Donna and Kevin have been married for a year. The last time Kevin went out for a few beers with his friends, Donna blew up at him when he got home and angrily said that he’s happy to go out with his friends, but he won’t go out with her.
One evening last week, Kevin told Donna he needed to stay and work late. In reality, Kevin lied. Instead of working late, he was out with his friends again. Donna found out and was furious.
When Donna and Kevin sat down to talk about it, Kevin said that he was afraid to tell her that his time with friends is still very important to him. Donna said that she’s happy that he is close to his friends, but that she thinks his time with his friends is cutting into the time they spend together. In the end, they decided to schedule a "date night" each week so they could go out with friends or on their own. They also agreed to make sure they were socializing as much with each other as they are separately. They found a peaceful compromise by communicating openly and honestly with each other.
Pay attention to the next time your emotions are triggered during a conversation. What was said? What emotions were triggered? How can you avoid an emotional collision? Take a moment to pause, acknowledge your feelings, and think carefully about how to respond. Ask questions for clarification and be willing to investigate your feelings. Notice what’s different when you come from a place of thoughtful response, and see how this changes the landscape of the conversation.
To your best balanced life!
The Ambassador of Goodwill
This is an except from 21 Steps to Better Relationships. Find the rest of the message for this step and other steps at: 21stepstorelationships.com