For many of us relationships with our significant other, family and friends can be challenging to navigate. Sometimes, this can be because the other has no interest in having a healthy relationship with us but I often come across individuals who want to have a healthy relationship with one another but still find this to be challenging.
Relationships often fail due to a breakdown in communication.
When the other person is complaining about something we might have said or done, they are often communicating a need. By listening for their need within their complaint, we can come to a compromise about how to best meet their need without disadvantaging ourselves. When we have a complaint about the other, it is often because we have a need that is left unmet. It is useful to explore what we need from the relationship and voice it as a need rather than criticizing the other's words or behaviour. Criticism often puts the other on the defensive and the criticism turns into an argument.
Yes this is easier said than done mainly because of the involvement of our emotions in response to their criticism or behaviour. In these instances, self-awareness can be key as it would help us identify the source of our emotional response and manage our reaction in a more productive way.