Business partners conduct good business by removing the emotion and bringing in more logic. One could even argue it is not logic, but PSYCHOlogic.
Such as an Olympic athlete would do to achieve success, you focus on your goal. In relationships, your goal is to reach a shared meaning (You know, that porch scene where you are in rocking chairs discussing life?)
So in order to stay focused, before you begin any difficult conversation, ask your what problem am I here to solve? Is this a me problem? Or a s/he problem? Can I solve it on my own or do I need this person to solve it for me? Remember: You rarely want advice from your partner. You rather share a problem with your partner. Make that clear before beginning your share.
This takes the pressure off them to fix it as a way of easing your pain. It helps because your partner will feel less defensive as well because you are describing YOUR problem. You are describing YOU, not him/her.
Tip: Never depend on someone else to solve your problem, use your own resources. Only you can do the inner work. Have a conversation with yourself and you will see, you already know the answers.
But sharing is caring, you care enough about yourself to share…and enough about your relationship to care.
Here are a few more questions to ask yourself:
- Am I here to describe myself? Or my partner?
- Will this conversation help us to reach our long-term vision? Or am I here to complain?
Answering YES to the first question and NO to the second will also lead you further towards a sharing and productive conversation and less of a divisive one.
For more tips, please reach out. I am a Level 3 Gottman therapist and we have tools for all situations.