Sunday, March 22, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #12-To agree to disagree-Part 2

In my last blog, i described some of the reasons it is so hard for us to be rational and simply "agree to disagree". Today, i will offer some ways of creating a space for the couple to achieve this state of mind.

1) When you are not in a state of conflict or tension, have a conversation about whether you can agree to create a space that either member can activate by stating that he/she experiences that whatever is being dicussed clearly has two sides and rather than argue about it, she/he is calling for a moratorium on the conversation and acknowledging that this is an area that the couple "agrees to disagree". That ends the conversation for now with an understanding that it can be revisited in the near future to see if either has changed his/her mind about the topic.
2) It is important for at least one person in the couple to keep in mind that almost any issue being discussed is not as urgent as it seems and the willingness to not force a decision upon one's partner creates a more fluid situation for change to take place in the future.
3) Keep in mind that your willingness to respect your partner's point of view even though it may make no sense to you will create a sense of trust in you and will most likely return that respect though not necessarilly in the immediate moment.
4) Every time you are able to "agree to disagree", you are strengthening your own boundaries as an individual since you are recognizing that there are two people in the relationship.
5) If your partner is not able to "agree to disagree", try to soothe yourself and not allow your anger to stop you from understanding that she/he may feel so strongly about the particular area of discussion that he/she cannot be at ease with two points of view at that particular moment.

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