Monday, November 19

We're Communicating

Anyone who has a spouse (or a co-worker, sibling, parent, child...) knows that healthy relationships take work. A lot of work. There are a million factors at play when two people live together day after day and have chosen for there to not be an "out". Personality differences, exhaustion, childhood baggage, temptations, parenting styles, physical stressors, financial difficulties, family obligations, work decisions, and a million other factors can eat away or enhance a relationship, depending on how the couple manages the journey and by the grace and strength of God.

Here's some good advice from Psychology Today:
Want to predict the outcome of a spousal spat? Tally up pronouns. The person who says "we" the most during an argument puts forward the best solutions, according to a study in Psychological Science. "We"-users may have a sense of shared interest that sparks compromises and other ideas pleasing to both partners. "You"-sayers, on the contrary, tend to criticize, disagree, justify and otherwise teem with negativity. When one partner complains that he or she feels under attack, the other can ease the tension by rephrasing sentences to use the winning "we."
Let me try this: "We are late again because we don't care about being on time. This makes us really angry because we feel like we don't care about respecting others feelings. We are such a dork sometimes! Why don't we just listen to ourselves?? We're sorry for losing our cool." I think they're on to something. We feel better, don't we?


Sarah Megan said...

Thats a good solution.

Oh, and about being late. You have three kids under the age of 8.

...there is your excuse.

Allan White said...

Sarah, that's a... contributing factor, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Kristi is an island of timeliness, surrounded by an entire family - an archipelago, if you will - of people that simply don't operate On Time. Excepting her mother, perhaps. This drives Kristi nuts. The rest of us, who love her, Try Real Hard to be on time, but chalk it up to our nature, and don't fight it too much (ok, as much as we should).

Sarah Megan said...

ah gotcha~
I am an on timer, try to be earlier person too.
I definitely got a huge wake up call this summer. Haha

Allison said...

oh my goodness. you and my husband could talk it up about people being late. he left his brother behind for work once because he wasn't ready in time. i've been afraid of being left several times. i don't know if the 'we' thing would work here...

KMiV said...

Good advice. Approaching this as "we" helps us address the problem together rather than individually.

However that might not work for us.

Ron, "We don't like this."

Lori, "Hey, speak for yourself I (I mean we) like it fine."

Ron, "You're not listening to us. We said that we don't like it."

Lori, "No, we're not listening to ourselves--we said this is bad."

Ron, "When we say this we make us mad."

Lori, "We--do we have a mouse in our pockets? We know what we're talking about..."

"We seem to be having a failure to communicate."