There can be something very special about the bond between two people who decide to embark on life – and maybe a family – together. Also likely is that each of the two may not always see eye-to-eye on every issue, which is OK.
These tips can help with working toward a successful resolution, as a team:
- Write down your thoughts before you discuss. This step can help ensure that you’ve thought through the issue completely and calmly. It can also help you to better communicate your perspective to your partner.
- Offer ways to improve yourself first. No one likes being told what to do. Instead of each of you telling the other how to shape-up, make suggestions for what you can do differently first, based on the problem that your mate described.
- Remain calm. Raising your voices and making exaggerated gestures will not help solve the problem any faster. Staying calm will help both of you to focus on the message rather than on how the message is delivered.
- Give constructive feedback. Maintain a friendly tone, center the message on your own concerns, and put forth ideas for how to make things better. When giving feedback using this approach, your spouse is likely to be more receptive to what you are saying, as opposed to your offering the same ideas in a critical manner.
- Make the decision as a team. No matter what turns out to be the solution, make sure it’s a remedy on which you both agree, instead of having one person tell the other person what to do. Once you’ve agreed on the answer, come up with a course of action for each of you that can work long-term, not just short-term.
Although this problem-solving process might not be perfect for every relationship or couple, the concept is basic: Both people should communicate openly with one another in a way that makes both parties feel heard, respected and loved.