5 Simple Steps: Tips to Talk

5 Simple Steps: Tips to Talk

Relationships: Five Tips to Help You Learn How to Disagree with your Partner — with Love

Learning how to talk about disagreements is one way to improve a marriage. A fight can help vent pent-up feelings and improve communication, if you approach it the right way. Here are five steps:

1. Write it down.

Make a list of your feelings. After your list passes 100, stop. Show it a counselor to make sure it’s list free of judgments that in the long run won’t help get your points across.

2. Check your feelings.

Take time each day to tap into your feelings. Ask yourself how you’re feeling at that moment. Hopefully, you’ll learn how you feel quickly. And the answer to that question may surprise you.

3. Accept your feelings.

Once you’re in a fight with your spouse, don’t shy away from your feelings. Embrace them. It’s your right to have them.

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4. Decide how to react.

You’ve owned up to your feelings. Now what? Think about what you’re going to do with those feelings. Take a minute to make a decision. That simple step may help keep you from slipping into a bad mood later.

5. Tell each other your feelings.

In the heat of an argument, tell each other whether you’re hurt or angry so he or she knows how you’re internalizing and interpreting what’s being said. If possible, it may be a good idea to step away from the situation for a short time and revisit the conversation when you’re less fired up.

Source: The Rev. Canon Gray Temple Jr. of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Dunwoody, Ga.

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