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Conversing Better In Relationships - Lifestyle Articles - Love Ambassadors Ministries


by Pastor Andrew Okwe

Is there a part of a relationship conversation that’s critical? Actually, there is.

It’s the beginning, 96% of the time the outcome of a conversation can be predicted within the first three minutes.

“Negativity feeds on itself and makes the conversation stay negative. We also did seven years of research on how Masters repair that negativity. One of the most powerful things is t say “Hey, his isn’t all your fault. I know that part of this is me. Let’s talk about what’s me and what’s you.” Accepting responsibility is huge for repair.

How you start those serious relationship discussions doesn’t just predict how the conversation goes – it also predicts divorce after six years of marriage.

“... it went on to predict with high accuracy their fate over a six year period of time. The predictions we made about couple’s futures held across seven separate studies, and they held throughout the life course.”

So you’re talking and you’re starting off positive and calm. Great! Now you should stop talking. Why? Listen!

So what’s the best thing to do to improve a relationship? “Learn how to be a good listener.”

The Masters know how to listen. When their partners have a problem, they drop everything and listen non-defensively with empathy.

In really bad relationships people are communicating. “Baby when you’re in pain, when you’re unhappy, when you hurt, I’m not going to be there for you. You deal with it on your own, find somebody else to talk to because I don’t like your negativity. I’m busy. I’m rally involved with the kids. I’m really involved with my job.”

Whereas the Masters have the model of “when you’re unhappy, even if it’s with me, the world stops and I listen.”

And sometimes the best things to do at the beginning of a relationship is to ends it immediately. Why? 69 % of a couples problems are perpetual. They won’t be resolved!

Beating a dead horse, asking someone to fundamentally change who they are isn’t going to work, but it will make them angry.

“In the studies that we did, we brought couples back into the lab every couple of years to find out what they are arguing about. And people resolved only about 31% of their disagreements. You can edit these videotapes together and it looked like the same conversation over and over for 22 years. Masters learn to accept what will not change and focus on the positive. They seem to say, :there’s a lot of good stuff here and I can ignore the annoying things.”

MASTERS AND DISASTERS: Conclusion {Let's Round It Up}

So lets round it up.

    I. The Four Things That Kill Relationships
    - Criticism
    - Defensiveness
    - Contempt
    - Stone walling
    II. The Three Things That Prevent Them
    - Knowing your partner
    - Responding positively to bids
    - Admiring your partner
    III. The best predictor of relationship success
    - How you and your partner tell your “story of us”
    IV. The beginning of a relationship conversation of crucial. Negativity compounds. So keep a cool head and resist emotional inertia.

What makes for happy relationships sounds a lot like what makes for happiness in general. Research shows happy people seek out the positive and are grateful for it. Unhappy people find the negative in everything. There’s a very similar dynamic in relationships: Masters scan their relationships for good things, Disasters are always noting the bad.

And not only that: the Masters way of looking at the world is actively more accurate.

People who have this negative habit of mind miss 50% of the positivity that outside objective observers see. So the positive habit of mind is actually more accurate. If you have a negative habit of mind, you actually distort toward he negative and you don’t see the positive. People with the positive habit of mind, it’s not that they don’t see the negative --- they do, they see it --- but they really emphasize the positive in terms of the impact on them. That’s the difference!

Choose to see the positive. It can cause a cascade of results:

- Its fuel for your good ‘story of us’
- You’ll probably start relationship conversations on a good note.
- You’ll admire your partner
- And on and on and on....