Change your usual conflict patterns or styles
Do the opposite to how you would normally act in an argument. This includes tone of voice, how you react, and the setting of the argument. For example, if you normally yell in an argument, use a quieter tone of voice, if you normally argue in the kitchen, move to another room in the house.
Do a 180: Change your usual “pursuer- withdrawer” pattern
This refers to how you react in the relationship to conflict, by either pursuing your partner or by withdrawing from your partner. When conflict arises, choose to react differently to how you would normally. Find a suitable time to sit down and talk about what’s bothering you.
Catch your partner doing something right
Speak to your partner about things they have done right in the recent past. By praising them, they will feel more positive about the relationship and you will find that you will appreciate them more.
Unpack vague, blaming, and loaded words; instead, use action talk
The use of action talk focuses on the behaviour of your partner rather than making negative blaming statements towards them. For example, instead of saying “You think all my ideas are stupid,” you could say “When you don’t respond to my ideas, I feel as though I am not worthy of a response.”
Change your complaints into “action requests”
Action requests should be used to tell your partner what behaviour you want them to change. For example, instead of saying “You don’t like to do anything with me,” you could say “Why don’t we make a date night on Wednesday, once a week.
Make a specific plan for change
It is a good idea to develop a specific plan with your partner about how the change will occur. Documenting the process will make it more concrete and give you something to compare your results with.
Focus on how you (not your partner) can change, and take responsibility for making that change
You need to assume responsibility to make changes in your relationship. This should occur in situations that aren’t harmful or destructive.
Blow off your partner’s stereotype of you
Find out what your partner’s stereotype is of you and try and do the opposite (in cases where it may be negative). For example, your partner thinks of you as being lazy so do the opposite of this and make an effort such as helping to clean the house.
Stop and listen to your partner and try and see where he or she is coming from. Don’t interrupt or try to correct what they are saying.