Pro Tip: When one word says it all

The tune of a conflict can easily hinge on one word.

And once one individual models this simple strategy, it can be easily mirrored. 

The approach is simple and straightforward...

When you are speaking with your partner, choose to deliberately REPLACE the word "but" with the word "and".

The word "but" signifies something that can be mutually exclusive, generate feelings of defensiveness, and increase the likelihood of detachment with your partner. 

Whereas the word "and" allows room for inclusion and cooperation as well as signifies an attempt to find an adequate solution. 

This exercise can be challenging to integrate if you or your partner are used to arguing with exclusions or conditions. However, mindfully putting this strategy into practice can shift a conflict from contention to cooperation by replacing just one word.

This uncomplicated method can transform each partner's understanding of the conflict and aid in developing stronger communication skills as a couple.