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Examples of Dealing with a Difficult Partner by being our “Adult Self”

In the next two sections I will give examples of things “difficult partners” do & possible responses:

In this section I’ll make suggestions about how to respond when your partner doesn’t seem to be interested in what you have to say.

You begin by making sure you are really listening to your partner. After you understand what is behind their anger or complaining, you do your best to relate to it.

The next thing you do is take responsibility for your feelings rather than being accusatory.  You don’t say

“You are so self centered and never listen to me.” Accusations only generate counter accusations or silence.

You may say something like: It hurts my feelings when it seems to me that you not listening to what I’m saying”; or “I get very angry (or whatever you feel) when I don’t feel listened too.”  The idea here is that you express own your responses (even though they are negative) rather than criticizing or blaming your partner.

In the next section I’ll suggest what to say when your partner is nasty to you.

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