By Leo Babauta
A couple months ago, I started a daily practice with my wife Eva called the Intentional Dialogue process, aimed at helping us become better at talking about difficult issues.
Now, Eva and I have a great marriage, and we love each other deeply. But like any couple, sometimes we feel frustrated or hurt by the other person, or sometimes we don’t feel we’re being heard.
Every person in a long-term relationship knows what I’m talking about. In fact, this same dynamic applies to any long-term friend, any family relationship with a good degree of intimacy. Difficult conversations are touchy.
Things shifted drastically when I learned something simple and yet profound, from talking to renowned relationship/men’s coach John Wineland a couple months ago …
Most couples violate a basic tenet: I’m not going to make you feel wrong.
Think about that for a minute. When we get into an argument, we’re basically making our loved one feel like they’re wrong. We might say, “Sure, but actually …” and then go on to explain how their point of view or actions are all wrong. When we criticize them, we’re saying they’re wrong.
Who likes to feel this way? It can especially hurt when our trusted partner is making us feel wrong. And if you’re like most couples, you might be doing this every day.
So how does the Intentional Dialogue process help with this? It…