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Home » How to Stop Arguing With Your Partner: Roderick Jeter (Transcript)

How to Stop Arguing With Your Partner: Roderick Jeter (Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of Roderick Jeter’s talk titled “How to Stop Arguing With Your Partner” at TEDxSanDiego conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Why be angry? What if we knew how to resolve our disagreements with the one we love in just minutes? No fuss, no drama. Can you imagine the possibilities? Would we all be happier? Would more couples stay together? Would the divorce rate drop?

Could we decrease the number of kids growing up in single parent homes? Would that reduce teenage pregnancies and high school dropout rates? Could we cut back on teenage drug abuse, gang affiliation, incarceration, homelessness, maybe even the need of some social services for minors?

If we are resolving our disagreements, no fuss, no drama. Are the kids watching? Will they learn by example and carry this into their relationships, on the playground and into adulthood? If everybody is going to be happy at home now, does that mean our managers and supervisors might come to work happier? Would our co-workers come in happier? Would we show up happier? What would that do for work morale and productivity in America and around the world? Why be angry?

Over the last couple of years, I have traveled coast to coast, recording couples playing a simple game. What if I told you that I have recorded issues and disagreements that have lasted for longer than 10 years, 20 years, 40 years, even almost 60 years being resolved on average in less than 26 minutes. No fuss, no drama. 26 minutes.

Do you have 26 minutes to resolve yours? Why be angry? There are a few ground rules, but this is how it works. The couple will start by agreeing to focus on a single issue and reducing that issue into a simple yes or no question.

Let’s use the most common issue I have recorded. Should she initiate sex more often? Yes or no? He will start by writing down the details to support his yes, of course, position on this issue. While at the same time, she’s writing down all the reasons and all the details to support her oh no, uh-uh position.

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