So you’re in the middle of fighting with your S.O. about family and your blood is boiling when they say, “Your mother drives me crazy.” These words could send you over the edge, but before you let this argument erupt into a major fight, there’s a phrase that could help resolve things.
All you have to do is repeat their criticism back to them by saying, “I hear you when you say…” So in this case it would be “I hear you when you say my mother drives you crazy.” And then you can offer your rebuttal.
You’re basically taking the words right out of their mouth, and here’s why it works. A lot of fights get going when one person feels like the other person isn’t hearing them out when they have a criticism or complaint. So if you repeat their words back to them and actually say that you hear them, they know you’re really listening.
It might not work in all situations, but we’re all for an easy fix to help keep discussions and disagreements civilized. Now we just have to remember this in the heat of the moment.