Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Words to reduce conflict that you can use now!
As the months of isolation drag on it’s bound to happen. You’ll start to rub each other the wrong way. Here’s some suggestions to reduce conflict and help you be happier together.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman of the Gottman Institute are experts on communication. They’ve studied countless couples over 40 years to find the secret to staying happy together over a lifetime. Find out how what they call a “repair” can stop rising tension and make communicating calmer so you can resolve issues quickly.
"A repair is an attempt to de-escalate the tension in a discussion so that your partner is more receptive to finding a compromise.” -The Seven Principles for Marking Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman & Nan Silver
How do I use a repair in a way that helps us both reduce conflict?
Repairs are helpful to:
1. Express your feelings
2. Ask for what you need to stay calm
3. Say you’re sorry
4. Get closer to a compromise
5. Show appreciation for your partner’s effort in the discussion
Phrases such as these can de-escalate tension and give each other room to take a breath.
Can I take that back?
I need to finish what I’m saying
I know this isn’t you fault
Let’s start all over again
I see your point
I might be wrong
This is important to me. Please listen.
Let’s find common ground
I feel blamed. Can you rephrase that?
I never saw it that way before
These phrases, along with others you’ll find in “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, by Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver, help couples to stay in a conversation long enough to come to a resolution. At first you may need to say several of the phrases to see a benefit but find the ones that feel true to you and explore how to use them sincerely in your next conflict. They’ve been proven to help so give them a try. When one person does something different in an argument, it by nature breaks the repetitive cycle that hasn’t worked in the past. Take responsibility for your part in contributing to the frustration and for settling it down and see how you may benefit from this new way of doing it.
Will repairs work for me?
Far too often couples end up in my office feeling defeated and hopeless as a big stack of unresolved conflicts pile up over time. They can’t talk at all without ending up in a fight. When they leave, it’s great to watch how using repairs changed everything and they feel closer and better understood. It’s because they listened to understand, found needs they can meet for their partner, and communicated in a way that let their partner know them better and do more of the things that make them happy.
So, start today to use these phrases to de-escalate conflict and resolve the things that create distance between you.
It really works.
Need help learning how to reduce conflict in your relationship? We’re here to help. Just call 850.450.7223 today or make an appointment in our secure client portal at https://believehopeinspire.securepatientarea.com/portal/.
Dianne Presley, LCSW, BC-TMH
Believe, Hope, Inspire Wellness Services LLC
Anxiety, Depression, Loss and Relationship Therapy
Level 1 and Level 2 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Gottman trained in “Treating Affairs and Traumas
Gottman trained in “Couples and Addiction Recovery”
Gottman Educator in 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work and Bringing Baby Home
Certified Brain Based Success Coach