Being More Diplomatic In Your Relationship

September 3, 2018  |  
1 of 16

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/Business people relaxing

Diplomacy is important in all areas of life. The diplomatic person usually sees a better outcome than the aggressive person. What you have to remember is that, any time you want anything from someone—an apology, a change in behavior, an elimination of behavior, an admittance of fault—nobody ever wants to feel like they are losing. Nobody wants to feel like they are making too big of a compromise, or that they are being stepped all over. This came up recently when my boyfriend and I had to evacuate our apartment several days for construction and then our landlord wanted to raise our rent. I wanted to tell my landlord we could sue him for the lost days during construction; my boyfriend (he’s more diplomatic than I am) suggested that, instead, we offer to agree to a new three-year lease if they keep the rent the same. In his idea, nobody felt like they were losing or being forced to do anything they didn’t wan to do. My idea probably would have gotten us evicted so, I’m glad I listened to my boyfriend. I’ve learned a lot from him about diplomacy actually. Here are ways to be more diplomatic in your relationship.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/ couple talking in a laundromat

Always ask for explanations

Always give your partner a chance to explain himself. If he’s done something that upset you, ask him why he did it, or what his thinking was. Everyone appreciates a chance to “show their work” (like from the days of grade school) and sometimes, if you let them, you can avoid a fight.

relationship problems

A couple sitting down, chatting in the sun by the canal together.

Listen

Really listen when someone explains himself, or tries to apologize. Don’t just wait for the person to finish talking. And, thank him for explaining himself. People put their pride aside a lot to explain their bad actions.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/determined strong woman thinking

Take time to think

If you don’t know what to say right now, don’t say anything. Say the person has given you a lot to think about, and step away for a bit. Truly diplomatic people know that sometimes, when emotions are high, it’s best not to respond right away.

communication skills

A young African American couple sit on the park bench and look at some photo’s on their mobile phone

Ask if the issue will repeat itself

There are a lot of times in life when, an upsetting event occurs that will probably never occur again, or rarely occur again. For example, when you, your partner, and his sibling and his partner, all go to stay with their family and your partner didn’t claim the good bedroom for you (you have sleep issues). You—all of you—may not be under the same roof again for years to come. So it’s not a fight worthy picking—you see?

healthy relationships

Gettyimages.com/couple being affectionate

Think of a net benefit

Rather than thinking of what’s best for you, ask yourself what’s best for everyone. Remind yourself that if getting what you want will directly make your partner unhappy, then you won’t even be happy. Ask yourself which outcome will make the most people happy.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/woman thinking and concerned

Consider if you’ve also been guilty

Before getting upset with your partner, ask yourself if you’ve ever made the same mistake or a similar mistake. You probably have, and remembering that will humble you, and help you be less upset.

healthy relationship tips

Gettyimages.com/Romantic couple preparing vegan meal together

Set reasonable expectations

When you set expectations, ask yourself what is actually reasonable to expect of the other person. Don’t require things of your partner that would make him bend over backward or would make his life difficult. Don’t just ask yourself what you want; ask yourself what is doable for your partner.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/Mid adult woman points her finger at her husband during a marriage counseling session.

Don’t use negative language

Avoid negative language like “fault” “bad” “wrong” and “blame.” Nobody responds well to these words and they have a way of stopping a conversation completely.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/Portrait of bored woman over black background. Young female is with curly hair. She is wearing top.

Never assume intention

Nobody likes it when you assume what their intention was. For example, nobody likes it when you say, “You were trying to hurt me by doing this” or “You were just looking out for yourself when you did this.” You really don’t know what their intention was.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/Cropped shot of a young couple in a coffee shop

Praise progress

Often, the first thing someone thinks when you point out their mistake is that you aren’t appreciating all the times they did the thing the right way. So, it goes a long way to acknowledge those times, before discussing the current mistake.

family time ideas

Gettyimages.com/Two African-American men in their 30s, brothers, enjoying a cookout in their back yard. They are standing at the grill, one of them wearing an apron and holding tongs, and the other holding a drink. They are smiling and looking at the camera.

Consider the other’s background

Always try to keep your partner’s history in mind when he does something that bothers you. What was his childhood like? His last relationship? What are his parents like? Remember that this mistake doesn’t exist in a vacuum; your partner’s experiences led him to do this.

family time ideas

Gettyimages.com/Couple drinking tea in the living room on a couch

Evaluate energy levels and capability

Don’t ask yourself whose turn it is to do this or that (pick the restaurant, clean the car). Ask yourself who really needs the break today, or who has the energy level and mental capacity to do it. Don’t keep score. Be a team, and put the person most capable of the task at that moment up to it.

communication skills

Gettyimages.com/couple communicating

Apologize

Apologize even when you’ve done nothing wrong. Remember that apologizing doesn’t have to mean admitting a mistake; it can simply mean feeling sympathetic to your partner’s pain.

healthy relationship advice

Gettyimages.com/Rear view of a man welcomes his girlfriend on harabor, embracing woman.

Be empathetic

It goes a long way to just ask yourself what the other person is going through, what their day is like, and what else is going on in their lives when they disappoint you. It doesn’t excuse what they’ve done, but it helps you calm down and react diplomatically.

healthy relationship advice

Gettyimages.com/Happy African American couple at home hugging and looking at the camera smiling – lifestyle concepts

living together girlfriend

Gettyimages.com/Happy young woman embracing man in new house. Loving husband and wife are with cardboard boxes in apartment. They are wearing casuals.

Rework your idea of “winning”

Winning doesn’t mean proving you’re right. It doesn’t mean getting what you and you alone want. Think about winning as a situation by which everyone walks away feeling respected and heard.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN