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Even if there are many big things bothering you, bring up a maximum of only one per conversation.
If you ignore this vital rule, you will overwhelm the other person, and they will have a tendency to emotionally shut down.
When you’re feeling uneasy around your partner, don’t assume your cues are acknowledged without verbally expressing them.
Great couples communicate well, without getting upset with each other for “messing up” by not understanding what’s going on in the head. If they are upset, they’ll openly say so, to resolve and move on.
If it doesn’t seem like the right moment to express yourself, hold onto your feelings, and bring them up at a time when you’re in a calm space, and you can both properly address them with care and rationality.
While there are plenty of situations where closed-ended questions are appropriate, couples who consistently communicate with open-ended questions, to spark “big talk,” show that they have a sincere interest in their partners and want to create closeness.
If you’re wrong, don’t shy away or hope it just goes away.
Take responsibility for your actions, be sincere, and work to make the other person feel accounted for and reassured that you’ll behave better next time.
When you're engaged in a high-stakes conversation, listen to what your partner is saying, without interrupting until he or she is finished. Then, and only then, carefully formulate your response.
Accusations such as “you always…” or “you never…” drain the flavor out of a relationship, making your partner feel like a zero.
Use criticism with pin-point accuracy and avoid the collateral damage that comes from the sweeping generalizations.
An argument from the past should stay in the past.
Arguments will happen, but they need to be fully dealt with, and then forgotten about and never brought up again, for a couple to move forward daily with a fresh slate.
There’s a difference between seeking the truth versus automatically getting defensive.
When an argument arises, you should both work from the position of 'what can we do to move our shared life forward?’ instead of investing energy into showing why one point of view is correct and the other one is not.
Instead of telling others how awful they are, using ‘I statements’ expresses your own feelings and needs, especially related to the topic that is dividing you.
This creates a peaceful resolution based on meeting each other’s needs.
You can save or withdraw money from your bank account.
Save your criticism and deposit your compliments.
It’s essential to have more deposits (in the form of praise, kindness, expressions of approval) than withdrawals (in the form of criticism).
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