They say practice makes perfect, but when it comes to our relationships, we are likely to make mistakes.

The key to a successful relationship is building awareness and developing skills and practicing those skills: awareness of the ineffective ways we resort to when there is conflict and understanding the physical signs that give us an indication that things are getting heated. Then developing skills to engage more effectively and to practice them over and over to ensure we relate better. Be intentional about how you handle conflict.

The following four strategies from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:

4. “Keep practicing what you have learnt”

Once you have learned the techniques of fighting fair, practice them over and over until they become second nature. Your objective is to be able to use these techniques during the heat of a battle instead of resorting to your old, ineffective ways.

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 resolve disagreements.

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.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.relationships online.com.au or www.intentional-relationship.com