How to complain without hurting your partner

How to complain without hurting your partner

How to complain without hurting your partner   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”, ”  ” when I look at our bank balance”. 5) Ask for what you need ( optional) for instance, ” we need to find better ways of managing our money”. Research shows that the beginning of a conversation predicts how it will end. In the best relationships people are gentle with each other. Start in the way you mean to go on. Some people, however gently you start a difficult discussion, have had so many bad experiences of feeling attacked & criticized in the past that they will feel attacked and get defensive no matter how you begin. In this case, the best thing to do is to clearly state that you don’t mean to attack or criticise them but  rather want  to let them know how this specific thing has made you feel  &  what they can do to help. it is important to...
How to build a close & lasting relationship

How to build a close & lasting relationship

Some years ago, a couple I was friendly with, split up in acrimonious circumstances. They both came to me separately & each told me their side of the story. To my surprise, as I listened to the second account, I slowly realised that their complaints about each other were almost identical! The husband’s main complaint about his wife was that she spent all her spare time on the computer & would not look up from it to talk to him. His wife’s main complaint about him was that he spent all his spare time watching television & would not look up from it, even to say “Hi” & ask how she was after her day at work.   This is a traditional rhyme that reminds me of possibly the most important truth about relationships: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. That truth is this: that little daily things matter & some of those little things are crucial to the extent of being all important. Probably the most important of those “little things” is giving our partner the gift of our full attention. We under-estimate the importance of this at at our peril! The best research in this area has shown that it is the little things in a relationship that mount up over time & either destroy it – by undermining...

Love shouldn’t hurt: when to say “Goodbye”

A lot of my work is with people who want to fix a relationship in difficulty- & for a lot of people & in a lot of situations that is very do-able & the relationship is worth saving. But I’ve also worked with people who are struggling to leave an abusive situation- men & women both. Some relationships are better let go. Some are corrosive & toxic & exhaust you & get you down. When emotional blackmail is involved the relationship can pull you both down. And when children are involved the situation can be even more damaging & difficult to manage for all involved. Unfortunately, some people are abusive  – physically &/or emotionally. It is sometimes hard to be clear-when you are on the receiving end of abuse & in the thick of it-whether a relationship is worth saving or not. So how do you know? Signs that you should go 1) The basis of a healthy relationship is friendship & respect. In the best relationships people are gentle with each other. Love shouldn’t hurt. It shouldn’t make you feel bad. It shouldn’t drain your energy & make you sad. 2) The other person has to want to be in the relationship as much as you do. This may seem obvious, but if the person you are involved with is not committed to the relationship or is clearly saying that they don’t want to be in a relationship with you- & in this actions speak as loudly as words-there is no future in pursuing it-you will only get hurt. 3) Pay attention to how you feel- what is...

The most common myth about relationships

The most common myth about relationships is that good communication is the key to better relationships. Now don’t get me wrong, good communication is important, but good communication is actually a sign of more fundamental things being right whereas poor communication is actually a symptom of more fundamental things going wrong. In a relationship that is working, the communication is good because both people feel supported, cared for & loved. When a relationship is working it is easy to communicate well – as we all know, if we think back to when we first met, when communication seemed so easy! In the early days of a relationship, when both people have positive expectations & experiences of the relationship, most couples can communicate well. That creates a positive spiral effect were people are relaxed & happy talking to each other because they are confident that their partner will listen & engage with them positively about the things that are on their mind & that are important to them. This happens naturally at the beginning of relationships because people usually feel supported & appreciated,at that time, by the other person. In long-term relationships that work well, that continues to be the pattern & there continues to be a positive spiral of positivity with both people feeling supported and cared for & seeing & appreciating the good in each other. So when there is conflict, as there always is, at some level in relationships, it quickly fizzles out. It is as if, even in the midst of an argument, each partner, in the back of their mind has a little voice saying -hey-let’s...

Radio interview “How to improve your relationship”

http://www.annmarietaylor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Relationships-radio-interview_2_1_2_1_1.mp3 This interview is of Ann Marie Taylor by Derry O’Malley for Limerick Community Radio. It wasbroadcast on 6th February 2015 on their regular Sunday “Headspace” programme.  ...