The right way to complain

When you need to complain to your partner about something you are doing or a situation you are both in, it is easy for things to go wrong. From the choice of tone to the word, you might offend them in different ways. The chances of what you say come out as critical are high. It can cause your partner to criticize you, get defensive, or shut you down completely.

So how do you approach sensitive issues with care and compassion?

Listen to Dra. Julie Gottman explains the key to effectively communicating your needs to your partner without hurting their feelings.

Remember that the antidote to criticism is smooth launching.

So the next time you have to remind your partner to take out the trash as they said they would, take a break. Take a moment to consider how to formulate your complaint. Look for the positive need inside and approach it gently.

Want more help keeping the four gentlemen out of your relationship? Join Gottman Certified Therapists Faith Drew and George Bitar as they present at the upcoming Art and Science of Love virtual workshop. You will learn to prevent destructive patterns such as criticism from hurting you and your partner. Sign up today!


The Marriage Minute is an e-newsletter from The Gottman Institute that will enhance your marriage in 60 seconds or less. More than 40 years of research with thousands of couples show a simple fact: small things can often lead to big changes over time. Do you have a minute? Sign up below.

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