How often does the way you communicate about a concern or complaint become more of a problem than the actual issue? If you're like most people, probably pretty often.
Think about a concern (past or present) you've had in a relationship with a loved one and discover what happens when you confide your feelings about that one issue using the ten sentence stems of PAIRS Talking Tips.
All relationships, especially our closest ones, involve differences. For couples, parents, friends and families, the issue isn't the differences (that's normal), but being able to deal with them in a way that brings you closer to each other instead of more distant.
Try it out with a partner or on your own. You've got nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain when it comes to protecting the relationships that matter most in your life.
Remember to stick with one single issue that you have a concern or complaint about regarding another person who is important in your life. No matter how tempting, don't get off track. As you complete each sentence stem in sequence (beginning with "I notice ...") be thoughtful about the words you choose, body posture, facial expression and other non-verbal ways you communicate. Be sure you're focusing on being heard and understood, not attacking, blaming, judging or criticizing.
Together with goodwill and a desire for the relationship to win, PAIRS Talking Tips will give you a skill you can keep forever that increases opportunities to confide, avoid misunderstandings, and take the first step in working through the differences and challenges of love for life. (If you'd like a laminated Talking Tips wallet card to keep handy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or give PAIRS a call at 877-PAIRS-4U (724-7748) ext. 802.
Before doing Talking Tips with a partner, it's important both of you are familiar with the basics of good communication skills. PAIRS suggests beginning with Good Listening Skills
and Stress Styles of Communication