Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In
Laurie Puhn says “Smart people are getting trapped in dumb arguments they should never have”.
With a B.A. and law degree from Harvard, Laurie is a couples mediator,relationship expert, syndicated columnist, TV personality and author of the bestseller Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In.
Laurie says that studies show:
The average couple fights 2 times per week
Conflict suppresses a person’s immune system and health
For married couples, 2/3 of their arguments are left unresolved
She wants us to “reduce relationship warfare” and live better with these 5 Fight Less, Love More Tactics:
1. Eliminate All Dumb Factual Arguments:“You’re wrong. You don’t know what you’re talking about. The new Apple i-phone is much more expensive that the phone we have.” argues your mate.
Smart Tactic: When tempers flare ask yourself, “Are we arguing about a fact or an opinion?” If you conclude it’s a fact, which is often the case, immediately raise the white flag and say, “This is silly. We’re arguing about a fact. Let’s stop right now to fact-check on the internet.”
2. Avoid All Post-Argument Arguments: After a heated verbal exchange, you finally hear the priceless word “okay” which offers you a mutually acceptable agreement on an issue.
Smart Tactic: Lock your lips. Quit while you’re ahead. Recognize that you have found common ground and won the argument even if you haven’t gotten all that you want. Never make the provokingly dumb statement “I have just one more thing to say…” or you will re-start the argument.
3. Reject the “Whatever” Word. If someone asks you for your thoughts about something like what movie you want to see or where you want to go for dinner, you might want to take the easy passive route and respond with the “W” word.
Smart Tactic: Whatever you do,don’t say whatever. It blows people off and incites argument. Instead, give a specific answer.
4. Engage, Don’t Enrage: Your annoying mate, colleague, or friend desperately wants to persuade you that he/she is right about an issue. He/she won’t stop talking until you cave.
Smart Tactic: Change your game plan. Don’t fight to be right. Instead, view the situation as a time to listen. Always short-circuit the conflict with neutral comments like, “that’s interesting,” and “that’s one way to see it.” Repeat those comments as needed. Doing this will tire your opponent. Then say, “I value your perspective, now I’ll share mine. I agree that we don’t agree. Will you?”
5. Pitch a Perfect Apology: You made an insensitive verbal gaffe and you want to apologize.
Smart Tactic: Don’t say “I’m sorry.” That’s a bad apology. Instead take full responsibility and use this 3-step apology to win the mercy you want: Step 1) Embellish the wrong as in “I made a very big mistake when I criticized you in public” Step 2) Add the “because” clause, as in, “I’m sorry because…. I embarrassed you.” Step 3) Offer a plan of prevention, as in, “In the future, I will……. keep my mouth shut unless you say I can tell people about your job loss.”
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