what your partner says. If you use a defensive response, the discussion will surely lengthen. If you try to impose “your truth or reality”, “your view”, you’ll end up angry, shouting things that don’t really mean.
- Is it important for you to be right?
- Do you think that matters more to be the possessor of truth?
- Are you so sure and certain that your view is the correct one to take a discussion to death?
I think not! What would happen if you really listen and knew what is your partner trying to tell you? You don’t have to listen to me, but do the test, and instead of using a defensive response, the next time you feel attacked, try a different answer. Take a look at this Einstein quote …
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
When your partner says or does something you don’t like, do you react or respond always the same? What result do you get? The same, right? That’s why it is so important to “learn” to communicate. If your desire is for the other person to change their opinion or to stop doing what you dislike, getting defensive will just reinforce his behavior and reinforce what he/she thinks. However oddly enough, giving your partner some truth in what he says (disarm your partner) will start to improve your communication.
Disarmament is to find some truth in what the other person is saying. The next time you go to meet with a “That’s not true!”, think a few seconds, count to three and seek an answer that gets you closer to your partner instead of walking away. Instead of being contrary, find a point you assume he’s right, and do something you never do. And say: “You know, you can be right, I had not thought of it that way!” The next step is to show empathy. Here’s an example: John refers to Rachel “you’re a mess, I never have a shirt ironed” Obviously, a phrase Rachel receives as an attack and defends answering: “Ehhh, how ever, you always complain about the same thing, what’s wrong with you? I am not your slave, besides, why don’t you iron it yourself? Did they cut your hands? ” because of that a whole big fight will start.
What if instead of the previous conversation, John tells Rachel: “My love, you could see that I need for you to iron me a shirt, I know you’ve been very busy this week, but I’m finishing this project and I do not have time to iron it. I would really appreciate it if you would help me in that.” Surely Rachel accepts the plea of John and irons the shirt.
Pro-activity in couples
The things you say and the way you say it may improve or deteriorate your relationships significantly. Here are some phrases that tend to generate positive feelings, specifically when you talk to your partner:
Phrases to listen better:
- Help me understand what you’re feeling.
- What was the best part of your day?
- What do you think?
- What did I do or say that gave you that idea?
Sentences to express feelings:
- It hurts me to say such things.
- I feel … frustrated, happy, sad, hopeful, excited, intrigued, nervous, among others
- Please talk to me as someone who you love (I’m not feeling respected at the moment).
Phrases to enhance intimacy:
- Come closer.
- Do me a favor?
- Would you like a massage?
- I love you
- I’d love for you to make love to me
Scraps for troubleshooting:
- Let’s take some time to talk about this.
- We need to sit down to talk and negotiate
- Let’s make a plan.
- Let’s wait to be more at ease to discuss this.
- Is it worth fighting over this?
- How can we get both what we want?
- Can we say that we are together in this?
- When you want to talk about this issue, I would like you to tell me because I really want to clear out our differences.
Phrases to show appreciation:
- You could be right on this.
- You were right…
- Thanks for…
- I have something important to tell
- I feel it is a good time to listen to me
Phrases to set limits:
- I don’t enjoy doing this. I’d rather that you do it by yourself
- This is something I’m not willing to conceal
- I need to let you know that I disagree that you get home late and without notice
- What do you think we can do to reach an agreement in this situation?
- What are you willing to do to improve our relationship?
Phrases to respect the autonomy of others:
- If there is any way to help, let me know
- You decide
- When you make your decision, I would love to convey it to me
On the other hand, there are some phrases that cause misery and alienation. Unfortunately they are used too often. Avoid them:
- You should have…
- I told you
- You always…
- You never…
- You should be ashamed of what you did.
- Already a lazy, silly, stupid, careless…
- You don’t value me
- You don’t trust me
- I understand exactly how you feel.
- Why is it that you always want to know everything?
- You always make me mad
- It’s not fair
Do not let the things happen, and end up staying in ignorance or indifference. Make it happen because you’ve looked for them. Thus, whatever you do is your choice. You can let go and be surprised by the results, or choose consciously to build the reality you want to live.
Turn these ideas into action. Remember about the four “I” and take a proactive attitude. Put your thoughts into action, take action and fight for what you want, when you get it you will live in wellness. Remember the three questions and the three groups and put yourself in the group of those who make things happen and marvel. You can, of course you can.