Attune means harmony. This blog is about harmonizing ourselves in our connection to others and to our planet. I bow to basic goodness in our world and in relationships encourage opening our hearts with love and compassion.

7 Simple Practices You Can Do to Establish Healthy Habits

In Couples Communication

By consistently practicing these 7 simple rules,

you can create a relationship “we plan” where

positive regard can take root and grow.

1. Look at your partner when s/he is talking.  Make eye contact.  Agree to remove distractions (do not get in an argument over removing distractions).

2. Empathically listen to your partner without judging her or him.  Receive the message accurately by listening carefully for how your partner is feeling (that is empathy).  Do not talk, let your mind run off, or interrupt.  Ask for clarification if you need to.  Allow him or her to say, “No that’s not what I meant,” and let them talk until you understand their point of view (you do not have to agree). 

3.Use “I language” when it is your turn to talk.  Talk about what I am observing, how I am feeling, what I need, what I am requesting—when I (see, hear) …  I feel …  because I need/value … Would you be willing to … ?

4.Do not criticize.  Complain without suggesting that your partner isdefective (no name calling).

5.Do not blame.  Accept responsibility for your part of the problem(remember that you always have a part).

6.Stay emotionally connected by talking about your feelings.  Make a pact to allow walking away when feelings become too hot to handle.  Come back when feelings cool and take responsibility for your own feelings (I got angry /upset).

7. If your partner is willing, concrete action should include both parties (what I will be willing to do, what you will be willing to do).  Write it down and put it on the fridge as a reminder.  Do no argue about the request not getting done, just do your part.  You do not need your partner’s cooperation to silently practice these rules and look for what you can do to enrich your partner’s life.    

By Dr. Susan Grey Smith

Posted 459 weeks ago

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