Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D spoke with Elite Daily about ways to squash 6 common fights when you live with other people.
Rather than jumping into “we always do everything together” or “you’ve become clingy,” Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, therapist and conflict expert, suggests pointing out a specific thing you want to change. Stay away from “absolutist” language like “always” or “never,” and frame your thoughts around you, not them. From there you can state your need in an observational and concrete way, instead of labeling or shaming the other person.
For example, you might say, “Hey, I noticed we often spend the entire weekend together, and lately, I’ve been missing my friends. This weekend, I need to have some solid friend time.”
The more you practice making these statements, the easier it will become. When you know that you can both state your needs freely without hurting the other (e.g., “Hey, I need some alone time tonight” instead of, “You always smother me right when I come home from work”), you can keep lines of communication open without causing each other to feel defensive.
“In most cases, once the defenses go up, there’s no communicating,” Forshee says.
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