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Careful Confrontation Works — Here’s How

Posted Jan 06 2010 10:57am

Confront behavior you consider dangerous or destructive. Describe your own feelings about the situation. “I feel scared when the car moves this fast,” instead of, “You’re driving too fast.”

It’s natural to try to control a situation to protect either or both of you from danger. Unfortunately, trying to control (you’re driving) invites anger and resistance. Showing your vulnerability (I feel scared) often encourages your partner to take care of you by changing his/her behavior.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

Remember a time when each of you felt angry about your partner telling you what to do. Think of something s/he could have done differently in that situation. Share your insights with each other.

This is an excerpt from Being Happy Together: How to Have a Fabulous Relationship With Your Life Partner in Less Than an Hour a Week, by Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.

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