STEP 4- EXECUTE A Winning Strategy:
A winning strategy means to develop a plan that works to influence your partner to do what you would like him/her to do without generating so much anger with each other around it. There are many winning strategies that research shows help a great deal in decreasing conflict and promoting more harmony between couples. Much of it has been published by marital researcher John Gottman in Seattle, Washington. Here are five of them that I have found that work especially well to de-activate an anger filled home and promote more respectful communication:
Winning Strategy 1: Retreat and think Things Over when either is getting out of control with anger and the atmosphere is getting nasty. Agree on a protocol to cool down before continuing the argument. You can easily download specific instructions on how to do this by clicking on the “resources” icon below.
Winning Strategy 2: Change Your Greeting and Departing Rituals. How you greet each other at the end of the day and how you leave each other at the beginning of the day can set the relationship tone for many hours. Getting up to greet your partner when they come home can convey tons of information as can the opposite strategy of ignoring each other.
Winning Strategy 3: Bring up sensitive issues with a softer startup. You can disagree without being disagreeable. You can deal with an issue with love or without love. Without love will often get you push-back and retaliation.
Winning Strategy 4: Adjust Your expectations toward your marriage. It doesn’t have to be 100% for you to be reasonably happy. Maybe you should shoot for a 70% marriage. A standard of “good enough” might bring a lot more happiness than a standard of demanding near perfection.
Winning Strategy 5: Make requests instead of demands on your partner. Often, partners push back not by what you are complaining about, but HOW you are complaining or raising an issue. Watch tone of voice, body language, eye contact. Asking rather than demanding often gets much better results without the bad feelings toward each other in between.