Attitudes and Emotions in Negotiation with Your Partner

Attitudes and Emotions

Please note: there is a Worksheet for this section that you can use when you are in negotiation with your partner. (For your convenience all the worksheets are also in the appendix of the book.) – The material below has been taken from my book Negotiation Handbook for Couples: From conflict to connection

In total I will suggest 6 simple strategies that you can follow to successfully negotiate with your partner.  In today’s blog I will offer 4 strategies and tomorrow I will share with you the additional 2 other things you can do to have a positive outcome.

This section is particularly important because the entire outcome of couple’s negotiation is based on having the right attitudes and emotions.  Below I will outline five attitudes and emotions that are essential in having a successful negotiation.

Here are the first four strategies


(1) Stay calm

Remember when you lose your temper often, you lose your augment by not having your partner really hear and understand you.

(2) Be respectful

When you are involved in a discussion where the subject is important to you, it’s easy to get carried away and raise your voice or say something nasty to the other person.  Respect is key for couples maintaining a positive connection to each other.

(3) Be agreeable (even if you don’t agree)

Being agreeable doesn’t mean being compliant; it means being pleasant–not super- sweet, just nice. Agree to disagree in an agreeable way.

(4) Be flexible

A. Look for ways to agree while still having a sense of your own integrity.

B. Look for ways to reframe the disagreement.

Example of being flexible:

Rich wants to have his mother come to their home and visit with the grandchildren, and Marlene is not crazy about her mother-in-law.  If the issue gets reframed as how the grandmother can spend time with her grandchildren, then maybe Rich’s mom can take the children to the park.  The idea is that the focus is framed on visiting the grandchildren not on the bad feelings between the Marlene and her mother-in-law.


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