If you were president and responsible for giving a "State of the Union" address about your relationship, what would you say?
Would you declare that you and your loved one are on the same page on all issues? Would you report that all of your issues are negotiated with ease and resolved without conflict? Would you be forced to reveal that "members of the house" are in opposition, filibuster frequently, refuse to cross party lines, are unwilling to reach a compromise, get angry and walk out when the going gets tough? (Learn about toxic emotions.)
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Is there a key issue that either party is unwilling to discuss because one of you has become so deeply entrenched in your position that you've lost the ability to see the issue from a different perspective? Does it feel as if one of you must hold your position to the bitter end, even if the cost of winning is the death of your love and relationship?
Here are three strategies designed to help you shift the state of your union and resolve some of the tension between party lines:
1. Choose your words wisely. Remember that what you say and how you say it will set the stage for cooperation or confrontation. Avoid using the following phrases that are guaranteed to trigger a fight: you always; you never; you made me; you should; you shouldn't; you won't. In fact, just avoid using the word "you" unless it's followed by a positive declaration of something wonderful about your loved one.
2. Focus on love. Don't forget to remember that what you focus on determines how you feel. Focusing on what you don't like feels bad. Shift your focus on what you love and appreciate about your relationship and your loved one. Doing so will enhance your chances of receiving love and appreciation in return. Focusing on what's wrong with either one guarantees you'll get a boomerang response back with a focus on what's wrong with you. (Discover how to fall in love all over again.)
3. Manage your emotions. What you feel inside influences your perspective and the meaning you give any situation. Use your emotions as your compass. The minute you become aware that you're feeling a negative emotionm take deep a deep breath and notice where your thoughts are focused and the story you're telling yourself about the situation.
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Take deep breaths, shift your focus and find something to appreciate about the situation. Shifting to a state of appreciation allows you to discover a new perspective about your relationship, the one you love and allows you to build and maintain a more fulfilling state of your union.
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