A Basic Strategy to Dealing effectively with a Difficult Partner
The place to start in dealing effectively with a difficult partner is with ourselves. All of us have what I call a “Child” and “Adult” self. We can respond from either of those two selves. In the next two paragraphs I will describe what characteristics our child and adult selves have.
Our child self is impulsive he/she does not stop and think about what they are going to say. Our child self: attacks, judges, blame, demands and complains. There is a positive side to our child self, that is the part of us that can be playful, creative, and enjoy the world around us. It’s the negative side we have to be aware of and work at keeping that side in check, if we don’t things will only deteriate
Our adult self thinks before he/she speaks, works at understanding what is going on, expresses anger without being abusive or insulting. Our “adult self” focuses on the solutions rather than dwelling on the problem. The adult self makes a distinction between what can be changed and what needs to be accepted. The adult self focuses on what they can do to make things different rather than trying to change to their partner.
In the next section the specific steps to reacting as our “adult self” will be discussed.