How Men Can Avoid Fights
By John Gray
One of the easiest ways for men to avoid fights is to hold back from making dismissive comments about a woman's feelings.
At first this can be difficult, because men don't even realize that they are doing it; the words that offend her in most cases would not offend him.
If a couple makes efforts to avoid a fight, even if they end up having one, their argument is less hurtful and they make up more easily.
FIGHTING ON MARS
What he says to make matters worse (in red).
What he can say to make matters better (in green).
"That doesn't make any sense."
"Okay, let me make sure I under stand you. Are you saying you feel ... ?"
"You are getting upset over nothing."
"I know this is upsetting. Are you saying ... ?"
"You are blowing things out of proportion."
"Let me see if I understand this correctly. You are feeling ..."
"But that is ridiculous."
"This can be confusing. Are you saying ... ?"
"I did not say that."
"So you heard me say ... ?"
"But that is not what I meant."
"Let me make sure I understand. You heard me say ... ?"
"It doesn't have to be this difficult."
"I think I understand. You are saying ... you want ..."
"That is not rational at all. "
"Let me take a moment to understand what you want. You feel ... and you deserve ..."
"Why do we have to go through this?"
"I think we have been here before. Let me see if I understand correctly how you feel. You ..."
"You don't get it."
"Let me try saying this another way. What I am saying is ..."
Instead of making dismissive comments, a man should take more time to rephrase what his partner is saying to clarify his own understanding and to communicate effectively that he has heard her opinion.
Slowing the pace can also defuse the mounting tension. His objective is not only to hold back from making dismissive comments but to communicate what he has understood. This will help dispel her tension as well as his own.
Men get frustrated because they think that much of the talk is a waste of time. The belief that he is not solving the problem is frustrating and stressful, which increases his impatience and annoyance.
He is wired to solve problems efficiently. Now, with this new awareness of what she needs, he can talk in a manner that solves the problem and lessens her tension.
When he understands her different needs, he will feel that he has accomplished something and is not wasting time. Instead of dropping, his testosterone levels go up.
Women love hearing what they have said reflected back to them.
A woman particularly likes to hear that her partner understands her feelings, wants, wishes, and needs. This technique may seem tedious to a man, but it is appreciated by women.
Each time a man uses this communication technique, she feels more understood, and he feels successful, which, of course, relieves stress by raising her oxytocin and his testosterone.