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The difference maker: Proven technique for dealing with a difficult parent or partner

The difference maker: Proven technique for dealing with a difficult parent or partner

As human beings, we’re bound to disagree. We’re complicated beings made up of a million and a half likes, dislikes and preferences and sometimes we find ourselves in deep, meaningful relationships that people can drive us half crazy.

Admit it, you love your infuriating spouse and as much as you dream about trading in your mom for one of the sitcom mothers on television, you know you wouldn’t have it any other way.

But what do you do when the other person is just downright difficult or you can’t see eye to eye no matter what? Psychologists have a trick they encourage clients to use and it’s called “speaking to the difference.”

It’s human nature to attempt to convince the other person of their misinformation or incorrectness, but that usually doesn’t work. We shut down and don’t want to hear what we perceive as criticism. Instead, start your conversation with something like this:

“I hear what you’re saying, but I see things differently. Here’s my take on the situation…”

Speaking to the difference takes the edge out of disagreement and opens the other person peacefully to your point of view. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in a dead-end disagreement!

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