How to raise difficult issues

How to raise difficult issues

All relationships-even the good ones -have some degree of conflict. It is important during conflicts to stick to recent specific complaints-& not throw in anything & everything including the kitchen sink (tempting as that is)! At their heart most conflicts are my need versus your need ( & the most intractable ones are my deepest values & dreams versus your deepest values & dreams). This is a simple & effective way  to bring up difficult issues: 1) Choose your time carefully- ideally when you are both relaxed & getting on 2) Most of what we communicate is not through our words but through our tone & body language- so make sure that you are in the right frame of mind  by reminding yourself before you start of all the things you like about your partner-& the things that they do right! 3) Start with”I” + emotion, for instance, ” I am upset”, “I am hurt” , ” I am scared”. 4) Now name your complaint & make it SPECIFIC, for instance, ” that the kitchen was a mess this morning”, ” that you spent so much on those shoes” ” when I look at our bank balance”. 5) Ask for what you need ( optional) for instance, ” we need to find ways of spending less money”. Research shows that the beginning of a conversation predicts how it will end. In the best relationships people are gentle with each other. Some people, however gently you start a difficult discussion, have had so many experiences of feeling attacked & criticised that they will get defensive no matter how you begin....