“Four simple words said in the right tone and at the right time, can alter the perception of negative communication with you partner immediately*”
Imagine a time when you felt nagged, criticized , pressured, or stuck listening to someone complain. Imagine that string of negative words. (Notice how the memory may be unpleasant).
Now imagine those same words and imagine at the very end of the rant the person says in a neutral and natural tone, “What do you think?”
(Notice the difference: more neutral, humorous, engaged or something else?)
I did this exercise along with a room full of couple’s therapists and the room went from solemnity to bursts of laughter. Pretty big change with four words!
What do you think?
*(paraphrased from presentation by Peter Pearson and Ellyn Bader).