Michael Grinder here. Happy New Year, 2022!
Let’s roll up our sleeves, and figure out what we’re gonna do this year.
Looking ahead, this particular clip is how to do new year’s resolutions for couples.
Do you know what happens if you even live near a gym? That parking lot is full for January. By the time it gets to February, that parking lot is back to where it was in December.
So instead of doing one New Year’s resolution for the whole year, I’m going to suggest, how about if we have a new year’s resolution for the first four months of the year?
Couples’ New Year’s Resolutions for January — Be Curious
If you want, no matter how long you’ve been together, curiosity makes a huge difference, in terms of how you communicate with each other.
There’s a game called The Ungame. The Ungame is, there’s no competition. It’s a set of cards that’s very easy to use. I put it in the glove compartment of our car, and we take a trip more than 45 minutes, we spend at least 20 minutes on this. Easy cards would be like, “what’s your favorite color?” Hard cards might be, “what would you like on your tombstone?”
So, January’s resolution? Curiosity. If you would, put The Ungame on your calendar now.
Couples’ New Year’s Resolutions for February — Respect Each Other’s Vulnerability
What are you going to do in February? Well, we’re recommending that you consider the idea of understanding the catness, and the dogness, in you and your partner.
The dog wants to please like crazy. The cat goes, I deserve, I deserve.
So if I may, please consider understanding that in any relationship, the dog is going to be chasing the cat.
I’m the dog romantically in my relationship with Gail. In other areas, such as being creative, I’m a cat. So it’s not like you’re a dog or a cat.
It’s in relationship to the other person, in a given context.
So if you would, February, respect each other’s vulnerability, especially of the dog. So just be gentle, when the dog is talking, and you’re the cat. Be gentle.
I promise, you might be a dog in one context, but in another context, it could be very different.
Couples’ New Year’s Resolutions for March — Electronic-Free Zones
March to me, is one of my favorite months, in terms of what we’re gonna recommend. We’re gonna recommend that you end up having an electronic-free zone.
You have time zones across America, across the world. Why don’t we have the idea of electronic free time zones, so that during certain hours, certain situations, you just don’t do electronics?
For someone to say, “yeah, Honey, I’m listening to you, go ahead,” but they’re on their phone. Yeah, they’re getting the words, but not getting the heart.
So if I may, for March, do electronic free zones, including when you’re driving in the car or when you eat, no electronics. It makes a huge difference in terms of communication.
Couples’ New Year’s Resolutions for April — Beware of Dirty Fighting
April is the heavy month, sorry. It comes from the idea of John Gottman’s book, I love the title, “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.”
We do our Couples Workshop in February, and it’s based on this book. The name of our class is called, “To Love, To Honor, To Negotiate.”
So you’ve got to figure out, how do you handle those times when you’ve got to communicate, but it’s not easy?
The biggest thing I find is, be careful of what’s called dirty fighting. Dirty fighting is when you say any form of, “You always.” When you say that, the other person is very likely to go dirty fighting also, and say, “Well, you always” or “you never.”
When you hear “always” or “never,” what we recommend, from John Gottman, take time out.
Now, if I may, very unfair. A males’ system is different than a female’s. Females can talk and have an easy time talking and finding words. When males get too emotional, heartbeat above a certain level, he’s got to take a break.
Now, this may surprise you ladies, it takes 20 minutes, minimum, for him to calm down. You’re not avoiding the fight. You’re just bringing the level back down so that the male can actually communicate back and forth.
So we have four months. Each month is a little bit different.
Four New Year’s Resolutions for Couples
- January: Curiosity
- February: Cats and Dogs — Respect each other’s vulnerability
- March: Electronics-free Zones
- April: Take Time Out — Beware dirty fighting
And if you want an extra, think about compatibility.
I love this t-shirt. It shows a toilet paper roll, one done one way, one done the other. Is that compatibility? It is on some level.
So try to try to figure out, what is compatibility in terms of curiosity, who’s chasing whom, the idea of electronic free zones, and the idea of dirty fighting.
Michael Grinder here. Make a four-month resolution for the year 2022. Thank you very much.