Sunday, April 10, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #69-Resolving Gridlock-part 1

After attempting to uncover the dreams behind any impasse(which was discussed in last week's blog) you are ready for the next step. Step two to resolve a gridlocked issue: Each partner writes down his/her position on the issue to be discussed. Take time to note not only the issue itself but also the hidden dreams that you have been able to identify which help to explain why this is so important that you find it hard to compromise. Try to focus on your own needs and feelings and do not use your energy to negate your partner's position. Next each partner will get 15 minutes to express him/herself without any comment from the partner who becomes the designated listner. Keep in mind that in order to hold the attention of your partner, do not use this opportunity to sneak in criticisms of anticipated attacks on what you expect her/him to say as you are presenting your position. John Gottman in his book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work", describes the listner's role in the following way: "Suspend judgement. Listen the way a friend would listen. Don't take your spouse's dream personally even though it clashes with one of yours. Don't spend your time thinking of rebuttals or ways to solve the problem. Your role is just to hear the dream and encourage your partner to explore it... The bottomline in getting past gridlock is not necessarily to become a part of each other's dreams(although your marriage will be enriched to the extent that you can) but to honor these dreams." Next week-Step 3-Soothing each other

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