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Things To Avoid During
are often hard to maintain, even when two people exchange promises
of undying love. A frequent problem in a relationship occurs
when one or both partners continue to make the same errors,
but fail to understand why the relationship is in trouble. It
is as though each individual is stubbornly determined to continue
to do things his and her own way, even at the risk of damaging
a good relationship.
In my clinical practice, I have discovered at least 27 common
errors in thinking and communicating that people make. If repeated,
these errors have the potential for destroying a relationship.
Which of the following errors are you making?
W. Birch, Ph.D.
Adult Sexuality Educator
Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.
Errors During Fighting
- Rigidly maintain
that you are always right, even when you do not have all the facts.
- Never apologize,
even when you are proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.
- Be relentless
in rubbing it in when you are proven right.
maintain that you know your partner's motives better than he or
- Assume that
your partner should understand your needs and should respond immediately
without being asked.
ignore your partner's priorities and insist on your own.
- Operate on
the assumption that your partner's sexual need cycle is identical
- Add deep
psychological meaning to your partner's sexual disinterest, and
take it very personally. Then beg.
- Do not ever
admit hurt, but go immediately to the expression of anger.
your partner's character flaws and family secrets and use them
to make a point when logic fails.
- Use guilt
to manipulate, to get your own way or to punish.
- Become proficient
at catching your partner being bad, but do not ever comment if
you catch him or her being good.
- Cut no slack,
yield no ground and push your argument until your partner walks
out the door.
- Do not let
go of the past. Rehash your version of it as often as possible.
- If you tend
to be a clinger, cling very tightly and smother your partner,
claiming that you will surly die if you are ignored.
- Make promises,
but never keep them.
- Be factious
so you partner never knows when you are being serious.
- Always make
excuses for your bad habits.
- Insist that
what you have to say is always more important that what your partner
is saying, so interrupt.
- Pretend that
you understand what you partner has said, even if you have no
idea of the point that was being made.
that having sex will smooth over an unresolved argument.
- Be loud and
stubborn. Assume that volume and persistence makes you right.
- Assume that
you can say really nasty things, and then take them back later.
- If your partner
did not hear or understand what you have said, accuse him or her
of not paying attention or not caring.
- Be a mind-reader.
Insist that you know your partner's true thoughts, regardless
of what he or she says.
- Act as though
you do none of the above and it is your partner who must make
all the changes.
For Effective Fighting
identify the central issue and stay on it. Deal with just one
thing at a time.
argue over little details.
not accuse your partner with "you" statements. Make "I" statements.
assign blame. Blame stirs a defensive attitude, so negotiate as
every attempt to shame. Guilt trips eventually stir anger and
ever attack your partner's character or personality.
keep score. No one is "always wrong."
carefully to your partner's perspective, and do not interrupt.
pass judgment on your partner's perceptions or feelings.
clam up when the going gets tough, and don't walk away.
take seriously everything said in anger, but listen for what is
very careful with your expression of anger, as great damage can
any anger toward what it is that you are really angry about.
to identify your hurt and talk of it before allowing your pain
to turn to anger.
not yell. 17. No name calling.
every question there is often a statement. Do not ask the question,
make the statement.
you must ask, do not ask a question you already know the answer
to. No one likes being tested.
respect and unconditional positive regard.
not save up issues and then, long after the fact, bring them up
in an argument.
for mutual understanding, compromise and forgiveness.
more time to reaffirming your caring than to trying to settle