I finished reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus today at work, and I ended up actually gleaning some useful information from chapters 9 and 11.
Chapter 9 is about How to Avoid Arguments:
• Problems stem from arguing and from avoiding arguing. Arguing results in war; avoidance results in cold war. It is best to negotiate or discuss the pros and cons of an issue.
• There are 4 things you should never do:
- Fight= arguing and intimidating until your partner breaks down and gives in to your point of view
- Flight= pulling away and not talking at all to gain instant peace and harmony
- Fake= pretending there is no problem and smiling as if life is peachy
- Fold= to give in instantly and take the blame for short term peace
• When discussing something, never invalidate someone's reasons for being upset, and never make them feel powerless.
• Always try to restate what the other person is feeling (to make certain you understand their point of view) and never try to explain why that person shouldn't feel the way they do.
• Ask for what you want instead of asking an indirect question. (I do this one a lot.) Instead of: "Why is there hair in the sink again?" Try: "Would you please clean the hair out of the sink?"
• Never yell or raise your voice, even if the other person does. This will only cause things to get worse.
Chapter 11 is related in a way. It gives a method of dealing with something your loved one has done that made/makes you angry:
• Write 5 paragraphs (or just sentences) about each of the following: why you're angry, what saddens you about the situation, why you feel afraid as a result, why you regret what happened, and why you still love the person. This will help you work through the situation by dealing with all your emotions and responses. You can either choose to share this with the person or not. Either way, it still should help.
• If the situation brought up issues from your past, consciously make the decision not to project these past emotions onto the person who did not cause or influence those issues. Instead, deal with those past issues separately and work through them. Allow yourself to feel the anger, sadness, fear, and regret about the past issue and forgive yourself and others who were involved.
posted by Jennifer at 10/03/2004 11:39:00 AM