Did you know that good, artful negotiation skills may improve the quality of your marriage? It can by putting to rest endless nagging arguments that dredge up the past and rehash perceived wrongs. Those are the elements of a marriage’s self-destruction. Instead, learn negotiating skills to save your marriage from the very arguments that serve as a destructive force.
What Is The Difference Between Arguing and Negotiating?
The purpose is what differentiates arguing and negotiating. Arguing pushes people to compromise and give into their side. Negotiation’s purpose is to collaborate, which is to identify mutually beneficial outcomes that work for both people in the couple. In our society, compromise is given a good connotation, but it forces people to give up what they do not want to give up. It creates grudges and resentments and is not considered a good force. Instead, collaboration builds a result that is greater than the two parts and is beneficial to both as a whole.
Fair negotiations require love, hard work, and patience on both parts. Negotiation is like “communicating”. A lot of people wrongly assume they are good at it but are actually ineffective. Pay attention and be open to change because it is for the greater good.
The other part of arguments that are worth mentioning is that no one wins. Everyone loses and ends up with a grudge or resentment at the end of an argument. Arguments build over time, much like a snowball rolling down a mountain. Such emotional baggage stands to do long-term damage.
Learning Persuasive Negotiation Skills For Better Relationships
The idea with negotiation is to keep it simple and not allow yourself get deep in the woods, or off topic. In other words, do not overthink it.
The other myth in our society is that conflict is bad. Actually, conflict gives people a chance to air grievances to come to agreements and move on with a stronger relationship. Conflict is perfectly normal in all relationships, particularly an intimate relationship.
A committed relationship calls to both parties to put their unique skills and resources into a relationship to make it last. For that reason, people can start to feel entitled to rewards. Sometimes needs, beliefs, or values collide to create conflict. While conflict is natural, it is best to keep it from overtaking your marriage. Rather than engage in battle, treating the other as an enemy, think of yourselves as a team.
Create Fair Footing
One of the parties may be stronger at argumentation, and the other may be weaker. It is important that the stronger individual realizes that collaboration is key. Remind them that establishing equal footing makes for better outcomes for the couple as a whole.
Because negotiation is a lot of work, do not make negotiation a mainstay in every single conversation within the relationship. Only use it for true and bigger conflict that drives arguments.
If you have a difference of opinion about what music to listen to when driving back from a stressful event, like Thanksgiving with the in-laws, it is not the time to negotiate. Simply state your case, that it gives you a headache.
A bigger deal would be about money or a repeating pattern that is undermining the whole household. If one of the spouses needs to get back to work but is dragging their feet, it is worth addressing with a negotiation. Emotions need to be checked at the door. It is important to take a problem-solving approach, especially in intimate relationships. If you are not ready to release emotions, you are not yet ready to negotiate. Instead, be ready to express your needs and concerns. It should not dominate, but instead, just be stated. It is a good starting point to make a negotiation happen.
When They Are Emotional
Intimate relationships evoke emotions. If your spouse is particularly emotional, just accept it, but never use it as a weapon against them. If you call them names it is going to degrade the negotiation and causes long-term damage that is detrimental to the relationship. Instead, work as a peacemaker and calmly but directly let them know you can discuss it once they have calmed down. Do not make it about them at the same time. Suggest negotiating another day when emotional tension has calmed down.
It takes a good deal of restraint to keep it about the problem. It is not about getting back at your spouse. Remember, you are a team and both of you need to negotiate to make it about collaboration, not compromise.