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Better Communication and Less Conflicts Over Christmas

Christmas time can be a wonderful and joyous occasion, but can also be a stressful and difficult time for couples and families coming together. 


The Imago Dialogue, by Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt, is a unique and powerful communication tool I use with my couples. It gets them to slow down the dialogue so each person can be heard and understood. 



The imago dialogue is an opportunity when things start to get heated, to take a step back and secure a time to deal with the conflict, when it can be given the appropriate consideration. 


When a conflict occurs with your partner, just raise your hand gently and say ‘let’s do an imago together about this subject later.’ That way you are not dismissing what is being said to you. You are negotiating to talk it through as adults - so that resentments are not held and you both feel heard. 


 

Give this a practice with small events and when the big stuff presents itself this will help you receive and hear the message, and respond with an empathic approach helping ease tension.


Here is an example below:


Imago Dialogue - communication tool for couples who find themselves going round in circles


Speaker

Think of the subject that you want to discuss. This will be one subject only (per imago)

Speaker says - I feel frustrated when I ask you to……

 

Receiver

What I have heard you say is…?

(Repeat back exactly what you have heard)

 

Speaker

Then confirm if that correct.

 

Receiver

Is there anything else on this subject? (Only this subject)

 

Speaker

Yes (Small sentence again - be clear)

 

Receiver

Is there anything else on this subject? (Only this subject)


Speaker

No, that is all.

 

The receiver then will respond in a way that the speaker has been heard and show empathy and understanding for the feeling being expressed. 


Be clear on what you are asking for.


Look after each other and have a Happy Playful Christmas!


Love Lottie x

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