Relationship problem? Tried Everything? What to Do?

If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a minute. –Mark Twain

When your relationship is less than wonderful, and you have run through your usual repertoire, here’s the plan: 1. Don’t react; Act. 2) Listen actively. 3) Do something surprising. 4. Change the context. It works with 3-month-olds, and it works with adults. Here’s my son Peter showing us how it’s done.

Actually, don’t wait till you’ve tried everything. Do it right up front, like this:

  • Don’t react.
  • Say “Yes” to what’s coming at you.
  • Listen, accept, and reflect back what you hear.
  • Ask “is that right?” and “Is there anything else.?”
  • Say something surprising. Something New. Something you have never even thought of before
  • Change the context.

It’s the fool-proof plan for all relationship problems, because it creates the conditions in which things can change–starting with yourself. And, as Peter shows, it can turn a conflict into fun.

Update: Allan Stern just sent me this story. Imagine a culture where people don’t get angry.

Please follow and like us:
This entry was posted in Brain Development, Children, Collaboration, Conflict and Issues, Creativity, Education, Fun, Genius, parenting, Relationships, SEL, Self-Actualization and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Relationship problem? Tried Everything? What to Do?

  1. Dawn says:

    Love it, Rick! The baby is adorable and the strategy is great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great Rick!!! And Kudos to Peter too of course. What’s the name of his playmate? Rob Wood

  3. Suz says:

    So precious. Mercury is in retrograde which means it looks like it’s going backwards around the sun. It’s not. “Experts” say it effects our communications misunderstandings, computer problems, disagreements etc. Such timely advice from you, Peter and the little one. Gracias 🙏

  4. Rick says:

    Peter’s daughter Anna is now 2-and-a-half.

  5. Bobby Richman says:

    Rick,
    Awesome post! If I had followed these guidelines I might have been able to save my marriage.

  6. Wonderful. The video shows it all. It takes some imagination and some courage to “make up” a conversation (that is, a dialogue). Kudos, Peter. I’ve enjoyed reading your responses to Rick’s posts, too.

  7. Maria says:

    This is so wonderful thank you for sharing.

  8. Rick says:

    A psychologist friend of mine sent me an email: “Validation and irreverence. This is exactly the strategy I use in therapy with my clients with borderline personality disorder and it works like a charm.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *