DBT is used to deal with high emotions.
It emphasizes the importance of collaborating in a relationship and skill development.
One example of an exercise is DEAR MAN: Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Mindful, Appear and Negotiate.
Use this to set healthy boundaries in your relationship.
Now, let's go more into depth about what DEAR MAN means!
Describe means to describe your situation using facts.
With Express, you tell your partner how the situation makes you feel.
Help them understand why this situation matters to you through elaboration.
Use "I" statements for this.
With Assert, be specific in letting your partner know what you want.
Mindfulness is important because without it you may be distracted.
Stay in the current situation, express your wants and feelings, then deeply listen to your partner.
Then, throughout all this you want to appear confident.
This means that despite your feelings, you want to speak clearly, straighten your posture and keep your head up.
The last step is Negotiate.
Remember that in relationships you need to compromise.
Through DEAR MAN, you are simply making a request, not a demand.
Now, we would like to make sure you understand the "I" statements briefly mentioned.
It is a well-known communication exercise.
During conflict, couples may want to shame, criticize, blame and point, which is not part of an "I" statement.
Bringing up the other person at the beginning of your statement leads to detachment and disconnection, which means it is highly discouraged.
Instead, say "I feel…" or "I want…" to better engage in communication exercises for couples.
While your partner is expressing their feelings or needs, don't interrupt them if you want to participate in active listening.
You don't want your partner to feel like you know more than them.
We suggest setting a clock for a solid five minutes, and let one partner speak that whole time about whatever thoughts they have.
They can be about relationship stress, friendships, work, school, children, or anything else!
The listening partner can use nonverbal communication and gestures to indicate they are listening, however, they can't speak during the five minutes.
At the end of the speaker's time, the listener can ask about clarification they need about any points.
This only makes sure that the listener understood.
One the five minutes is up, switch to the other partner and repeat this active listening exercise.
Mirroring is something to try if you feel your partner doesn't hear your words.
Like the active listening exercise above, this has only one person speaking at once.
When the first person has their turn, they will express their feelings with an explanation.
The listener will say, "So what I heard you say was…"
Then, they'll ask the speaker to "Tell me more" if they understood everything the speaker said.
Then, the speaker can continue talking.
This back-and-forth keeps going until the speaker feels everything they had to say has been said.
This technique works because it affects the brain, which when it feels heard actually relaxes.
Now, you may be wondering about "note writing."
The big benefit of writing a note to your partner is that you can freely express yourself without being interrupted.
Instead, you will feel heard and likely not get into an argument.
Your partner can even read the note many times before they respond for enhanced understanding.
It is something to try for anyone who struggles with confrontation.
In these notes, you want to ensure you use "I" messages to explain how certain situations or actions make you feel.
The 40-20-40 is used for compassionate listening and conflict resolution.
During this exercise, communication time is split.
Each partner gets 40% of the time, while the remaining 20% goes to discussion between the partners.
During each partner's time, they speak about their feelings without interruption.
Accusatory statements are not allowed.
If you and your partner would like a method of constructive conversation, then this would be great to try!
You may not think of this as one of the communication exercises for couples, but it improves communication.
A couple must work together to plan the trip, and it is fun.
It gets a couple out of an everyday routine, and will make communication less stressful.
A trip lets couples unwind and relax.
When couples are calmed down once on the trip, they can easily connect and converse.
It is important to stay together during the trip because that is an opportunity to communicate positively.
While en route to the destination, and on the way back, there is also time to communicate.
Communication exercises for couples will make a relationship more comfortable and pleasant.
When the parties communicate in a healthy manner, they will be better off in the relationship for it.
Without effective communication, there will be a lot of anxiety.
We hope these 6 communication exercises for couples prove beneficial.
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