Six Healthy Communication Tips To Manage Relationship Conflict

Tip #1 – Avoid Using Terms Like Always and Never

I advise couples not to allow a sentence to start with any of the following:

"You never do this…"

"You always say that…"

That’s making a statement that excludes even one exception to the rule you’re trying to lay down.

It may feel good to utter such sweeping judgments when you’re angry, but they do nothing for your relationship. Instead, qualify and leave your partner an escape, such as:

"For the most part…"


Or, "More than I like…"

Then you’re giving credit where it’s due, acknowledging the (admittedly few) times your partner might have said or done whatever you’re accusing them of doing.

Tip #2 – Ask For What You Want In Your Relationship

Yes, you should ask for what you want – in any relationship. In therapy, this is sometimes called symbiosis, which is thinking that your partner thinks and feels just like you do and should “just know.”

They may have been that intuitive during the romance stage, but that’s because of all the love hormones, and you were both closely observing one another. The purpose was to bond you together, not set the entire tone for your relationship. If you expect it to, you’ll be disappointed.

Tip #3 – Use The Imago Dialogue In Your Relationship

Dr. Harville Hendrix’s Imago Relationships Therapy (IRT) model creates a safe space for effective communication using Intentional Dialogue. This dialogue tool breaks down the idea that your partner should see the world the way you want him to and vice versa.

Most couples engage in a monologue, not a dialogue. So, I use the Imago Dialogue with all couples. It emphasizes mirroring, validation, and empathy, which offers a healthier and more realistic way to communicate.

Imago Relationships Dialogue Tool

Tip #4 – Mirroring When Communicating With Your Partner

The first part of the Intentional Dialogue communication skill is mirroring. One partner sends information, and the other receives it. The Sender delivers all the information relating to one topic until they’re entirely finished, using short declarative sentences that start with the word “I.”

The Receiver doesn’t interpret, diminish, or magnify what was said but repeats it like a parrot and then asks:

"Did I get it?"

And "Is there more?"

Until the Sender says, "No, that's all."

Thursday, 22.12.2022
Association Of Imago Relationship Therapists Australia - AIRTA

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