How to Negotiate With Your Partner

We thoroughly enjoy living in an RV, but we seem to be on a button called repeat. I’m head strong, and Stephen has always been agreeable. Due to our desire to increase our level of joy, in recent years I‘ve encouraged him to be more participatory in our decision making.

So, this video is just another episode in how that’s going! There are so many ways that I have to change as he changes. We are still dancing, but the tune is different. We are both better for it, but many times we are groping in the dark figuring out what the steps to this dance are.

What does negotiation mean? “When two people want different things and wish to reach an agreement.”

Watch as I admit to demanding we do it my way. Honestly, I didn’t even hear myself do it until Stephen called my attention to my words.  I was acting from my fear and, of course, that never goes well!

In this video, we share our negotiation after the confrontation so we may heal the rift created. We also share several fun moments of our adventures in Nova Scotia!

 

 

Because we wish to reach an agreement, each of us struggles to remain flexible in our stance. We must know ourselves well enough to have a point of view and be able to express it. That’s the easy part.

After editing this video, I did some noodling around to see what others say about negotiating with our partners. Here I am shamelessly borrowing from another blogger, and I strongly urge you to click through and read their whole post.

I was pleased we’d stumbled on a lot of these points ourselves. I’m enamored with their way of expressing them. Read more about their striving for harmony through negotiation here.

How to Negotiate In Our Intimate Relationships

Listen – First of all, don’t wait for your turn to talk or think about what you’re going to say when your partner shuts up. Listening means being with him or her with your whole self – taking in their body language, the tone of voice as well as their words. AND deliberately stretching to empathize with their point of view. Feeling what it’s like to be them. Very tall order and such an important element in a successful negotiation.

Remember you are on the same team – It’s automatic in negotiation to slip into an adversarial position. That’s why it’s so hard! But since we enjoy living in an RV, it’s never been clearer since going full-time, how much of my happiness is dependent on the degree to which Stephen is happy.

Use a number scale – Remember Stephen’s idea of giving our vote a number? Negotiations are perfect times for utilizing this technique. How strongly one of us feels about an outcome is enormously helpful! Read and watch this post again where Stephen explains the system he came up with in the video.

Be a big girl and a big boy – Stand up for yourself but don’t trample on your partner. Gotta say though, this is my Achilles heel. As a result, it seems like I’m always stretching for that middle ground. How about you?

First be an island then be a peninsula – I love this visual! First talk about what you would want if you were an island. Then, say what you hear your partner wanting and how it affects your preferences. Doesn’t this sound easy enough?

It’s so easy for some people (namely my husband) to get lost in wanting to please their partner. A beautiful idea but it doesn’t lead to more intimacy. The boundaries are out too far. They don’t know how to be an island unto themselves. Fortunately, we are all always learning, and that is exactly why we negotiate.

What Are You Choosing?

In conclusion, there is much wisdom in these points. And, I can attest to their power when applied in intense moments (or sometimes after the fact. ) Out of nowhere, some small thing can cause a collision of egos while RV living. Those moments and how we negotiate them truly make the difference between a harmonious shared day of discovery and adventure as we travel down the road. Or, the flip side, a day full of tension and strife. The choice is always ours.

What kind of day are you choosing? I’d love to hear how you and your partnership navigate the potholes in your road.

Here’s a map of where we are now.



 

We’ve already had many adventures here in Nova Scotia. We are currently boondocking with a couple who live off the grid, and I can’t wait to share the next video showing some of their life here on the coast of Nova Scotia!

Be sure and subscribe to my blog and my youtube channel if you haven’t already to learn along with us how to make life on the road even better than you imagined it could be.