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.
Have you felt bad or guilty because you seem to have it much better than others, perhaps better than your partner or another family member? How do we turn these feelings of guilt into something useful and beneficial?
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.
Children are smart and persistent. Their begging or nagging can drive us crazy. It just takes a weak moment when we are tired to get worn down and give in. How can we stop this habit of nagging quickly and efficiently while staying loving and calm?
If my mom was still alive, she would have turned 90 just recently. There are many ways in which we can process a loss and carry on a loved one’s legacy. They might have taught us something or embody something worth continuing. Or there are things they have done or not done that you decide to do differently. That, too, is their gift to you. In fact, both might be the case. Processing a loss often includes being comfortable with ambiguity.
COVID-19 has created an unusual situation for our marriages and close love relationships. Suddenly many couples were forced to live and work in close quarters, often struggling with financial hardships and worried about their health, about educating and entertaining their children at home and about the future in general. The close and constant proximity has highlighted their differences and accentuated their conflicts and doubts to a point where the pressure has become unbearably painful.
The COVID-19 situation has disrupted our daily routines, affected our finances and is challenging our relationships. The crisis has changed everything we used to consider “normal”. This exceptional situation is an opportunity to work on our fears, learn how to release our emotions and improve our relationships, especially our closest partnerships or marriages. Here are some examples for subconscious beliefs we might need to change, emotions we might need to release or conversations we might want to have.
Psychologist and attorneys predict that the divorce rates all over the world will rise once we have made it through this stressful situation COVID-19 has brought us. As a relationship coach, I simply have to challenge that statement. We can resign to separations and divorces, or we can use this time period to improve all our relationships but especially our partnerships or marriages.