#085 Attack the problem, not the person.

Problems arise in all relationships. When they do, remember to attack the problems and not the person. When we resort to name calling and personal attacks, we compound the situation by adding hurt feelings and resentment into the mix. We further the divide, rather than making actual progress to resolve the issues.

Be respectful and really listen to each other, when you are faced with a problem. Avoid sentences that start with “you” such as, “You are such a liar!” Instead try leading with an “I” sentence, as in “I don’t feel you are being completely forthright and honest with me.” Also, tell your partner what you need rather than blaming them when they are unable to read your mind. For example, instead of saying, “You never take me anywhere!”, it would be far more productive to express your feelings with something like, “I wish we could enjoy a night out with each other occasionally.” Keep in mind, when you say something hurtful, you can never UNSAY it. Always THINK before you speak.

Sometimes it may be necessary to just take a time out, and that’s ok. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Agree to a cooling off period, and meet again at a later date to work on the issue.

You will be far more successful at conflict resolution by employing patience, kindness, and a willingness to get to the heart of the actual problem, rather than making angry remarks meant to shame or blame your partner.

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