Say What? Better Communication Skills In Your Relationship

Hello Reader,

Several times in the past few weeks I’ve witnessed couples struggle with avoidable misunderstandings.  John and Jane have a brief late night conversation about a hot-button topic, they keep going until they’re exhausted, and go to bed, thinking it’s resolved. Over the course of the week each one proceeds with their own version of the “agreement”, until the “alternate realities” become apparent in an explosive fight.  Each is hurt, offended, and feels negated. Familiar scene?
Here’s two tips from a seasoned spouse and couples therapist to avoid the mayhem:
1. STOP when you’re tired — it only produces distortion! Tomorrow’s a new day.
2. When you think you’ve reached a resolution, don’t just walk away to water the garden or walk the dog. Instead, Restate Your Takeaway. Reiterate, in your own words, your understanding of what the conclusion was and why. If your partner nods, it’s good, you got it. If your partner tries to throw a plant at you, it’s not good, you need to ask for clarity, then try again. Now your partner needs to do the same, and when you both feel heard and understood, it’s good, now go walk the dog.

Good night and good luck,

Susan Lager
PS. Go to my newly live website for lots more relationship tools:
How To Be A Better Couple

About Susan Lager

ABOUT ME Susan Lager, LICSW, BCD I grew up in New Rochelle, a suburb of NYC, lived in Manhattan for ten years during college and graduate school, and escaped the madness for the wilds of Maine to be with Thom, the sweet man I'm still married to after 34 years. (We have an awesome 29 year old son named Alec who will run the free world someday). I knew I'd survive the relocation from New York when I discovered the scenic, historic little city of Portsmouth, on the coast of New Hampshire, with its winding streets, great restaurants, and music everywhere. I was especially thrilled to attend the Portsmouth Psychotherapy Institute, an offshoot of the B.I.P., where I did post-graduate training, and then went into private practice creating The Couples Center PLLC, doing psychotherapy, with individuals, couples and groups. In 2010 I opened a division of the practice called COUPLESPEAK™, providing live and online coaching, training programs, workshops, and written materials for people in different kinds of partnerships. I'm still passionate about the work, which is NEVER boring! My clients are courageous pioneers, and they've taught me lots I'll pass on......
This entry was posted in Communication. Bookmark the permalink.