Advise on How to Heal Bad Relationships - How to Solve Conflict - This technique for communication between partners is powerful, respectful and very healing.
Resolve Conflict and Healing:
The Speaker–this is the first person to speak, which is usually the one with “the issue.”
- Forming a Positive Connection: I want to talk to you in this way because (I love you, our relationship is important to me, etc.)
- Sharing Your Perception: When I perceive you as. . .(angry, ignoring me, criticizing me, etc.) or… When you (are late, leave your clothes out, etc.)
- Your Feeling Response: I feel . . .(angry, hurt, frustrated, etc.)
- Your Behavior: So I respond by . . .(arguing, yelling, withdrawing, not talking to you, etc.)
- Your Underlying Fear: My fear when these things happen is . . .(of being rejected, abandoned, shamed, violated, etc.)
- The History of Your Feelings: The way this relates to my childhood emotional experience is . . . (describe related emotional experiences from your earliest memories before this relationship)
- Your Request: What I really want from you is . . . (state the specific behavior you would like from your partner)
The Responder–this is the other person in the dialogue.
- Reflective Listening: To the best of your ability, repeat the exact words of your partner with respect and concern. (What I hear you saying is…If I’m hearing you correctly…)
- Showing Empathy and Validation: Accept the validity of your partner’s feelings regardless of whether you agree with them. (When I put myself in your shoes, I can see why you would feel that way.)
- Expressing Understanding: Indicate understanding of what your partner is experiencing. (I think I can see where you’re coming from. I see what you mean.)
- Showing Support: Express appreciation for your partner’s openness. (I appreciate you telling me how you feel. Thanks for being open with me.)
- Your Response to the Request: Be honest about what you actually think you can do, set timelines, etc. ( In response to your request, I think I can… What I would like to do in response to your request is…)
Guidelines for the Speaker
- Use a calm, pleasant voice; avoid raising your voice.
- Sit back comfortably in your chair with your arms and legs uncrossed.
- Breathe deeply into your abdomen. This will help you to remain calm and keep your voice tone pleasant.
- Your primary goal is to express yourself with kindness and respect, while maintaining your power in your anger management relationship.
- You are taking responsibility for your feelings and reactions, while letting your partner know what happened and how it affected you.
Guidelines for the Responder
- Wait patiently while the other is talking to you. Listen attentively because you will be asked to repeat what your partner has said when he/she has finished to be sure you understand correctly.
- Look at your partner while he/she is talking to you.
- Don’t interrupt while he/she is talking to you.
- As you listen, put yourself in the speaker’s place. Set aside your agenda for a moment. How does he/she feel? What is his/her perspective? How does he/she experience you?
- If you are unclear or don’t understand what the speaker has just said, ask him/her to repeat it. But remember not to comment or respond at this time to what is being said.