If You’re Not Doing This, You’re Having The Wrong Conversation

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What you want to do is create an agreement with each other that when we’re starting to get escalated, an alarm goes off. You know,  “wait a minute, I want to have a conversation about this, but I can’t think very clearly right now. So I’m going to take half an hour and walk around the block and come back.” Because,you can actually stop having the same argument over and over.


If you can talk about things from of state of relative relaxation, remembering you care about this other person, that is where a relationship is transformed. That is were, suddenly, problems that have been an issue and marriages for decades actually change. Because you can finally have a thoughtful, connected, caring relationship. It’s not like you don’t get angry. But, you don’t act out of that. It doesn’t spread like wildfire.


You’re able to sit there and actually have a conversation that you’ve been avoiding for years. And the way you’ve been avoiding the conversation that needs to happen is, you’ve been having the same fight over and over again, instead.


You really do have to fight for the relationship, because you’ve both got bad habits and ways of talking to each other that are destructive. So you need to actually remember you want this marriage or this partnership to work. And you’re focused on that not who is going to take out the garbage or how often you have sex or who’s making more money and who’s spending more money. Those are important topics, but they’re not the point. The point is: Are we in this together? Do we want to figure out a way that we both get what we need in this situation? If you’re not looking for that, you’re having the wrong conversation.

Dr. Dan Quinn

Clinical Director - Licensed Clinical Psychologist (CA23350), Dan supervised the therapy and research of doctoral students at The Wright Institute, in Berkeley, where he has been a clinical supervisor. He has spent many years studying a multitude of therapy techniques, including relational psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral, gestalt, solution-focused, and Internal Family Systems. He draws from all of them, depending upon the needs of the client at a particular point in the process. Dan was certified as a Positive Psychology coach after studying with its founder, Dr. Martin Seligman. He has 35 years of experience in the corporate arena, and was the CEO of a highly successful technology consulting firm.

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