Monday, March 11, 2019

Tips for more effective couple communication

Last time, I introduced a really helpful perspective called ECU(A). The more I guided my clients with it, the more I am convinced that it is really effective. However, there have been some questions about the implementation of this ECU(A), and I will talk about it today.

The concept of ECU(A) is quite simple. You Express your needs/wants to your partner. If it does not work, don’t become distant but get Closer, and then Understand your partner’s feelings, thoughts, and experience, instead of defending yourself, offending your partner, or even trying to make yourself understood by your partner. And as needed, you Act sweet to get it done.

The biggest challenge here for many couples often is how to put it into effect when you get emotionally charged. Even if you know what to do, you may be too upset to do it. This is a reasonable and realistic concern. If you are too flooded with emotion, you cannot put it into practice correctly. Therefore, you need to take care.

There are a few effective strategies when you are too upset to implement the ECU strategy.

First one is taking Time Out. You take some break to calm down first. It could be 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days. It depends on how badly you are flooded with emotion and how much time you need to calm down. The length is not usually a problem, unless it is a time sensitive issue. The most important thing when you take time out is to let your partner know when you will get back to them. It is your obligation to let your partner know when the conversation resumes. Without doing this, your time out will just work as a passively aggressive behavior, and it will not help. Without setting the time to resume, you can never take time out.

Secondly, calm down together. You can take a deep breath together with your partner, for example. You can also make some tea and have a break together, take a walk quietly together, any activity that makes both you and your partner calm down is great. Once calmed down, now you can resume your ECU(A).

By the way, this “A” part is sometimes forgotten. Chanel your inner actor/actress to perform it well in a sweet and loving manner. Your partner is not your enemy and hurting your partner is hurting yourself, that’s why this “A” is really worth it. Sometimes some people say, “Oh but it is not my authentic self!” or the like, but if your “authentic self” is acting uncooperatively and it is hurting yourself and your partner, you really need to think about it, don’t you? If you implement it well, you will find it very effective. Try it and see what happens!

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