With all the ups and downs in life, even the best relationships knock heads once in a while. Cyber talk is streaming a pop culture belief that long term relationships are just not viable. In this shifting climate, can we reliably build the skills to weather the natural storms of everyday life and still come out on top? With all the temptations, struggles and conflicts, can we maintain a loving relationship in the current environment? Let’s face it – most serious relationship problems occur because people just don’t know how to fight fair. They take the gloves off or walk away when the going gets tough.
Good fights require rules of engagement. So what might those be? Well, first off, it’s always a good idea to cool off first. Take a good 20 minutes and agree to come back to the table. John Gottman writes, in The Science of Trust, that when we are upset our blood pressure spikes and we stop thinking rationally. The best trick I know besides when to keep my mouth zipped is to acknowledge and validate first, before I make my point. What does that mean?