“If you just jump to problem-solving, the person doesn't feel validated,” Christian says. “The emotional problem is still there.” Only after summarizing what each partner wanted did the couple start negotiating an outcome to meet both needs: “So I said, ‘All right, my goal here is to make sure I can have a little bit of money to invest in the business; your goal here is to make sure that we have a certain amount of money in the bank account. How do we reconcile those two things?’” Skipping any of these steps — or trying to have these discussions when you’re tired or distressed about other things — risks alienating your partner and making matters worse. “If you're very emotional, the first thing that you want to say is probably the wrong thing to say,” Christian says.
The article How to Negotiate Your Way to a Richer Life was originally written by NerdWallet on September 16, 2021, and published by The Associated Press.
LIZ WESTON is a columnist at NerdWallet.
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