Welcome! Listed below is
our Bridge Builder's Tip of the Day excerpted from Dr. Frisch's, Psy.D. book, Making
Molehills Out of Mountains. Enjoy!
Bridge Builder's Tip
Express your needs rather than defend your position.
you see the distinction between expressing your needs and defending your position? A
position is a stance you take about something in dispute with your partner. Your needs are
matters that hold importance to the well-being of you and your relationship.
about this for a moment. Is it safer for you to defend your position or express your
needs? Which leaves you feeling more vulnerable--I need you to be there for me
or Here are my ideas about how and why youre never there for me?
your position is an accusation that you must prove correct. Expressing your needs is an
invitation extended to your partner to join you. Defending your position is a
pronouncement that your partner has failed you. Expressing your needs is a declaration of
the regard that you hold for your partner.
you furiously defend your position, any attempt to address the underlying relationship
issues will have an inevitable slant to it. Focusing on your position requires that you be
right and your partner be wrong. Successfully defending your position hinges on your
ability to debate your partner rather than understand your partner.
your position freezes you in a battle of wits where the only skills that matter are your
ability to explain and justify. Can you see the inevitable harm defending your position
inflicts upon your relationship? Championing your position requires you to dismiss your
you see the paradox of attempting to resolve conflict by championing a cause? You will
inevitably create more conflict than you resolve.
the other hand, making molehills out of mountains is the end result of two people honoring
each others needs, considering the best interests of the relationship. What are the
best interests of your relationship? Do these examples make sense to you? Connection.
Honor. Respect. Growth. Honesty. Openness. Interdependence.
to consider the interests of your partner rather than defending your position can create
an important shift between you and your partner. Selfishness will transform into sharing.
Competitiveness will transform into cooperation. Antagonism will transform into mutual
respect. Self-centeredness will transform into consensus building.
the ultimate benefit of the shift Im proposing. You cannot possibly begin to
understand your partner while youre defending your position. Quite simply, as long
as you defend your position, youll perpetuate a log jam of
By expressing your needs and honoring the needs of your partner, youll begin the
process of tearing down the walls that have developed in your relationships.
chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your
children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs
free. Learn how
to in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. Recovery book series.