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behavior" is any action (or inaction) by
causes you "significant discomfort or injury."
Some responses to such behavior are more
effective than others. "Effective" means you get
your current needs met in a way that leaves both
people feeling respected and heard.
This YouTube video provides perspective on what
you'll read in this article and series:
This article assumes you're familiar with...
intro to this nonprofit,
premises underlying it
In a problem
situation, make time to
identify what you
andneed from this person.
Identify what outcome
you want from responding - e.g. your partner agreeing to change their
problem behavior. Then ask if s/he is open to some feedback about
behavior. Be prepared for "no," "not now," or "why?"
Option - affirm your
partner's apparent feelings and needs without judgment.
(e.g. "You're really upset now...")
Decide (a) if you're making an
request, or a demand; and (b) whether you want to include a specific consequence (e.g. "If you choose not to stop swearing
so much, I'm going to _____.");
assert your needs, with friendly eye
contact and minimum explanation.
some kind of resistance (excuse, apology,
denial, complaint, defensiveness, blame, etc);
empathic listening to acknowledge any resistances ("So you feel / need /
want...") without comment; and calmly...
feedback or assertion and
listeninguntil you (a) get what you need, (b)
get a firm refusal, (c) your needs change, or you (d) change to win-win
If appropriate, thank
your partner and/or ask how s/he felt about your
feedback or assertion. If your response to the
problem behavior didn't get the result you needed,
analyze why, and what you might have done differently.
Ineffective communications usually result
from a false self controlling one or both of you and/or unawareness of communication
skills. You can
reduce each of these (in you) by patiently
studying online lessons 1 and 2.
Do these response-preparation steps make sense to you? What
might hinder you from using them
with "problem partners?" These options work as
well with most kids as with adults. They also work with your