Do you ever have one of those log drawn out arguments where we know we’re fighting over something stupid- or worse, you’re fighting over a hypothetical situation?
For us, it often stems from one small phrase that seems to cause the trouble.
That won’t work.
It slides off my tongue so effortlessly. My brain computes Joe’s words, it deems them as undoable and ridiculous, and I feel compelled to immediately tell him, thats a big NOPE. I don’t even consider it for a micro second because I already know, it’s ridiculous.
And then I think of the times that I’ve been on the receiving end of this phrase, and how much it grates on me that he has that look on his face that says “no way” before I have even finished my sentence. So frustrating!!
Instead Joe and I have incorporated a new gold standard in the way we respond to each other’s ideas or suggestions and opinions. Practicing this phrase daily. Like we have trained ourselves to respond this way to each other in almost every situation.
“That’s a great idea!”
That’s the first thing you say when your spouse shares an idea or suggestion. Now granted, many times whatever it is your spouse suggests is not a great idea. Highly likely. But that’s exactly when we need this phrase!!
The first step is to affirm your spouse, build him up, let him know that he is, in fact, capable of great thoughts and ideas.
Let him know that you want to hear what he has to say. So we start with, “That’s a great idea!” Then if you have some level of doubt as to if it really is, we will often follow with, “tell me more!” Or, “What are you thinking?”
Sometimes as one of us begins to say more, and carries the idea onward, we realize, oh, actually, that idea won’t work, I completely forgot this detail. Ah. How much nicer for Joe to figure that out, then me having to tell him that his idea stinks. I much prefer that.
The best ideas do, in fact, come out of the bad ones. Any creative can attest to that. Trying the wrong things leads to trying the right things. So it’s against my own best interest when I shut down every bad idea my husband has.
By responding with, “that’s a great idea!” you build your spouse up and enable that better idea to be discovered. Win, win!
Does that mean every idea has equal merit? That every idea should be Not at all. But when we respond with affiramtion , we give our spouse permission to keep sharing.
You let your spouse know that he is valuable. He is heard. And that is always a great idea 🙂
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Pr 29:20