The Gottman Institute uses the term “Me to We” to describe the process of shifting your focus from solely yourself and your needs to also include your partner’s needs and concerns, and accepting influence.

Being open to influence requires letting go of avoidant strategies like distancing, criticism, or defensiveness. This doesn’t mean adopting an inferior position, but rather allowing space for your partner’s needs, acknowledging their significance and validity. In turn, those needs become important to both partners.

Stan Tatkin, Ph.D. describes this movement from a one-person system to a two-person system as “secure functioning.”

Such shift demands and facilitates the growth and strength of the relationship in the long term by considering another’s mind and emotions in addition to your own. Building love and trust involves listening to our partners and honoring their needs.

One way to incorporate a little more “we-ness” into your conflict discussions is yielding to your partner’s concerns – allowing them to influence your next move through appropriate action, words, gaze or touch.

It could look like:

  • Refraining from doing something, simply because it bothers your partner
  • Incorporating an extra step in your routine, like texting when you’ll be available, so that your partner can feel a sense of reassurance
  • Compromising, because you know you don’t need to win every battle when you’re in it for the long-haul
  • Compromising for the mere goal of making your partner happy
  • Acknowledging that your partner’s point of view and feelings make sense given how they see the situation, even if you don’t agree
  • Taking time out of your day to discuss something they would like to discuss
  • Allowing your partner distance and space when they need it (assuming they will come back when they are ready) and not taking it personally
  • Forgiving, and forgiving, and forgiving again, even when it’s hard 
  • Accepting each other’s flaws because you know no one is perfect and it’s inevitable that at times, our partners will hurt and disappoint us
  • Choosing a loving response, even when your partner cannot in that moment, and is at their worst

Choosing to live by “we” rather than “me” is not always easy.

In my coaching, I offer my clients tools and ways to choose love over conflict, gridlock and separation.

I uncover what my client’s primary triggers and activations are regarding their partner so that we can heal those, resulting in them getting triggered less and less, and with less intensity. So that they can then approach their partners in a new light. And therefore receive a different response.

I help offer them more communication strategies to choose from so that both partners can finally feel seen, heard, and understood.

And in this way my clients can spend more time creating loving moments in their relationship, rather than perpetuating the same cycles and disagreements that drive a wedge between them.

If you want to coach with me in order to connect and communicate with your partner in a more harmonious way, I would love to help you.

Let’s set up a consult and start coaching 1-on1!