Tuesday, August 24, 2010
1. Shift your perspective, believing there is a solution that will leave you both feeling strong.
2. One at a time, allow each person to clearly state all of his or her concerns, hopes, assumptions, fears, feelings, beliefs, values and fears about the situation.
3. Speak and listen without judgment. Avoid interrupting or justifying; just stay curious.
4. Find the common feelings and experiences.
5. Decide together what values and feelings you both must experience in whatever solution you strive for. Always ask, "What would it look like when it's working?"
6. Seek solutions together that meet the needs of both people. Be open to the solution being something completely different from either original stance.
7. Choose. You may ask - choose what? Your compromise.
8. Know that the ultimate goal is your shared positive experience. Commit to your decision together and reinforce how this decision is going to uphold the positive emotions you are both striving to experience. It helps to make a physical sign of your commitment: Sign a paper or cross a line together on the floor. Establish that breaking this commitment is a sign to yourself that you do not feel that you and your relationship are worth the effort. Putting things in those terms may sound harsh - but not if you're truly committed.
Solving conflict is one of the most challenging things for couples to master, and doing it effectively takes patience and practice. Many couples report that getting through a difficult conflict brought them closer together, deepening each partner's understanding of the other's values, hopes and dreams. Focus on the outcome of deepening your connection, and the conversation will have a much better chance of success.
Just like your job, you signed onto your relationship, committing yourselves to making it work. And just like your job, there are times when you simply have to dig your heels in to do the work necessary to keep your job. The beauty is, each of these relationships has the potential to give you a solid, and growing, happiness. You just might find that sometimes, you have to look, and work, for it a little harder than you thought.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Getting closer to your partner could take some effort, yet can be one of the most important undertakings you’ll make in your relationship. And an undertaking that may not happen simply on its own. Here are ideas from www.Oprah.com contributor Marcus Buckingham to foster loving connections, and being certain that you are “supporting the being” of your partner:
1. Spend time discovering the experiences that strengthen your partner the most.
2. Create situations in which your partner will be able to experience these moments – with or without you. You needn’t try to enjoy your partner’s strengthening moments thinking it will bring you closer together. If you’re pretending to like something that you don’t, it won’t.
3. Design an evening where your sole purpose is to express gratitude for your partner. Talk about all the ways your partner makes your life better, the little things that you notice and appreciate and the impact your partner has on the lives of your children, if you have them. Use specific examples to illustrate what you are saying.
4. Every week, plan to share a mutually strengthening experience together.
5. Inevitably your partner will do things that frustrate or annoy you. Strive to focus on what’s working, or what “working” would look like, and then find evidence that your partner is doing it. Look for it. Believe in it. You’ll be surprised when your partner begins to transform before your eyes. We get what we look for.
6. Research reveals the ways you perceive your spouse not only color your current reality, but they actually alter your relationship and thereby create your future reality. So, when looking at your spouse, choose your perceptions carefully.
When the desire to connect, support and love outshines the need to be right about your partner, you’re onto something. It is a deliberate choice to look for the best in the people around us. Always look for what’s working. Attention amplifies.