* You gently but firmly refuse to give up your power to create good things in your life together, just because one of you is scared, angry or stubborn.
* You stay focused on your purpose, and don't let yourself be drawn off course.
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* You calmly and lovingly refuse to take no for an answer.
Gentle persistence is not as hard as it may sound, and once you try it, you’ll find out it works. The reward for gently persisting is a mutually satisfactory solution, and a relationship that works for both of you. The following guidelines will help you maintain your balance, and not be pushy and manipulative or give up too easily.
Guidelines: Gentle Persistence
1. Be well prepared before trying gentle persistence. Gentle persistence, especially when you're new at it, requires that you be in firm control of yourself. Choose a moment when you feel strong, and you and the other person have some peaceful, uninterrupted time. You are demonstrating adult, thoughtful, calm and rational interaction for the other person, even if the other person is aggravating, dismissive or childish in his or her responses, so you must feel strong and comfortable enough to stay calm and positive in the face of negative responses. Be sure you're not upset, exhausted, fearful or angry when you try it. That means you may need to take care of yourself by blowing off steam elsewhere (in writing, to a friend) if you get annoyed, or dropping the subject temporarily (and coming back later) because you've run out of patience. Understand that, until the other person realizes the importance of this particular issue to you, you are in the role of educator. Be sure you know clearly that your goal is to get an agreement to negotiate about your problem and that you're willing to explain it as many times as necessary, remaining calm every time.
2. You both deserve to have what you want. Gentle persistence is based on the conviction that you and the other person both deserve to get what you want. You're not asking for permission to have your way. You're making a firm offer to the other person to participate in the process so that he or she can have what they want also. If you hold that point of view, you won't feel guilty, helpless, hopeless or angry. Remembering that you're working to create a change (from competing or rescuing to cooperation) that is beneficial to both of you and your relationship, and even raises the odds that your relationship will continue to be successful, will keep you objective and motivated to succeed.
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3. Be gentle and firm. Gentleness means treating the other person with respect and caring, while firmness means not giving in or giving up. If the other person says something, listen and respond with reassurance or simple facts, but don't agree unless it's meeting your objective. Don't slide into nagging, manipulating, pushing, coercing, or abusing. Let the other person know that the issue is important to you, that you are serious about finding a satisfactory solution, that you want his or her participation in solving it, and you're not going to give up or forget the idea