Talking Things Out - Working Things through:

A better way to resolve differences, problems, issues and challenges
    As we saw above; everyone has times when they are in disagreement with someone, a
    partner, a friend, a child; anyone. And there are many ways to try and work it out and
    resolve it. One of the best ways is talking things out, or talking things through. Talking
    things through gives each person an opportunity to consider each other’s point of view,
    and thus find new, different, and more effective solutions to problems. Also see "Conflict
    Resolution: Fair Fighting".

    Working things out by talking things through, or talking them out, is a collaborative
    problem-solving process that brings people together in a mutually supportive way address
    and solve the challenges or issues that confront them. Most people are willing to talk when
    they get the sense that there is someone who cares and is concerned.

    Good communication is extremely important in relationships; unfortunately, many people
    do not have good communication skills. It is often hard to express our feelings, needs,
    and desires to others, including our partner, sometimes especially our partner. Because
    in order to do this, we have to reveal much of our inner self, to disclose personal
    information, and when we do this, we are putting ourselves in a vulnerable position and
    we risk rejection.  

    It is normal to have some concerns and problems with communicating effectively with a
    close partner.  Regardless how difficult it is, it is very important for couples to practice
    and learn good communication skills, since ineffective communication can significantly
    decrease satisfaction in a relationship.

    To communicate well, there are a number of things to remember.
    Good communication practices and habits include a number of things.
    Honesty: honesty for example, is a top one. If you are always honest, your partner will learn
    that you are a person of your words and a person who can be trusted. Trust isn’t something that
    just happens, to both parties.

    One method you can use to build trust is self-disclosure. It involves telling another person
    intimate things about yourself. Through disclosing personal information and getting to know
    each other better, two people can learn to trust each other and grow closer as a couple.

    Most generally, couples that disclose more about themselves have more satisfying relationships.
    If you are having trouble getting your partner to talk about him/herself, you can set a good
    example by sharing something about yourself. Once you start self-disclosing and sharing your
    own personal stories, your partner will be more likely to do the same.

    Be Careful of engaging in destructive communication habits.
    Try to avoid such things as being defensive, defensive, withdrawing, criticizing, and insulting
    the other person on purpose.

    Defensiveness is where you make excuses for your actions, instead of being willing to discuss
    the problems your actions cause for others.

    Withdrawing (which is common) is where one person ignores the other’s feelings by walking
    away or refusing to talk about problems.

    Criticism puts all the blame on the other person and can be overdone by using too many you
    statements, such as, “you never do this”, or "you always think you re right".

    Words like “always” and “never” are especially hurtful, because they are so extreme and criticize
    the other’s whole personality and all their actions, rather than focusing on the exact problem or
    situation that bothers you.

    Instead of using "you" words to start a sentence, try to use "I" words instead. Instead of saying
    "you do this", or open with, "when you do this", try saying, "I feel this way, when you do . . .".
    That way you put the focus on you, not the other person, and thus minimize their defense
    reaction. Because you know how that works when they get defensive; it turns into them
    responding on the offence.

    Sometimes, when couples are upset with each other, they say things that intentionally hurt the
    other person, things that aren’t necessary. Such insults are very destructive. They can destroy
    the love in a relationship.

    Giving compliments is an important way to keep a relationship of friendship headed
    in the right direction.

    Focussing on the other person’s positive qualities is also important and necessary. Too often
    we only express ourselves when we have something negative to say. But it is absolutely
    essential that we recognize and talk about the positive as well as the negative.  Positive
    reinforcements help to strengthen relationships. We all like people better when we associate
    them with positive attention.

    So try this “talking things out” approach you’ll find it a safe and productive way to release all
    the bottled up feelings, or even minor ones, that some issue has created.

    It is vastly better than "sweeping things under the rug", because that always comes back over
    and over to interfere and sabotage things.

    Related Pages:
    Conflict Resolution
    Trust Building

    Klaas Tuinman
    Deerfield Nova Scotia, and Meaford, Ontario, Canada, 2010-19
    Everyone has times when they are in disagreement with someone, a partner, a friend, a
    child; anyone. And There are two "kinds" of families (or people) in this world. The most
    common are those families where things do not get talked about - no matter what goes
    on, what is done or said, or what happens. Nobody talks about it - the "rules" (unspoken)
    are that it is to be "forgotten, and then "swept under the rug", with everybody pretending
    it never happened. See The Ten Commandments Of Dysfunctional Families.
    And of course, the "dysfunction motto": Don't Trust, Don't Feel, Don't Touch, Don't Talk.

    Except - everybody remembers! - but because they have to keep it inside, it builds and
    festers; and each time some other thing happens (and that happens a lot - because that's
    part of life) those also get swept under that rug with more being added to the festering
    mess already inside - and all sorts of things build up - including a lot of anger - and that
    will come out, often at the wrong time, in the wrong way, over the wrong thing. And
    when those things are "brought up" it is usually in an accusatory and attacking fashion
    - a blaming and shaming accusatory fashion. Most often it is aggressive, often with
    intimidation, threats and name calling.

    This is all done in order to avoid accountability - and taking ownership of words and
    actions. And the others are usually cowed into not calling them to account. These
    aggressive people are  fully into denial entire approach to others in many circum-
    stances is adversarial. Their aggression serves to allow them to get what they want
    - and while they may think they are caring people, the reality is that they are only
    "caring" as long as they do not have to change anything - see the page on assertiveness
    for a thumbnail sketch of aggressive people

    And there is a certain negative tone, negative body language (often intimidating) and
    lots of name calling and put it all on the person being “attacked”. They attackers are
    often sneaky and cowardly enough to use innuendo and hints rather coming out directly
    and being open. None of  this fixes anything; it only makes it worse - and leaves even
    more to be swept under the rug - and more that can fester - to be repeated over and
    over. That sort of thing creates, fear, doubt, uncertainty, and affects one's confidence
    and self-image and ultimately one's self-esteem and leads to total insecurity.

    As long as the ones on the receiving end accept it, they are enabling the aggressor to
    continue unchallenged. Often these people put up with it, or "accept" it to keep the peace
    (hoping that things will improve) - yet it only enables (see the denial page for more.)
    Those who remain silent and accept this behaviour and language are often referred to as
    "passive" people, the image most people have of passive people is someone timid and
    are often referred to as "passive" people, the image most people have of passive people
    is someone timid and passive-aggressive - meaning they passively absorb what is
    handed out to them - but the inner anger builds, calm and unassuming and very caring.

    But they too, operate under a negative trait: they tend to become  calm and unassuming
    and very caring. But they too, operate under a negative trait: they tend to become
    passive-aggressive - meaning they passively absorb what is handed out to them - but the
    inner anger builds, and under the right trigger circumstances, they too, will lash out
    aggressively - usually out of all proportion to what just happened, and these people too,
    will resort to both innuendo ans snide comments - and then go into denial about it, and
    sweep it under the rug - or blame someone else. Generally, the other way they "fight
    back" is through procrastination, stubbornness, or inefficiency - all things that aren't
    usually considered to be "aggressive" - but it is aggression just the same. And they too,
    may be caring and kind people - but only so far - also as long as they don't have to change.
    Then there is the other kind:
    These are the people who don’t believe in the above: they understand that certain things
    need to be talked about – sometimes explained, sometimes apologized for (taking
    ownership), and sometimes to get feelings out and get those heard and responded to.
    For these people talking is permitted - and they talk it out – but it goes entirely differently
    than the above: first of all, because the intention is the opposite of what happens in the
    above. In the other approach, the intention is to hurt, frighten and accuse the other
    person – and try to shift all the blame on them – mostly to get them to shut up.

    Of course, the same things are mentioned, and many of the words are the same - but they
    are  softened - and said in a general way - to deal with whatever it was. The tone of voice,
    the volume,  the body language and facial expression are totally different – even the way
    it is spoken of is different. In this way, no one feels attacked or accused, so there is no
    need to feel defensive and prepare a counter-attack. It allows for clarification, for feeling
    understood and responded to in kind, and it allows all the negative feelings that went with
    whatever the topic was to be resolved and discharged - so that they don't slide under that
    rug, and don't become mountains that will explode down the road. And so that it won’t
    have to come up again, and life gets that much smoother, and each person grows more

    Unfortunately, as I said above – the second kind is much less common – and the other
    more prevalent, and that has major consequences for later on in life. Because it
    sometimes happens is that two people meet: one familiar with the "under the rug"
    approach - and nobody talking except in a blaming, accusing and shaming way - and the
    other who has learned the major benefits of "talking things out". Here’s the potential for
    disaster: unless those people are careful, from that point on a lot of misunderstanding
    will occur - because each sees and interprets what's going on totally differently.

    The one will see it as an attack, a fight and bickering - and respond and react exactly in
    the same way as they are used to; the other will see it as an attempt to caringly bring
    something into the open and "fix" it, but will be taken aback at the reaction and the
    response ansd won't understand it. It happens because they both see and interpret it
    differently - and the result most often is that it doesn't get "fixed" - but becomes worse.

           So what is involved in talking things out? And how to go about it.
"Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life"
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-2020

Questions and comments welcomed.