The Best 5 Tips to Repair Broken Relationships Using Negotiation Skills : Psychologists say the quality of your life is often a direct result of the quality of your relationships. If you surround yourself with love and support, you tend to blossom and live your best life. Strained relationships usually come with lots of stress that eats at your peace and saps the joy out of your day-to-day life.
Thankfully, with the right negotiation skills, it’s usually not too late to build bridges and patch up broken relationships. Let’s take a look at how you can repair relationships to boost the quality of your life.
Control your emotions
Emotions can make or break a relationship. When you’re trying to rebuild a relationship, it’s often important to put a leash on your emotions. Bursting out or showing signs of impatience may put the other person off and stop the relationship from healing.
Using techniques taught on an online negotiation platform can be useful for controlling your emotions. When you feel your emotions are about to bubble over, keep them in check by:
- Acknowledging what your emotions are: Often, simply labeling your emotions can reduce their power over you.
- Finding a different outlet: Journaling, speaking to a supportive friend, or speaking to a therapist are some healthy options for expressing your emotions.
- Hitting the pause button when things get heated: Instead of reacting in the moment, stop and think before you speak.
- Focusing on the bigger picture: Remember that feelings are transient. “This too shall pass.”
Getting a handle on your emotions often helps to melt the tension so that you can both openly and honestly talk things through.
Practice active listening
Communication helps to smoothen rocky relationships. One effective method of communication that online courses teach is active listening. Actively listening to the other person enables you to pick up on hidden undertones and nonverbal cues.
For example, if you have a strained relationship with your child, they may not immediately warm up to attempts to repair the fractured bonds. Your child may find it difficult to verbalize why they feel that way. However, through active listening, you can dig deeper into the real reasons for their anger or distress.
Some useful active listening techniques you can use include:
- Paying full attention to the other person and not interrupting or trying to top what they said. For example, avoid making statements like, “This reminds me of when I was your age…”
- Clearing the air when you don’t understand by asking questions without patronizing them.
- Patiently waiting for the other person to finish. Don’t rush to fill the silence.
- Using nonverbal gestures to show you are listening. For example, try leaning in or smiling when you need to.
- Reading nonverbal clues. For instance, crossed arms with clenched fists may show that the other person is still closed off, which could mean they need more time.
It’s usually also important to paraphrase what the other person is saying so you can both be crystal clear that you understand each other.
Ask the right questions
Negotiation courses and platforms often teach that asking the right questions sets the tone for finding a win-win outcome. In relationships, it’s important for both sides to feel like they’re getting value from the reunion or mending of the relationship.
When you ask the right questions, you can frame the discussion in a way that encourages the other person to open up to uncover where things went wrong. For example, when trying to resolve a romantic relationship, you can ask questions that lead your partner to talk about their perspective.
For example, “Can you help me to understand what [a particular habit you dislike which means a lot your partner, e.g., playing online video games] means to you?”
When you try to see things from the other person’s point of view, it can make them feel validated, cutting through some of the tension. Remember to show empathy when you ask questions, and avoid questions that sound pointed or passive-aggressive.
Accept the differences and open up to talk
Human relationships are built on trust and complex emotional connections. When the link is broken for any reason, it can be difficult to get the people involved to talk to each other.
This unwritten code of silence when people don’t see eye to eye usually opens up a bigger rift. Talking to the other person is usually the first step to mending fences.
So, how do you start talking to someone you might not have spoken to for a while?
You can ease into a discussion by using an online platform like Facebook or sending an email. An online message gives the other person time to warm up and is less confronting than meeting face to face or talking on the phone.
Reaching out in this way gives the other person a chance to decide if they want to respond or not, taking the pressure off the other person. It also lets you know that if they do respond, they aren’t just acting out of pressure, so there’s a chance they want to mend the relationship too.
Know when to walk away
Fixing a valuable relationship builds a road to a happier, healthier life. However, when the strain of mending the relationship becomes bigger than the benefits, it could be time to call it quits.
Negotiation training teaches how important is it to know when to pump the brakes on talks. If it’s clear that there’s no way of seeing eye to eye, you’re often better off without that relationship.
If the prospect of a reunion has dragged on for too long with no real progress, regardless of what that person means to you, it could be time to walk away. Remember, walking away doesn’t have to be forever. However, a break in the relationship might be what you both need right now.
Overall, with the right negotiation skills, you can put in the work to repair your relationships and build a stronger, happier life.
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