Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For those couples wishing to enhance their sense of connection, Dr. Carolyn Daitch, Director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Farmington Hills, Michigan, has five easy tips to recommend.
C: Communication requires de-escalation: successful communication requires de-escalating your own heightened emotion before engaging your partner.
U: Understanding is NOT automatic: you and your partner are not always going to share the same perspective—so the assumption that your partner should, by default, understand your perspective can cause frustration and alienation for both of you.
P: Practice makes permanent: repeated practice, not just good intentions or a single instance of success, brings about the change in your relationship that you want to see.
I: Interdependence is the key: a good balance of dependence and independence is the key to healthy relationships.
D: De-escalate whenever needed: when you are in conflict with your partner and emotions start to escalate, take an immediate cease-fire, or “time-out” to calm down before re-engaging. Heightened emotion, whether it’s anxiety, fear, anger, or sadness, only heightens disconnect in an interaction. You need to de-escalate your own heightened emotion before you’re going to experience connection in any communication.
Embracing and putting these tips into action will help couples feel the warmth of Cupid’s arrow without its sting this Valentine’s Day.