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Daily Application February 15, 2010

February 14, 2010

February 15, 2010

How to get our partner in a relationship to make changes…

Every one of us in our personal relationships has issues with our significant other, which has a tendency to be very temperamental issues, very sensitive issues that seem almost impossible to address… Because when it comes down to those major issues that we’re trying to deal with in a partner, it is a sensitive area… Usually that which we are trying to address strikes an instinctual chord in the other.  Anytime we’re in conversation or dialogue with our partner, we want to recognize when we’ve hit an instinctual chord in our partner or if one has been hit in us.

We’re learning to recognize the instinctual response… Once an instinct is triggered, it creates a reactive response…  It is a non-thinking, reactive response.  What makes it recognizable as an instinct is that it doesn’t require thought to create a response, it’s already there at a core level.  So, when we enter into a conversation with our partner in our relationship about a sensitive area, we want to be aware of instinctual triggers.   What we need to do is create a “time out” signal… We need a sign between us that is agreed on by both that indicates, “Oh, this just hit a chord,” so it can be discussed what that means and why a chord was just hit.  Rather than just feeling the instinctual trigger and then automatically reacting to it by throwing instinctual daggers back and forth at each other.

An instinctual dagger is when an uncomfortable situation is resurrected or recalled by our partner or by us regarding our partner… Something that the other feels bad about, that they knew they were wrong about, and we beat them up with it to attempt to divert them from going further with their point.  When a conversation gets into this realm, it becomes a havoc situation.

One of the things we want to learn in our close personal relationships is that it’s a negotiation.  We can think of it in terms of, in any negotiation there has to be balance… There has to be fairness…  So, when we want to address one of the strong ongoing issues with our significant other where we know it is a sensitive area, the best way to go about this is to address it by saying, “I would like to talk to you about an area that is very sensitive.  Is there a way that we can have a conversation about this?”  Picking the right moments to do this, where both parties are prepared to go into a dialogue and engage in an in-depth conversation, requires mutual agreement.   One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is when we want to address an issue but our partner is not ready, or our partner wants to address us and we’re not prepared to deal with that issue.

Remember, when you have an issue that when brought up creates a possibility of friction or reaction, try to set the template to pick a time to discuss the issue to make sure that both are in the right head space… It’s important to pick your spots of when you’re both going to address the sensitive issue knowing before hand that this is the agenda.  Too many times we address these sensitive issues at inappropriate times, maybe in a public arena, or family events… These are not the times to talk about core issues, even if they have suddenly come up.  The time to do this is in a mutually selected space where you get quiet time to sit down.  Then you have your “time out” sign, like the raising of two fingers or crossing to make a “t” that indicates that a chord was hit and you request “time out.”  And, either give it a try to talk about it, or ask for more space to determine why the feelings are so raw and sensitive about the issue and be allowed to return to it later.

The problem is that, when we get on a highly charged emotional topic we want to find resolve instantly.  But, resolve is a building process… Things rarely get resolved in one conversation, or negotiation…  But remember, your end goal is for resolution and to solve the issues by finally addressing the issues.

How do we get to the key issues in our relationship?  First, recognize that it is a sensitive area… Second, recognize that there are certain words that we don’t want to use… We want to stay away from words like “always” and “never”… Those are instinctual trigger words.  And also to remember in our relationships, it is a negotiation.  Have fun with the negotiation!  What that means is, “I would like to work on this issue with you in terms of your behavior towards me.  What can I do for you?”  Any time you ask someone to work on an issue for you, you must offer equally an issue that they would like you to work on… This is the best way to negotiate.  If there is a characteristic that you would like them to change, ask what characteristic they would like you to change.   This way you make sure that it is an equal exchange…  This is where the fairness, or partnership, comes in…  To make a mutual agreement in the area of a sensitive issue, make sure that each is working on the same level of difficulty to find resolve on that issue.  You can’t expect your partner to work on something that you are not willing to work on.  Go into your relationships with the realization that it is a negotiation and the idea of negotiation is equality.  Ask, “What is the one issue right now that I can work on to make you feel better towards me?” and then when you hear the answer, you agree to work on that and build toward that and provide the parameters for how you will be able to work on it… Like, “I can’t work on this if you continually throw it in my face or beat me up with it, so I need support.”  These are the things we can ask for especially when we recognize that it is sensitive…  Equally, they do the same for you when you relay your issue with them.

But, together you both walk away only knowing the things that we our selves need to work on per our agreement with our partner.  They will work on their issue and we will work on ours.  This is harmony in our relationship… This is how we better our relationship.

Have fun making stronger ties and building stronger relationship connection.  Remember, it is an equal exchange… Whatever they give, you re-give…  But each person must work on their own issue, we don’t worry about what they are working on, and we don’t measure.  We take responsibility for our own issues…  Walk away in harmony knowing that you are going to work together to make the relationship stronger with better connection.

Much love,


This material is copyrighted and owned by Thought-Life Connection (TLC) and is not to be reproduced or used without the author’s consent. © 2010

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laurel permalink
    February 15, 2010 9:19 am

    I love the idea of the signal. For me it is a “peace” or “victory” sign. The two fingers in a Vee shape. If I am getting too upset, unable to control my emotions, or my perception is that my partner is getting too upset, this is the sign that says: “Disengage now. I can’t continue this right now. It is not safe for me to be in this realm right now.” That is the agreed upon protocol and it does work… It creates the space to calm down, get centered and either go back to it or reschedule for another time. But disengaging from the disturbance also gives me the information about what caused the disturbance instead of escalating the disturbance. It stops me from using that barrage of emotional blows that I can throw, ha-ha, instinctually to “protect”myself from “attack.” And, it stops me from being in the line of fire of emotional blows or instinctual daggers from someone else. It’s a great tool.

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