Alexander James recently shared the magic wordsin a tweetthat’s now gone viral because it provides what marriage counselors might call “conflict resolution gold.”
James explains that after 12 years together, he and his wife have gotten into the habit of asking “Do you want comfort or solutions?” when the other is having a bad time. He writes, “That one sentence can save us from an argument 9/10 times.” It works because it tells them exactly what their partner needs from them in that stressful time.
Being upfront about it keeps them from offering advice or brainstorming solutions while the other is just trying to vent. Because sometimes you just want to complain and have your S.O. totally on your side and other times you need their perspective to help you deal with an issue. James credits his “emotionally aware” wife with coming up with the question and he says the beauty of the phrasing is that it “sets us on the same track together, right from the start.” And if this question could prevent frustration and fights? We’re all for it.