Speak non-defensively: 4 tips to break patterns of negativity

Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. By listening and speaking in a non-defensive fashion, avoiding criticism you can help foster healthy discussion. 

Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life but by speaking non-defensively, this positive posture will benefit your relationship. 

The following four strategies from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:

    2. Speak non-defensively: Listen and speak in a way that does not engender defensiveness but, instead, fosters healthy discussion. “Praise and admiration” are the best weapons to keep negative thoughts at bay.
    Empathise. Realize that your partners anger might be an effort to get your attention. Adopt a receptive body posture and an open facial expression. Limit yourself to a specific complaint rather than a multitude of criticisms. 
    Try these approaches:

  • Remove the blame from your comments
  • Say how you feel
  • Don’t criticize your partner’s personality
  • Don’t insult, mock or use sarcasm.
  • Be direct
  • Don’t mind-read.

Tip three, next week…

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

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