How to better myself in a relationship?
Arguments and disagreements cannot and should not be avoided in relationships, especially intimate relationships. Disagreements are a good thing! They prove that we are unique individuals with different perceptions and opinions than others, and we are not robotic creatures following a one-order law. However, arguments and disagreements can (and should) be communicated in a way that leaves both people feeling calm, heard, and understood.
The best way that I found to communicate properly in a relationship is to utilize the acronym PICAS, which stands for Process, Identify, Communicate, Acknowledge, and Support. PICAS is an acronym I came up with after discovering what my couples clients kept saying they need from each other. The first part of this skill: Process, Identify, and Communicate is for the person who may have been angered or triggered by something their partner has said. The PIC is to process what they're feeling, identify the feeling word and why they feel that way, and then communicate that in a healthy way. This process involves using I-statements and talking about feelings and triggers.
The second part of this is for the person responding. AC stands for Acknowledge and Support. That can be done in a number of different ways. Acknowledging is simply validating the person's feelings. This can simply be in the form of listening, or it can be by saying something like "I hear what you're saying." You should always acknowledge someone according to what acknowledgment (or validation) looks like for them.
The last part (Support) is simply adding something extra to reassure your love for the person who has just communicated their feelings to you. That is usually done like this, "I'm sorry for making you feel that way." PICAS is successful in relationships where two people are invested in the relationship and willing to give love, patience and meekness to push forward. If you want to know more about PICAS and how it works, please schedule an appointment with me and I will be happy to teach you more about it as well as how to set healthy boundaries and be overall happier in relationships.