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how to get what you want in your relationships (even when the other person is stubborn)It’s frustrating isn’t it?

You know…constantly arguing about the same petty things.

Maybe you experience this with your partner, your parents, your children or even certain friends.

No matter what you say, you can never seem to get your point across.

They just don’t seem to care enough or listen to you, and you find yourself going around in circles.

Often, you feel like giving up.

But did you know there’s something you can do to get exactly what you want from other people. And you don’t even have to beg!

You can put an end to the arguing and fighting once and for all.

It might sound like I’m about to give you a quick fix solution.

I’m not.

But if you’re willing to take the time to learn what I’m about to tell you…you’ll watch your relationships transform.

I’m going to teach you 7 powerful strategies that you can use which will allow you to;

  • express your frustrations without starting a fight,
  • come to mutual agreements easily,
  • get the things that are most important to you without begging for it and,
  • improve the overall quality of your relationships (end the arguing and develop a closer bond)

These strategies have everything to do with the way in which you communicate.

And to be honest, I truly believe they are pinnacles to any good relationship. If you’re not already following these simple rules, then today is the day to start.

Here they are…

 

1.    Avoid using ‘Always’ or ‘Never’ statements to refer to a person’s behavior.

Do these types of statements sound a little too familiar?

“You always take so long in the shower”

“You never listen to me” 

Every time I come home the house is a mess”

“You are always sitting in front of that TV”

“You never help me with anything”

Let’s admit it. I think pretty much every human being is guilty of this!

The truth is, when someone close to us repeatedly does the same annoying thing over and over again…it’s frustrating!

And somehow we can’t seem to stop ourselves from blurting out those ‘always’ and ‘never’ statements.

“You always [insert frustrating behavior]” or “You never [insert behavior you wish they would do more often]”

But when you really think about it….

As frustrated as we are, it’s not really fair to say ‘always’ or ‘never’, right?

When we use ‘always’ or ‘never’ statements, we are actually emphasizing somebody’s flaws.

Even if they do something 90% of the time, by saying ‘always’ or ‘never’ you are still exaggerating their behavior.

 

This is where you are making your life so much harder than it needs to be!

When we use ‘always’ or ‘never’ statements, we will no doubt receive a defensive response from the other person.

You’ll hear responses like…

“well, you never listen to me either” or “well every time I come home, you are in such a bad mood”.

Suddenly, what seemed to be an innocent attempt to express our frustrations to someone has now turned into a FIGHT!!!

And before we know it we’re stuck in a stupid argument that just seems to go in circles.

And we’re left feeling frustrated and like there’s no hope for change.

You might be thinking….”that sounds like the story of my life”. Arguments with people that just seem to go around in circles…

Well, there’s something so super simple that YOU can do to create the solution you’re hoping for even if the other person is known to be stubborn.

It’s so simple. If we want people to listen to us and change their behavior, then we have simply got to learn how to communicate effectively with them.

 

So what should you do instead?

Instead you should be SPECIFIC.

Here are a couple of examples;

“I noticed that yesterday you left some dishes in the lounge room. Next time could you please put your dishes in the sink when you are finished with them?” or

“Last Sunday when you were watching TV, I felt a bit lonely. In the future, I would appreciate it if we could spend a bit more quality time together”

Being specific means that the person you are talking to will feel less able to disagree with you. If you are stating exactly what happened, how can they deny it? They will be more likely to respond better and you will have a much better chance at coming to a mutual agreement.

Do yourself a BIG favor and avoid those tempting ‘always’ and ‘never’ statements.

 

2.    Tell people what you want instead of what you don’t want

Notice how the above example of how to communicate more effectively is not only stating what the person did, but also states very clearly what you would like them to do instead?

We often assume that people know what we want or understand us. Something may seem obvious to us but that doesn’t mean that it is obvious to the other person.

Here is an example;

If you tell your partner that you don’t like it when they watch TV too often, you are not actually being clear on what you would rather they do.

In their mind, they could be thinking countless things such as “does she want me to go and fix the fence in the backyard, does he want me to spend more time with him or does she want me to help her around the house more?”

When you are not specific, the person you are talking to will feel overwhelmed with the different possibilities of what you want and will more than likely ‘switch off’.

You need to make it as easy as possible for the other person to do what you want.

So next time, instead of saying “I don’t like it when you watch TV all day” or “I don’t want you to spend so much time on your laptop”…

You could say “I would like it if we could spend more quality time together” or “Could we please talk together during breakfast time rather than you using your laptop? It would mean a lot to me”.

 

3.    Use ‘I’ statements instead of ‘you’ statements

This one may seem like a small change in the way you communicate, but it has a BIG impact on how people respond to you.

Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to respond well to you. The more positively they respond, the more likely you will get what you want.

Here are some examples of ‘you’ statements;

“You are annoying”

“You make me so angry”

“You don’t do anything right”

Here is what you can say instead;

“When you talk to me while I am trying to watch TV, I feel annoyed”

“When you come home late, I feel angry”

“Yesterday when we were painting the house, I felt as though you were distracted and that you could have focused more”

Does the second lot of examples feel more positive to you?

That’s because they are!

Firstly, telling somebody that they are annoying is attacking them as a person. Like we discussed above, when somebody feels attacked, they are likely to become defensive.

Secondly, they refer to a specific behaviour and state how that behaviour makes you feel.

This is where the ‘I’ statement comes in.

Using the ‘I’ statement means that you are taking responsibility for how you feel. The truth is that if you think somebody is annoying, it is your personal view. It is subjective rather than a fact.

Using ‘I’ statements such as “When you do that, I feel like this”, you are taking responsibility for your own feelings as opposed to putting blame on the other person.

Although they may have done something that you felt was annoying, often we have a part to play in how much we let somebody’s behaviour affect us. Perhaps we could have been more patient or in a better mood at the time.

Using ‘I’ statements is a safe and positive way to communicate and will lead to a more successful discussion with someone.

Again, the more positively you communicate with others, the better they will respond to you.

 

4.    Use a request instead of a rhetorical question

Let me begin by saying….I am super guilty of this one!

When I’m frustrated about something, it’s so tempting for me to say things like…

“Why can’t you be on time more often?” or

“Why do you leave your dirty clothes on the floor so much?” or

“Why can’t you spend less time on your phone?”

When asking questions like that, do we really want to hear the answer?

Or are we hoping that the persons response will be something like “I’m sorry, I will stop using my phone so much”.

Well let me tell you from experience that…asking rhetorical questions will not lead to the response you want.

If you ask “Why can’t you spend less time on your phone?”, chances are you will not get this response…“I’m sorry, I stop using my phone so much”.

You will probably get something more like this…”You are always criticizing me” or “I’m not on my phone that much”.

When you ask a rhetorical question, it will usually make a person feel like you are only interested in blaming them as opposed to finding a solution.

If you want a solution, then make it clear and make it easy for the other person to understand what you want.

Here is an example;

Instead of saying;

Why aren’t you more affectionate with me?”

You can rather say;

“Could you please be more affectionate towards me in the future? For example, I’d really appreciate it if you hugged and kissed me more often”

It may seem like a simple thing to change but it is actually harder than you think.

Most of these ways of communicating become bad habits. Over the years we get used to them and we do them automatically.

To change these habits, you will need to make a conscious effort everyday until it becomes your natural response.

 

5.    Don’t use the word ‘but’ after somebody has said something

I think we’d all be better off if the word ‘but’ got removed from the English Language.

Did you know that when you use the word ‘but’ after somebody’s sentence, it can make them feel like you are disregarding what they are saying?

Although this may not be your intention, in a way, this is what you are doing.

Notice how after you say ‘but’, you then make a statement of your own.

This can make people feel like you are saying “what you said isn’t really right, this is actually what’s right…and then you state your sentence.

There is not always only one answer, especially when it comes to someone’s opinion.

So to make sure you don’t disregard what someone is saying you should use the word ‘and’ instead of ‘but’.

Here is an example;

Person A“Lets add some humor in our drama production”

Person B“but we have to come up with some good props”

As opposed to;

Person A“Lets add some humor in our drama production”

Person B“and lets come up with some good props”

Doesn’t the second example just feel so much less conflicting?

When we use the word ‘but’ it takes value away from what the other person is saying and it does not acknowledge their statement.

This will make them feel as though you are disregarding what they are saying and that it is not worth attention.

 

6.    Acknowledge the other person

In the example above we looked at how we do not acknowledge people by saying ‘but’ and disregarding somebody’s ideas.

Here is an example of how we can disregard or not acknowledge somebody’s feelings.

Person A; “Yesterday I felt as though you were rude to me”

Person B; “but you were rude to me too”

This is a typical example of how we can disregard how we made a person feel by using the word ‘but’. Rather, you should acknowledge what the other person has said and then only after you do that, tell them how you felt.

Here is an example;

Person A; “Yesterday I felt as though you were rude to me”

Person B; “Can you tell me why you felt like this?”

Person A; “Well, when we were in the shops you raised your voice at me. I felt embarrassed”.

Person B; “I remember that. I am sorry for raising my voice at you. I could have responded in a better way. I felt frustrated because you were talking to Jimmy for a while and I was waiting for you”.

Person A; “I can understand why you felt frustrated. Next time I will try not to take so long”.

Notice that both person A and B did not use the word ‘but’ and acknowledged each other’s statements.

Not acknowledging someone is one of the biggest ways that people go around in circles when they are arguing or discussing something.

What a lot of people think is that by acknowledging someone you are saying that they are right.

This is not true.

You are only saying, “yes I can understand how you felt that way” or “I acknowledge that you felt frustrated”.

You are not saying “you are right to feel frustrated” or “I was wrong for talking to Jimmy for that long”.

This is very important to get your head around.

A lot of people find this hard to comprehend.

Here is an example to help make sense of it;

Sally and John went to the movies together. When they were in the cinema, John put his feet up on the chair in front of him. This made sally feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed during the whole movie as she was taught that this was not polite. After the movie, sally told John how it made her feel. John acknowledged how sally felt and told her that next time, he would not put his feet up.

By telling John how it made her feel, Sally was not saying that what he did was wrong or right.

However as sally’s friend, John acknowledged how it made her feel and because he cared about her and wanted her to enjoy spending time with him, he told her that he would not do it again.

If we want people to enjoy our company, then we need to acknowledge how our behaviour makes them feel whether or not we think it is right or wrong.

Most of the time, if we try to agree on what is right or wrong it will only lead to a never ending discussion or argument. This is because we all believe different things. So rather we should simply acknowledge how our behavior makes somebody else feel and let that be a good enough reason to change it.

 

7.    Be patient

Do you struggle to be patient?

If not, then I envy you! (Just kidding).

….but seriously.

If there’s something I wish money could buy, it’s patience.

It’s when we’re feeling frustrated that the last thing we want to do is reflect on how we word our sentences.

We just want to blurt out whatever’s in our minds.

Patience is key if we want to adopt the above strategies in our life.

If you are impatient with someone, you will be more likely to respond in a way that you are used to because it is the first thing that will come to your mind.

When we are impatient we are also less willing to think about what impact our behavior will have.

It is hard enough to communicate effectively when we are in the right frame of mind…so imagine how much harder it will be if you are feeling impatient.

Patience allows us to take a step back and ask ourselves “what is the best way that I can respond in this moment” and “am I about to respond using a bad habit?”

 

Transform your relationships today!

Ironically, when we choose the easy option (blurting out whatever we feel like), we are only making our lives more difficult!

Without even realizing it, we put ourselves through endless battles with people, when really the problems can be solved fairly easily (with the right approach and communication).

Think of great communication as a skill that can get you anything you want.

Next time you are thinking “why doesn’t he listen to me” or “why does she always get so defensive” then ask yourself…”am I communicating in the most effective way?”.

Chances are, the answer will be no!

I am certain that if you start using the strategies above, you will be blown away by how much impact it will have on your relationships.

So I challenge you, take the first step to having incredibly successful relationships and make a big effort to be a highly effective communicator.

What do you think of these strategies? Are you gonna change the way you communicate? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section!

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