Thursday, December 15, 2016

Over exaggeration doesn't win the fight

“Lovers fight when they believe their partners don't care about how they feel. They fight about the pain of disconnection.”  Dr. Steven Stosny. 

When we feel disconnected, it is vitally important to relive that pain and become connected again.  A huge, and common, mistake couples make while fighting is over exaggerating statements in order to make a point.  For example, how many times have you heard, “You never do this” or “You always do that”.

The reason this is a mistake is because of the defensiveness it causes the other person to feel.  Even if one person has a tendency of doing something, he or she does not “always” do it, and that causes them to feel unfairly accused.  The result is, instead of relieving the pain and becoming more connected, these statements escalate the fight therefore enhancing the pain and disconnection.

There is no such thing as a couple that does not fight.  So, the next time you are in a fight with your significant other, remember that you are fighting to get reconnected again.  Your words can either help or hurt that process.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Say "I" when "You" fight

Fighting is inevitable within any relationship, but it does not have to be a negative or a destructive experience.  If both parties are fighting to improve the relationship and the situation rather then wanting to “be right” or to “win”, a lot of good can come from a confrontation. 

How language is used is important to not only being productive, but also to be caring and loving.  Wayne Misner (Men Don’t Listen) argues that ’I’ statements are not as offensive when you’re trying to be understood”.  After all, what is the goal of your fights?  What are you hoping will change? What are you fighting about?

Phrases that can be useful includes:  I notice, I assume, I wonder, I suspect, I believe, I resent, I am puzzled, I am hurt, I regret, I am afraid, I am frustrated, I am happier, I want, I expect, I appreciate, I realize, I hope 

If you are not used to using “I” phrases in your fights, this list might seem a little overwhelming.  Wayne Misner suggests using “I hope” first, but most importantly leave the “you” out of it.

Good luck in your next fight, and may the both of you be understood and both of you win.