Validating your partners emotions by looking at the situation from his or her viewpoint can bring enormous benefits to your relationship.
Seek to understand the feelings behind the emotion and seek to understand your partners view. Validate and show empathy as opposed to reacting or responding negatively. This also gives you time to think and process what is being said and ensures your response is more considered. You may not agree but you’ll have approached the issue constructively.
The following strategy from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems. Following on from last weeks post, it is important to validate your partners emotions by looking at the situation from his or her viewpoint:
3. “Validation”: Often, simply empathising is enough. You don’t have to solve the problem. Validation foils criticism, contempt and defensiveness. Validate by taking responsibility for your words and actions, and by apologising when you are at fault.
Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life and what matters is how we discuss and solve them.
Take a deep breath and be intentional about your relationship. Break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems.
Tip three, next week…
Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.