Sunday, February 13, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #64-on Being Right-Part 2-Alternatives

So what are the best ways to defuse an "I'm Right and You're Wrong Situation" ?

1) If it is a disagreement over something relatively small like the day or time something took place, reframe the discussion by saying " we obviously remember it differently". If your partner insists that his/her version is correct; ask yourself why you are fighting over this relatively insignificant piece of information. If there is not a really good reason, simply say, well you could be right so i am not going to argue over this. Remember "it takes two to tangle" and if one lets go of the struggle the arguement ends.

2) If the diasgreement is about something that seems more important like financial or career decisions, you can shift the discussion, by saying, "clearly we have two different views and each believes we are right. How about you go first and present your points and i will listen without interrupting and then when you are finished, i will present my points and then lets take a day to consider the possibility of compromise, alternative choices or a change in one of our ways of thinking and then revisit it tomorrow and see where we are".

3) If each of you feel very strongly about her/his belief and there is no movement towards one of the views or a middle ground, it is best to state "it appears we are stuck or at an impasse". Suggest that you take a week off and then revisit the impasse. If you are still stuck, it is important to ackowledge that each of you feel stongly about his/her position but fighting or trying to convince each other about who is right and who is wrong can only lead to distancing and disconnection. This may not solve the immediate situation but stepping back sometimes puts a situation in perspective or it may resolve due to circumstances beyond either person's control.

However, there are long standing impasses or differences which appear to be unresolvable and feel like "dealbreakers". I will write about these in next week's blog.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #63-On Being Right-Part 1- The Problem

Is there anyone who doesn't like "being right". It is so satisfying, so validating. You knew it all along. Even though your partner kept arguing with you. It is hard not to gloat.; to say "I told you so".
And yet, in a relationship there is a price to pay. "Being right" rarely brings your partner closer to you. Why is that? Because "being wrong" feels really bad and your partner now sees you as the one responsible for causing those feelings.
So what are you supposed to do? Not stand up for yourself and your beliefs or the facts? Agree with your partner when in your heart or head you know he/she is wrong? What if you don't get your partner to see the error in her/his thinking? It could have a very negative impact on your relationship in many important ways: mistakes in child rearing, finances, career choices or lesser issues such as an unhappy evening out or a poor choice in what to order for dinner or where to go for the winter vacation.
How often have you spent the evening in a hostile debate that started about what day such and such happened or who said what or the exact time someone came home?
Tune in next week when i will be discussing some of the most effective approaches for dealing with this challenging part of being a couple.