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Hacking Normal Relationships to Create Dynamite Ones
Secret #8
With Dr. DJ and Maud Purcell

Secret # 8. Communicate!
Lack of communication is the number one reason even good relationships fail. And here is a useful format for communicating, especially when dealing with incendiary topics:

Listen to your partner’s position, without interrupting him or her. Just listen.

When he or she is finished, summarize what you heard him or her say.* If you can, empathize with your significant other, even if you don’t agree. This will take your partner off the defensive, and make it easier for them to hear your thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to argue when you use this format, and best of all, you may come up with an understanding or a solution. Like Secret #7, to compromise.


1) Listen.

2) Restate what you heard.

3) Empathize.

*When I counseled warring couples, I used a version of this, and I can tell you now that 95% of the time when the partner restated what he or she heard, they were dead wrong! This realization was so startling for some couples that they adopted this technique at home.

Listen without commenting. Re-state what you heard until you get it right.

Once they adopted this simple technique, a lot of rocky roads became smooth as silk.