Over at Psychology Today, mental health professional Steven Stosny recommends negotiation rather than coercion, manipulation, persuasion or “incentive/bartering” to prompt your spouse or other romantic partner to do what you want him to do.
“We’ve evolved a few tricks over the millennia,” writes Stosny, “but most of them are not adaptable to complex modern relationships.”
After condemning manipulation, coercion, bartering and persuasive argument, Stosny unsurprisingly recommends negotiation focused on feelings rather than on behavior, a distinction without a difference for those who realize that love is not a feeling but an action.
Though I’m no marriage counselor and certainly not a psychologist or therapist, I do know a bit about how people in conflict manage to transcend their disputes, transform their relationships, and find mutually satisfactory means of turning cross-purposes into shared values.
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