The best things to say in relationships (DW#432)

Over the last two weeks, we did a series of the "10 worst phrases you can say in relationships". We talked about how some words and phrases will annoy, upset and hurt others and are simply not helpful if we want to connect to others in a positive way. 

Now let’s do the opposite. Let us now explore and highlight the Best Phrases you can in say relationships. 

If we start incorporating and practicing these words and phrases in our interactions with our loved ones, we will likely see a positive change and a shift in the emotional climate of the relationship.

Today’s phrase is one that you may already be using: How was your day?

This simple daily ritual of greeting and reuniting with each other at the end of the day has the potential of improving our coping with external pressures and tensions and improving the long term health of our relationships. 

Of course, we need to ensure that when we are having this "stress-reducing conversation", we do it in a way that will build connection rather than further stress the other person out!

So here are the Steps to an effective "How was your day dear conversation". 

1. Take turns. Let each person have their say for about fifteen minutes. If you are not in the habit of sharing your own day or stress, use this as an opportunity to connect and build intimacy. 

2. Listen with compassion. Now is not the time to check your phone. Stay focused. When  you ask the question, "How was your day", actually listen to the answer! Ask questions to understand. Make eye contact. Let them vent. Just be present. 

3. Don’t try to fix or provide solutionsThis can be hard for many of us. Often our loved ones simply want an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, whereas we try to solve their problems the moment that they express them. 
Unless your loved ones specifically ask for help or advice, just listen without trying to fix the problem, argue with how they feel or give them solutions to try. Your presence is the solution. If they want solutions or advice, they will ask, but not until they have been understood. 

4. Convey your understanding and validate the emotions they are feeling. Let your spouse know that you understand what they are going through.

Here are some phrases that may might consider trying: 

  • "Hearing that makes perfect sense why you’re upset."
  • "That sounds terrible."
  • "I’d be stressed too."
  • "No wonder your feelings are hurt".

5. Don’t side with the enemy! Take your partner’s side instead.Sometimes, when our loved ones are complaining, we are tempted to get them to see the other side or perspective. While that can be valuable at times, NOW IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME!
If you side with what has stressed out your partner at this time, or they to get them to be reasonable, they will be resentful, shut down and begin to think that you are not on their side. 

6. Adopt a "We against others" attitude. Your loved one needs a team, a safe haven to deal with the "big bad world". If you can express that you are there with them and you two are in this together, it will greatly reduce their stress and ability to cope. 

7. Be AffectionateTouch is one of the most powerful ways we can express our love. As your partner talks, hug them, hold them or put an arm on their shoulder. Your presence and loving touch will do more than any solution you offer at this time. 

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