Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Conflict and Resolution and other Infidelity topics.
If the two of you are caught in a pattern of anger and can't seem to make yourselves heard, this technique may help. It is often practiced with a therapist, and will probably feel stiff and difficult at first.
1. Partner A speaks, without interruption, about the problem at hand, until he or she is finished. Partner B rephrases what has just been said, without judgement or comment, just reflecting back what was said.
Partner A can add information. Partner B can ask questions to clarify. The process continues until B can state A's point of view to A's satisfaction. Then repeat with the roles reversed.
2. Pause for 60 seconds of silence.
3. Partner B states the similarities or areas of agreement between the two initial statements. A rephrases what has just been said, without judgment or comment.
B can add information. A can ask questions to clarify. The process continues until A can state B's view of the similarities to B's satisfaction. Repeat with the roles reversed.
4. Pause for 60 seconds of silence.
5. What would happen if you could wave a magic wand over this situation? A answers this question without interruption. B rephrases what has just been said, and the same process continues until B can state A's wish to A's satisfaction. Then repeat with the roles reversed.
The point of this exercise is to take some of the "heat" out of managing conflict by pointing you both towards the areas on which you do agree, and some things you may be able to do to change the situation with your partner's full agreement.