Christmas is over, you've maxed out on 'couple time' and all you really wish for is a literal Silent Night.
You may have survived the 'Turkey Dump' danger zone, but still - 'tis the season for your other half to wreck your head.
Extra time spent together, family pressures, and plans for the new year are all contributing factors to relationship blow-outs, but an expert has advised that this key phrase can stop an argument before it starts.
What is it? Simple.
'I see where you're coming from. What you're saying is...'
Professor of psychology and author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work, Eli Finkel, says:
"Sometimes we feel we're conveying what we mean, but the message isn't being received in the way we intended it.
He goes on: "When your partner expresses frustration with you, instead of firing off a defense, first rephrase their concerns ("So you're saying my comments about your family put you in a tough spot"). That signals to them that you're trying to understand their point, says Finkel. Then state your case as feelings rather than facts:
"When you say that, I feel like I'm in second place to your family," instead of "You diminish me when we're with them."
So to sum up - you don't have to agree with them, but you do have to show that you're listening and trying to understand, and that you expect the same in return.
*Disclaimer - might not work if the argument is Netflix-based.*