Whether you’re having the same disagreements with your mother, your partner or a friend, the arguments can become pretty tedious, not to say tiring and repetitive.
So how can you avoid the ‘same old, same old’?
Here are some things to focus on:
- Listen carefully – when we’re in critical mode, we often don’t take time to reflect on what the other person says. What do you want out of the disagreement, other than the other person to give in completely? Why are you feeling angry? Try to take responsibility for what you’re feeling and then say it out loud in a non-confrontational way.
- Try to focus on what is working rather than what isn’t going well. Create a list of the good things the other person does for you, whether it’s your mother looking after your child or your cat, your partner filling your car with petrol or your friend going out of her way to give you a lift home. Thank them for these small acts of kindness – they will appreciate it.
- If you feel hurt because they are not there for you, acknowledge to yourself that there might be a reason for that and rather than saying, for instance, “you’re always going out/doing things for other people”, say “I wish that you were here with me. I know that you can’t be, but that’s what I like and need sometimes”.
- Stop making sweeping accusations – if you say “You always……” and “You never….” It feels heavy with criticism. Try saying “I’d love it if you could do ……………” because then the other person with know what would please you and has the opportunity to make changes.
- Try not to shout – whatever the relationship, nothing can blossom when voices are raised. Even if the other person shouts, and there’s then a temptation for you to do the same, try to keep your voice calm and make a conscious effort to keep it low too.
See how you get on with the above – hopefully you’ll find them helpful.
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