When expressing our thoughts and feelings we need to use I-statements. Unfortunately, an “I statement” can also be twisted into criticism. Here are three examples of how to phrase successful I-Statements that do not make the other person defensive.
In 1997 psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron explored whether intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated by having them ask each other 36 increasingly more personal questions. In 2015, Aron’s questions went viral starting with New York Times journalist Mandy Len Catron, who used the 36 questions in a self-experiment and did indeed fall in love with a stranger. That made me curious if this set of questions would be a good dating tool and what other applications they might have.
Passive-aggressiveness is a strategy developed in childhood out of a feeling of powerlessness, and carried into adulthood and into our relationships as the automatic response when there is a conflict. How does it look and why is it so infuriating?
If you dare to be happier than your parents, more vulnerable and more intimate with your spouse than they were able to be, you are forging into new territory for your whole ancestral line. You are changing the future for your children and grandchildren, who will have you as new role models. Here are five relationship strategies that help you create a more harmonic intimate partnership or marriage.
We all have protective strategies which keep us from feeling vulnerable. Unfortunately, these dynamics cause damage to a relationship. Terry Real names five losing strategies in relationships. The first step of changing destructive interactions is to understand your partner’s protective mechanisms but more importantly what your own defaults are.
Are you dating and wondering if the other person is the right long-term partner for you? What is required to assess another person realistically and minimize repeating heartbreak and disappointment?
Why does criticism so often feel like we are being stabbed in the heart? Historically being criticized could lead to being ostracised from our tribe, and that could mean death. Our more instinctive parts of our brain still operate on that fear. However, relationships require us to communicate honestly and to handle criticism constructively. How does one express a complaint in a way that it can be easily heard and does not feel like being stabbed in the heart?
What topics should we talk about at the start of a relationship? Relationship coaching helps you and your new love to learn to communicate about challenging topics and to learn to hold each other in those vulnerable moments we all experience. Coaching allows you to become aware of old patterns and to release them. What kind of topics can you explore at the start of a relationship either with a coach or by yourselves?
Did you know that Costa Rica rates as one of the happiest countries in the world? Ticos have a very relaxed, simple way of looking at life called “Pura Vida”. They are conscious of nature, and they make family and friends their primary focus. Pura Vida is being thankful for what you have and not dwelling on lack or misfortune.
How do you express a need or wish most successfully to your partner? Saying “I need you to…”, will most likely result in your partner feeling he or she has no choice. They might feel cornered, resistant and get defensive as there is no room to move. Read how you can communicate your needs, for example the wish for them to attend couples sessions with you, more successfully. And what can you do when he or she still refuses?
Have you ever asked your male partner, “What are you thinking?” and the answer was, “nothing”? It seems women cannot fathom the concept that one could not be thinking anything at a given point in time—unless you are asleep or dead. Men, so we are told, have a “nothing box” in their brain. What is going on with that nothing box and how can we navigate the different needs men and women have in regards to communication.
It can be challenging to respond to criticism without defensiveness and to stay open to hearing the complaint underneath. Being criticized can shift our autonomic nervous system into defense mode as if we are being attacked. What techniques can we use to remain open and to hear the complaint or longing underneath the other person’s criticism?