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3) Express Your Needs
Now time has come to express yourself to your partner. Remember, this is about getting your feelings heard and your needs met.
1. Ask person if they can talk with you. Make sure that you have given person enough time for his or her own processing. "I want to talk with you about upset I was. Is this a good time for you?” 2. Tell person how much you love them. "I just want to tell you how much I love you and how important our relationship is to me." This may sound strange but it actually helps relax other person so that they can actually listen to you. In addition, it will help person be more receptive your needs. Remember, this about getting your needs met! 3. Express how you feel. "I feel angry and upset right now. I feel unimportant when a person is late and does not let me know." 4. Tell person what you need. "What I really need from you is to call me when you are going to be more than 15 minutes late." 5. Ask person for support. "This is really important to me, is this something you can do for me?"
In most cases, if you follow this process person will be more than happy to meet your needs and more likely to follow through on their support. You will feel heard and disagreement should feel resolved.
Check back with your feelings and determine if you still feel angry or resentful. If you are, there is probably more that is going on and process should be repeated. If you do still feel angry, make sure it is real anger. Sometimes we think that only way to win is for other person to lose, and we feel dissatisfied without knock down, drag out fight. Hopefully, you will feel really good at this point, your anger will be gone and your needs met. This is a good time to give each other a hug and reaffirm that you love each other.
5) Sync up & Acknowledge
A couple days later, check in with yourself and with your partner to ensure that matter has been resolved. When person supports your needs in way that you requested, make sure you acknowledge that and tell them how much their support means to you. This will reinforce behavior and ensure that your needs will continue to be met.
These steps will go a long way to improving your communication with your partner during a disagreement. This will probably feel a little strange at first. It will take practice. Think about how wonderful it will be to get what you need without energy-draining, defensive, and damaging fights. Remember, this is not about blame and what other person did “wrong”. This is about getting your feelings heard and your needs fulfilled. You and your partner will both be happier with result.
Jennifer Ottolino is a Personal and Professional Discovery Coach who specializes in helping individuals live a balanced and fulfilled personal and professional life. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at coachjen.com