Stop Fighting in 30 days

Week 4: Learn How to Properly Present Your Gripes

Step Six: State Your Problem

First, offer a Disclaimer, which is a sentence that lets your mate know that you aren't out to deprive him of vital bodily parts. The Disclaimer reassures him that you are on his side and puts him in a receptive frame of mind for the discussion that will follow. For example, you could say, "I know that you would never intentionally hurt me ..." or "I know how much my feelings matter to you ..."

Next, state your problem in two parts. Describe what he said or did and how that made you feel. For example, "I feel brushed aside when you arrive late for our date." Conclude your problem statement with a Future Suggestion, such as: "... and it would mean so much if you would call when you can't arrive on time."

Now let's put it all together. "I know that you would never intentionally hurt me (Disclaimer), but I feel hurt when you forget our weekly date (Problem Statement). And it would mean so much to me if you would call when you're going to be late (Future Suggestion)."

Until you are very familiar with the above process, it's best for you to prepare yourself before you present your problem to your mate. During the preparation, you will cool down, dig up love and choose the words you will use to present your issue. I know this seems like a lot of work. Remember that all new skills require effort. But rest assured, in no time the above steps will become second nature, and you will be able to address and resolve your issues as they arise.

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