Noticing the little things

The Problem

My partner seems to notice all the things I do that he doesn’t like – and even worse – can’t seem to resist pointing them out to me

The Solution

A startling, and “game changing” response to our standard defensive comments when this happens is to acknowledge the truth in it.  Perhaps not the exact or total package – but the part that you can see as true.  For instance, they say “That was a rude and disrespectful way you just talked to me!”   Rather that our “natural” response … something like:  “Well I wouldn’t have talked with you that way if you just… etc.”    Instead, pause, take a deep breath, and say with as much empathy as possible, “You’re right. I’m feeling pretty tired, and I didn’t say that in a nice way. Let me try again.”    And then, rephrase what you’d said focusing on the positive, focusing on the part of you that wants to be closer to your partner.   Just this shift of response – while still addressing any real issue that’s important to you – can avoid a lot of tension and fighting.


“I am more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been. PAIRS has opened my awareness.” – Barbara S. NC


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