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Vexation with your Valentine? Try this communication tip rooted in ancient wisdom

Vexation with your Valentine? Try this communication tip rooted in ancient wisdom

by Grace Ganel, L.Ac.

It’s no secret that communication is key to a strong relationship. We often forget ourselves in the heat of the moment, disregarding our partner’s feelings in the wake of our own. Next time you’re not feeling heard, try this instead.

Make a Request

Though it would seem simple enough, it’s important that we define what is meant by request and how someone can respond to one. A request includes a question and the specific conditions of completion. A simple example is, “Can you please take out the trash right now?” The person receiving the request can then do one of three things: agree (“Yes, I will do that now”), refuse (“No, my back hurts too much to take out the trash”), or make a counter-offer (“I can’t do that right now. I can take out the trash in 15 minutes, is that ok?”).

These three options are essential to the structure of a request. If you won’t give the other person the option to decline or counteroffer, what you’ve actually made is a demand. This is also a valid way to get help with something, but it is important to know the difference between these two things, and use the one you intend to use. In a demand, if the person does not complete the demand, there is a consequence. For example, “Take out the trash now. We’re on our way out the door for a three week trip, and if you don’t do it now the house will stink when we come back.”

Determine what you need or want from your partner. Maybe you’re not feeling well supported in your passions, or you’re not feeling heard by your partner. What do you want your partner to do differently? Be very clear about this with yourself so you can express it to them. Now, is this a request or a demand? Would it be okay if they declined to do this? Be sure to express the nature of the request or demand clearly when you communicate with your partner.

In this way, you can create a common language with your loved ones, to keep lines of communication open and cultivate a sense of partnership and intimacy. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has understood that clarity gives rise to joy. Now you can incorporate this ancient wisdom into your life!

If you're struggling to put this theory into practice, or if life isn't going as smoothly as you would like, I would love to help you. Schedule your acupuncture or zero balancing session now.

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