Rules for Positive Communication
1. Don’t have important conversations when either person in the conversation have intense negative feelings about the other person (sad/mad/frustrated) or when either of you are intoxicated.
2. Schedule a time to talk that is convenient for both of you (within 24 hours).
3. Allow the other person to leave if they need to get space or cool off.
4. If you are the one who has to leave to get space, let your partner know when you plan to come back. Often times the other person will feel abandoned if you leave and they don’t know when you will be coming back. Saying “I need to cool off but I will be back in 1 hour, I love you” will go a long way.
5. Make eye contact when you are talking.
6. Let the other person finish what they are saying. Don’t interrupt and don’t cut the other person off. Many times when we want to say what is on our mind, we will wait for the other person to take a breath and we will cut them off. Not only is this rude, but it makes the other person feel like you don’t care what they have to say. If you truly don’t care what they have to say, perhaps you need to get individual therapy to find out why you are in a relationship with someone you don’t care about.
7. If your partner seems like they are on the defensive, perhaps they feel like you are attacking them!! Even if you didn’t intend to attack them, they may feel attacked. If this is the case, allow them to talk without interrupting.
8. Try to give compliments when you can. For example, if the person left you waiting at the airport for 2 hours you can say: I appreciate the fact that you were willing to pick me up from the airport, but I felt hurt/abandoned when I was sitting there not knowing if you remembered me.
If you are looking for couples therapy in Long Beach, please give me a call to ask me a question or to set up an appointment.