Relationship Minute: Witness, not fix this

When you see your partner in pain, your first instinct may be to offer advice or fix the problem to alleviate their suffering.

However, it can be more helpful to simply offer a listening ear. Acting as an empathetic witness to your partner’s struggles is often the most supportive move.

Offering advice can unintentionally communicate that you think they aren’t smart enough or capable of solving their own problems.

When in doubt, replace your solution with two magic words: “That sucks.”

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 18 April 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

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