They say practice makes perfect, but when it comes to our relationships, we are likely to make mistakes. The key is building awareness and developing skills and practicing those skills: awareness of the ineffective ways we resort to when there is conflict and understanding the physical signs that give us an indication that things are getting heated. Then developing skills to engage more effectively and to practice them over and over to ensure we relate better. Be intentional about how you handle conflict.
The following four strategies from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:
4. "Keep practicing what you have learnt": Once you have learned the techniques of fighting fair, practice them over and over until they become second nature. Your objective is to be able to use these techniques during the heat of a battle instead of resorting to your old, ineffective ways.
Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life and what matters is how we discuss and solve disagreements.
More tips, tune in next week...
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PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.