Broaching a difficult topic can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings.
- A discussion usually turns into an argument when we don’t express ourselves accurately or when we make assumptions about the other person’s motives.
- When we take responsibility for our behaviour and verbalise our emotions honestly and without blame, issues can be resolved fairly and constructively.
7 things to consider before opening your mouth.
- What is my version of the problem? What is my partner’s version?
- What are my intentions? What impact could they have on my partner? How will they affect my partner?
- What do I know of my partners intentions? Has my partner actually expressed them, or have I just assumed them?
- In what way have I contributed to the problem? How has my partner contributed to it?
- What are my feelings? Is my partner responsible for them? Are they clouding my judgement?
- How is my pride affected by this conflict? What truth is there in the criticism that has been directed at me?
- What fair solutions can we envisage?
Focusing on your partner’s perceived intentions instead of your real emotions can lead to misunderstandings.