The Best Way To Ask For What You Want In Your Relationship

Criticism2You won't always like each other...

That's not the nicest way to start a blog, but it's the truth. Sometimes, your mate will embody behaviors that rub you the wrong way.

Whether it's the sting of the way they bluntly express the truth or the fact that they never really let you finish your thoughts before they butt in with an opinion of their own.

But for many of us, being able to express our discontent with those things while avoiding an argument is something we sorely lack the ability to do.

Here are five ways to approach asking for your mate to change their behavior that will lead to a conversation where you'll both be heard and understood and not end up in another fight:

1. Context is key

Instead of pouring out your feelings in the middle of the game, consider approaching your mate at a time where you'll both be open and receptive to talking about sensitive topics. If you're not sure, a simple "hey, I wanted to have a few moments to chat with you...when is a good time for you?" Shows you respect their time and attention span.

2. Have a solution in mind

Complaining about something without offering a solution will likely leave your mate feeling guilty about their behavior and confused as to what to do instead next time. Before you bring upon issue, have a potential solution in mind, even if it's just a suggestion, so they have an idea of what it is you're really looking for them to do that would leave you happy.

3. Express gratitude

A great way to mitigate the chances of defensiveness on their end is to express what it is you DO like before you express what it is you DON’T like. They're more likely to be receptive to your criticism if they only feel like you have a problem with something specific they do, as opposed to having a problem with who they are.

4. Be specific

There are few things more annoying than your mate telling you they have a problem with you, but aren't sure why. Take the time to think through the specifics of why you feel the way you do and what it has to do with your mate's behaviors. If you have an example, approach them with that and explain how it made you feel.

5. Be patient

We often expect our mate to quickly change their behavior after we suggest a change to them. But it’s important to understand that their natural inclination is to do what they were used to doing all along. Be patient with their process. Support them without pressuring them. And give them credit for their efforts. Positive reinforcement is more effective than criticism.

At the end of the day, the main lesson to take away from all this is that it’s often not about what you say, but how you say it that will determine whether you walk away feeling heard and understood rather than frustrated and upset.