Earlier in our series, you discovered how magic messages change criticism into loving kindness and repair relationship issues. Now find out how to diffuse an argument quickly in Part 3 highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with Nancy Dreyfus, NancyDreyfus.com
Nancy is a veteran couples therapist who created the love flashcard system, Talk To Me Like I’m Someone You Love.
Hadley: Let’s say you feel an argument boiling up with your partner. Do you really expect someone to go find their love flashcards and sort through them to find the perfect message to diffuse the heat?
Nancy: I tell people to get a copy of my book for each partner. Even if you don’t read every page, go through the table of contents. As you look through 127 flashcard messages, you will see one that shows you what you could say or what you meant to say. You circle the message to use in the future.
Hadley: So you choose the right messages in advance. You pre-screen flashcard messages that reflect what you’re going through to use the next time it comes up. This works for men and women, correct?
Nancy: Absolutely. Men get to see that if they come from inside themselves, from their own sincerity, they learn where their power lies.
When you’re upset, you want to change the other person. Instead of clobbering them, you get clear about what’s going on inside you. Then you choose a flashcard message that speaks to it.
This is a provocative notion, but I tell people there’s no such thing as having a relationship with another person. There’s only having a relationship with yourself in that person’s force field. So if you go to your more vulnerable self and say what’s going on with you, then you completely shift the energy in an argument and give your partner a chance to respond to you.
For example, imagine someone keeps screaming at you. Then you hold up card #16 which says, “When you go on and on like that, I feel invisible to you.” Imagine what that does to your partner.
Hadley: It doesn’t have to be screaming, venting or raging. It can be endless chatter about nothing important that makes you feel invisible, because active listening is a great gift of love that you give another person.
Let’s give yourself a quick love test. When you’re communicating with your partner, which would you rather be? A. Strong and Right or B. Flexible and Open Minded.
Find out what your answer reveals about your relationship success in Part 4 highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with Nancy Dreyfus.
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