Relationship Tools

Communication Guidelines

  • Be calm – and so have awareness and if needed, ask for time outs.
  • Be specific – avoid generalisations.
  • Avoid blame and who is right discussions
  • Acknowledge your partners feelings and point of view
  • Speak non-defensively by changing your mindset of your partner
  • Use your imagination to creatively put yourself in your partner’s place.
  • Be accountable for the things you say and do
  • Stay with the recent past when you talk about your problems.
  • Catch your partner doing something right and give them credit for it.
  • Find pleasurable activities to do together

Something for you to think about

  • Remember what it was that attracted you to your partner
  • Feel those good times again
  • What can you do, say, think or feel that would be different?
  • Ask yourself what you could do for your partner today that they would really enjoy.
  • Then do it, or ask why you will not
  • Ask yourself the tail end questions If my relationship improved, then the consequence for me would be . . .
    What am I afraid of if this relationship improved?
    What would I have to give up and what would I get?
  • It is so easy and a natural human trait to focus on what is wrong that we often forget or downplay what is good. So begin to open your mind to notice and acknowledge the good in both the past and present of your relationship.

Reflective Listening between men and women

If I could give you just one piece of advice it would be that you practise reflective listening. Listen carefully to what your partner is saying and repeat it back to him/her “let me see if I have got it right – what you are saying is…….”
Only say your piece when he/she is content that you have heard. Feel the emotional temperature fall and realize you are both beginning to meet in the middle.

Men and women do have different thinking and feeling styles

Men are specific, solution orientated and tend to get on with things or when aroused want to be alone. They worry more about status and are less comfortable with high emotion.

Women will talk more, enjoy equality in relationships, be more comfortable with emotions and can multitask better.

Go to this page for much more on the differences between men and women


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What to do Next

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