I recently heard someone say that marriage is the upstream of a culture, that when a community is filled with healthy marriages, everything else—child development, work productivity, economics—becomes healthier, too.
Maybe you can relate, but I find that conflict at home makes everything in my life feel harder. And conversely, when I feel like my relationship with Marc is steady and happy, it feels like the rest of my life becomes easier and more manageable.
I imagine most of us are striving for more love and less conflict. This week’s guest has devoted an entire book to the topic.
Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist and best-selling author of ten books, including More Love Less Conflict: A Communication Playbook for Couples, which we dove into for this interview. He has reached over 100 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. Jonathan has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show, as well as many other national TV talk shows, and he’s been featured in USA Today, Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times.
I read Jonathan’s book in advance of our interview and was blown away by all the simple yet highly effective exercises it offers to help readers become better communicators, learn to diffuse conflict and create more relatedness. Jonathan explains many of the exercises in our interview, giving us all some practical tips we could start using immediately.
1. What most relationships need is more understanding and empathy. Often in the case of conflict, we can see that underneath the anger and hurt is someone who just wants to be understood and cared about.
2. Good communication is the most important ingredient in good relationships. A good first start is to begin the practice of every day telling your partner something you appreciate about them.
3. Say thank you from your heart, like Jonathan’s guru recommends. Fill your heart with gratitude and it could change the energy of the relationship almost instantly.
4. There are five key attitudes of great communicators: curiosity, generosity, vulnerability, gratitude and responsibility. See where you could bring more of these to your relationships.
5. The more of an inside job you make your life, the happier you and your relationships will become.
6. Slow way down. There are so many distractions stopping us from getting the depth of connection we really need. Create time to slow down and really connect.
7. Try asking your partner the question: “what would make you feel more loved by me?” Really hear their response. Relationships are fluid, constantly in flux. They change over time, people change over time. It pays to take time to check-in with your partner from time to time.
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A big, huge thanks to Jonathan Robinson for being my guest this week! To connect with him and get his free 12 “Instant Intimacy” questions, head to morelovelessconflict.com.
Until next time,