RESPECT is the medium in which love flourishes. More respect, even in the midst of conflict, the more love will grow and the easier it will be to resolve conflicts.
DISrespect often shows up when a couple is in conflict. It is most important to maintain respect when in conflict, but how do you do it? First of all set a date to talk about the issue rather than trying to fit it in around all the distracting minutia of life.
Next, listen to your partner’s ideas. Repeat back your partner’s thoughts in your own words, before replying with your ideas. Make sure your tone of voice is calm and your words show that you are taking his or her ideas seriously…with respect. When your partner feels heard, he or she is much more open to hearing you!
Next choose words that present your point of view without attacking your partner’s point of view. You say, “I’m feeling uneasy about that plan of action and here’s my reasons why…,” or, “My preference would be…” rather than “Why in the world do you think that would work!”
Keep listening with the goal of understanding your partner’s point of view and presenting your ideas with respect until you can both agree on a course of action that meets both of your needs. If resolution doesn’t happen in this first attempt, then take a break to let the ideas of both marinate a bit before making a date to talk about the issue again.
My late husband and I had dozens of these respectful exchanges before we finally arrived at a solution to a thorny conflict that we could both support… that worked for both of us.
Use these simple skills to help you and your beloved avoid the damaging disrespect that will diminish your love.
Nancy Landrum, MA is passionate about teaching others the skills she spent the first half of her life learning for herself. These skills are simple and yet have transformed thousands of relationships through her books and personal coaching.
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