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As I’m sure you’ve experienced, every relationship is made up of good and shitty times.
But, when the fights start outweighing the fun and the disagreements don’t stop coming, it can lead you to wonder if the easiest thing to say would just be…
One of the most insidious ways that I can personally sabotage my relationships is through the words that I find myself impulsively blurting out whenever I’m anxious, afraid or angry.
And often, it’s my poor boyfriend that’s in the firing line.
However, the nature of my work means that I have to do my best to practice what I preach in those situations.
Sometimes it takes me longer to make amends than it probably should in an ideal world.
But thankfully, I’m always able to do so before the conflict spirals in to one of the full-blown week long arguments I had with former lovers back in my wilder days.
I was recently asked to write a piece for You magazine about the phrases you can use to salvage a difficult situation with your partner.
These 12 words are SO simple, but they’re also the most effective for diffusing tension and getting your relationship back in to the happy place as soon as possible.
Here they are:
1. ‘How can I make this better?’
Much of the time in relationships, we’re so focused on getting our point across or getting our needs met that we don’t think to consider what our partner wants or needs (particularly when we’re in the midst of an argument).
Asking a simple and direct question like this puts the ball in their court, and demonstrates that you care enough about them and the relationship to do whatever it takes to make it right – for them, not just yourself.
2. ‘I appreciate you’
I think we’d probably all agree that it’s extremely easy to take our partners for granted in our day to day lives.
Whilst the words “I love you” are always nice to hear, let’s face it – they’re pretty generic and non-descript.
However, saying the words “I appreciate you” – and then giving some specific examples of what exactly is appreciated (e.g. the fact your partner always makes an effort with your friends, or how they always pick up your favourite snack on the way home from work – or even their scrambled eggs!) – now, that’s a sure-fire way to make the person you’re with actually feel loved.
3. ‘I was wrong’
If you’re anything like me, admitting you messed up (even if it’s indisputably clear that you did!) is not fun.
Our pride can lead us to concoct all manner of reasons or excuses as to why we made an error – and that’s if we’re even willing to admit that we made a mistake in the first place.
But, rather than getting overly defensive, playing the victim or projecting your guilt on to the other person to try and save face, why not just fess up and own your part in the situation – without following it with any justifications?
This way, you create space for your partner to feel seen, heard and respected – and you also give them the opportunity to forgive you, too.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Do you ever find yourself projecting your anger or pain on to your partner?
What ends up happening as a result?
And which of these 3 phrases do you think would resolve the conflict in your dynamic the fastest and why?
Look forward to connecting with you in the comments below <3