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Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of relationships while learning how to love + be loved, better.

The Blog

Filtering by Tag: courage

Communication Tip #1: Language & Courage

Emily Porta

Hi there! Today I want to talk to you about two really important elements of communication.  I know so many couples come to me (and individuals) saying, "I just need some help with some communication skills."  

 

 
 

So, today I want to share with you two elements that are really important-- language and courage.  Now, that may sound kind of funny, like they don't really go together, but they do!  

Let me just give you an example:  So, a girlfriend and I were texting and having a conversation and I made a point and her next text to me, her response was, "Fair enough."  That's it.  No emojis.  No nothing.  So I didn't really know how to take this.  I didn't understand what that meant to her, but I can tell you for me, I had an internal reaction to that, it wasn't super great.  

It was kind of confusing, so I just paused for a moment and we have a really great relationship so I knew I could get kind of vulnerable with her and find the courage to say to her, "Hey, what did you mean by saying, 'fair enough?’  Was that disapproving? Was that a 'oh hey i never thought of it that way’? Help me understand what that meant."  And her response was immediate: "Oh my goodness, it was ‘thanks for the insight I hadn't thought of it that way.’ Thanks for checking in with me."  

And that just proved to me, how important it is that we find the courage when we are confused or we're triggered or we're upset by something someone has said to us or done to us, or we've experienced from them.  If we're having a reaction to it, instead of just reacting and making it worse, can we pause, find the courage and just get really curious with someone?  

We take in information through our own filters-- we all do this-- but we are also responsible for our own reactions and our responses to things.  So, when you can slow down just long enough to say, "Hey, help me understand."  The person on the other end will truly not only appreciate it, but they have an opportunity to connect deeper with you.  How important is that?  

So, communication-- be sure to listen for language and see if you can find your own courage to get curious and clarify when you're having a response to something.  I hope this has been helpful and I want to hear from you guys-- how are you utilizing this?  How is this showing up in your relationship?  

This week, what are you doing and what did it look like?  And maybe it fell flat!  That’s ok too!  We can work on it! Reach out and let us know!  Alright you guys, I'll talk to you again next week.  Buh-bye!

Do You Go to Bed Mad?

Emily Porta

Is the old adage that you should never go to bed angry really true?

Like many of you, I love reading the little articles on relationship advice.  I love reading to hear what people are saying what works for them, what doesn't. 

And I was just reading an article that was saved on my computer. I think it has some really great little nuggets in there and it's called "15 Ways to stay married for 15 years."  And number 1 on the list is "Go to bed mad."  

I love this because I think it's been years and years of kind of old school thinking that we have to resolve our conflicts before we go to bed with our partners.  We have to make sure everything is off the plate to start fresh the next day and I just don't agree with that. 

Especially just thinking about John Gottman research that says 69% of our problems are completely unsolvable.  So, things that are going to continue to come up we're never going to get to a place with our partner where we can say, "You know what, you're right.  Let's just--I agree with you.'"  Not necessarily. 

So, I love that you can go to bed mad.  What this does is actually gives us that recalibration that I'm always talking about when it comes to conflict. It gives us an opportunity to get a good night's sleep, to let our bodies literally calm down. 

Because often times when we get really overwhelmed and something happens to our bodies called "getting flooded" where our heart rate just skyrockets, our blood pressure skyrockets.  All of these physiological things happen that it literally takes a physical act of relaxation and rest so that we get through that situation and we can think rationally and have that conversation. 

So, the next time you and your partner are having a fight or even just a little tiny argument, remember, Robyn said its OK to go to bed mad. 

And the important part is to remember, how do you come back together the next day?  How do you say, "Let's try this again."  Or, "Can we revisit this?"  That's the important piece of this. 

So, I want to hear from you.  Do you go to bed mad?  Do you think it's something that is allowed in your relationship?  And, I wonder if it hasn't been up to this point, what would happen if you tried it? 

I hope this was helpful.  Leave a comment or you can shoot me an email: Robyn@TheHappyCoupleExpert.com.