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Mar 11

Keep Your Love Alive – Choose Win-Win

Posted on Friday, March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Tired of the tensions, frustrations, whining, mumbling and fighting?!?

Choose to listen and then choose a win-win solution.

When we choose to view our loved one’s problem as our own, we’re much more likely to get serious about working together to work it out. The possibility of achieving a “win-win” rather than an “I win, you lose” scenario is much more likely.

As Gary Smalley explained:

4. In a mutually satisfying relationship, both people’s needs are expressed, and they have the flexibility to give and take.

Sadly, I have gotten this wrong more times than I would like to admit.

Too often I thought what I was thinking and trying to deal with was most important to me. “After all,” I thought, “Amy is strong, intelligent, an excellent problem solver and resilient. I need to help ____ whose load is so much greater right now.”

I listen to friends and lovers, parents and teens, who use this kind of logic to ignore or minimize the concerns they hear because they “have too much to do” or they “have to help someone else.”

Whose Problem Is It?

You and I need to remember that if it pertains to you, it’s your problem, too. It’s tempting to say, “I don’t have the problem, you have the problem!” to dismiss them, but if there’s trouble in your relationship, it belongs to both of you!

I know mysilentscream readers use a variety of coping styles. You may not be like me, but this probably summarize your most common coping style:

The “you win and I lose” solution is a passive solution where one individual gives up his rights to another.
The “you lose and I win” solution is an aggressive solution where one individual ignores the rights of another in order to get his way.
The “you lose and I lose” solution is a total passive solution where both individuals give up their rights. A healthy resolution is impossible.
The “you win and I win” solution is an assertive solution where the rights of both parties are recognized, respected, and utilized in reaching a healthy compromise. *

Examine your need to win, your need to be right or your need to control others. Win-win” relationships are typically far less stressful and destructive than “win-lose” relationships. Look for way to win without making others lose.

Tips On Choosing Win-Win In Your Life

Teens and Kids:

Your friends are often your most important relationships right now, but blowing off your responsibilities at home to help a friend does not make anyone one’s life better.  Talk it out, negotiate with your folks and then follow through on what you said, then everyone wins!


Be willing to meet your child or teen’s needs for power or control within limits that do not disempower yourself or others. Emphasize goals, options, choices, solutions and positive consequences to reduce power struggles.

Look for ways to meet both your needs and your teen’s. Ask her or him to propose solutions that will work for everyone or that everyone can live with. Develop a habit of asking “How can we both get what we want?”

Encourage cooperation by following through on your logical consequences and boundaries (for example, withholding privileges and positive outcomes until your child does his or her part) rather than yelling, punishing or hitting.


Don’t get stuck. Listen to one another and then focus on your hopes and dreams together rather than the hurt feelings. Long-term goals and wise decision making will help you achieve the results you want.

Remember each of your needs for love, limits, attention, acceptance, power, success, belonging and safety need to be met in healthy, constructive ways.

We would all be wise to follow the biblical principle of  “if you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”  Ouch!  It’s found here.

* The link was inactive, otherwise I’d give the author credit.

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