Understanding your partner: The five gems

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Understanding your partner: the five gemsCommunication is one of the most common barriers in a relationship, yet open and honest communication can keep a couple together and is the key to building trust and harmony. It’s a skill that most of us have yet to master, but once you learn how to listen and understand your partner, it can make the whole world of difference.

Sometimes the last thing you want to do is give your partner the understanding that they seem unwilling to offer you, but it is important to recognize that if your partner has a problem in the relationship, then you do too.

In my practice, I use something called The Five Gems to help couples reach a point of understanding. The five gems have enormous value in interpersonal communication and I have seen a positive impact that these gems can have on a relationship. I want to share them with you now.

The Five Gems

  1. I understand
  2. I get it
  3. I see where you’re coming from
  4. If I were in your shoes, I would probably feel the same way
  5. It makes sense to me that you would feel that way

Now that you have these precious gems, I want you to give them to the person that does not understand you. The reason they do not understand you is that they are probably feeling the same way you are. Misunderstood, alone, and therefore, defending their point to the bitter end.

The gems are one of the most self-sustainable resources that we have in a relationship. Withholding understanding breeds selfishness, hostility and loneliness. Giving understanding cultivates love, teamwork and helpfulness.

These gems calm the waters between quarrelling couples. Instead of preserving your point, your side, your opinion, switch gears and start saying these gems. You are giving a gift to someone else and building a stronger foundation of your mutual understanding.

In individual counselling sessions I often say,

“We could talk about changing your partner for 20 years and they might not change one iota. If you change yourself now, you make it hard for them NOT to change.”

Please pass this gift of gems onto others.

How can your employee assistance program help you enhance your relationship?

If both partners feel the relationship is worth fixing, you can work together to learn the necessary skills to overcome these challenges with our Online Enhancing Your Relationship Program.

Call 1 866-833-7690 or use Online Access to request your Online Enhancing your Relationship Program.

Please Note: This information can be useful in relationships between two mature adults. In abusive relationships these gems might only cause the continuation of unhealthy patterns. Also, it is not helpful for adults to expect children to provide this type of understanding. It is up to the adult to teach this understanding to their children.

Written by David Solazzo, FT Edmonton Counsellor

 

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