Want To Strengthen Your Relationship

Open your mouth. What do I mean? Talk ? say what's on your mind. Walking around with a chip on your shoulder will not strengthen your relationship. It will only create more distance between you and your mate. If you can't find the right words to say, write a letter. You may think that not saying something will make the issue or problem go away ? it won't. What it will do is build resentment towards your mate and open up the door for other problems to crawl in.

Zip it. You must think I'm nuts telling you to talk and now I'm telling you to zip it. What I mean is this ? after you have said your piece, listen with your heart for understanding instead of gathering information to be used as ammunition. Do your best to not interrupt while your mate is speaking.

Use tact. Say what's on your mind honestly and with as much love, kindness, respect and consideration. Remove criticism, contempt and defensiveness from your delivery. In your reply, use words like, "So what I hear you saying is??" or "If I heard you correctly, what you mean is this?? Statements like these let your mate know that you care.

Fix it. Repair any damage done in an argument immediately. If you've said something you know you shouldn't have said, apologize today ? not tomorrow and never go to sleep without saying "I love you." There is no guarantee that you will wake up.

Let it flow. Don't expect conflict to be resolved once and for all. Allow for continued discussion. Effective communication takes time. Trial and error is necessary in order to become a master at any skill. The same holds true for great communication.

Take a break. If the disagreement begins and continues in a harsh way, take a break and continue later. Little is accomplished with two hot heads in the room. Better results are guaranteed when you are calm, cool and collected.

Own up. I'm a huge fan of self-responsibility. Stop blaming your mate and acknowledge your responsibility in what's causing troubles in your relationship. If you screwed up and know you are dead wrong for what you did or said, own up!

"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."

Coach Yvonne Chase
877-7-RELATE (773-5283)

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