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Dr. Ashley & Dr. Michael

Communication Problems – YOU’RE FAT, LAZY AND A DEAD FISH IN THE SACK!

 

Communication Problems and misunderstandings often lead to relationship problems. But you don’t have to believes us, let’s start with a story…….

 

YOU’RE FAT, LAZY AND A DEAD FISH IN THE SACK!

 

How would it feel if your husband came home from work and told you that? Ya all the women reading this want to collectively stomp on this guy’s *$%#* with their sharpest 8 inch stilettos.

 

Believe it or not, a guy Ashley was working with said this to his wife. Even more surprising, he explained that he said it to her for her own good.

 

What???? “YOU’RE FAT, LAZY AND A DEAD FISH IN THE SACK!”

 

How can saying that to anyone be good for them?

 

Well, first of all it’s not good for anyone, but the important part is the husband thought it was a good thing.  The worst part is that the husband most likely had good and positive intentions behind saying these things.  In fact, 99% of the things you and your partner do and say to one another have good and positive intentions behind them.

 

The problem is you don’t have your intentions written all over your face. People can only see and feel how you act and that’s what they react to.

 

Misaligned intentions, behaviors, and results can wreak some serious havoc on your relationships!

 

That’s right. There are 3 parts to your interactions with your lover:

 

Your Intentions – Your intentions are the reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. Our intentions motivate our behavior. Like we said before, 99% of the time people have positive intentions behind their behavior.

Your Behaviors – This what you actually do and say to your lover.

The Results – The results are the outcome of your interaction with your lover. So, what happens as a result of your behaviors toward your lover?

 

Most people get into the habit of focusing solely on their own intentions and their lover’s behaviors when interacting with each other.

 

The guy above is the perfect example. He focused on how he would like his wife to improve her health by exercising more and how he would like to have a more active sex life with her because he thinks about having sex with her a lot.

 

Those were his intentions…

Unfortunately, his behavior was actually telling his wife “ You’re fat, lazy and a dead fish in the sack!”

The results were that his wife felt horrible about herself and World War III erupted in the house for a couple of days.

His wife wasn’t aware of his positive intentions. She just saw and felt his behavior.

 

If you’re looking to improve your relationship, then get started by focusing on all three aspects of your communication – your intentions, behaviors and results.

 

A wife wanted to spend more time with her husband because he was her best friend and she thought he was working too much. Her intentions were to spend more time with the smart, funny and intelligent man she loves.

 

She started to tell him he was working too much and that he was selfish for thinking only about his work. She also yelled at him about how he loved his work more than her and that he probably didn’t love her anymore. This was her behavior (which she was completely unaware of by the way – she was only thinking about her positive intentions underlying her behavior).

 

The results were that her husband actually wanted to spend less time with her because she was frequently mean, insulting and yelling at him. She did notice the results, but blamed her husband for everything.

 

It’s sad because loving, well-intentioned couples often get stuck in this communication problem and this can quickly turn a soul mate into an enemy pretty quickly.

 

 

The wife could’ve avoided all the pain associated with the situation by focusing on her intentions of wanting to spend more time with her husband and thinking about what behavior could help her get what she wants.

 

She would then try her best behavioral option and see what the results are. She may then have to be flexible in her behavior and try another behavior that could help her fulfill her intentions if she isn’t getting the results she wants.

 

The key is to think about what you want (your intentions) in your communication and choose your behavior accordingly. If you aren’t getting the results you want, then it’s important that you remind yourself of your intentions and choose an alternative behavior that might get you the results you want. Then you just keep this process up until you get what it is that you want.

 

So, remember, we all have a natural tendency to focus on our positive intentions and not our own behavior or the results of the situation. You want to focus on all three aspects and change your behavior until your intentions, behavior, and results are all aligned.

 

It’s also helpful to remind yourself of these principles when you’re mad at or hurt by your lover. We normally only focus on our lover’s behavior, but it can be helpful to remember that your lover most likely has positive intentions behind their behavior (even if they seem like their acting un-loving and crazy).

 

Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn